The Strictly Come Dancing tour kicks off on Friday, and the pro dancers and celebrities have headed to Birmingham this week in preparation for their first show. The majority of the stars headed to the city on Monday evening, and wasted no time in going out for a group meal. Dr Ranj, Stacey Dooley, Lauren Steadman and Faye Tozer were among the celebrities, while pros present included Graziano Di Prima and Dianne Buswell. The tour will commence in Birmingham from the 18 January to the 21 January, before moving on to Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Glasgow, Nottingham and finally, London. The last show will take place on Sunday 10 February at the O2 Arena at Wembley.
The Strictly stars enjoyed catching up over dinner ahead of the tour
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The majority of the stars from the programme will be taking part in the tour, but there are a few changes with the partners. Karen Clifton will be dancing with Graeme Swann, while Stacey will be dancing with Aljaz Skorjanec, who stepped in to replace her dance partner Kevin Clifton. Kevin was devastated that he wouldn’t be able to dance with Stacey – especially after the pair won the show – but he was unable to participate due to other commitments. Kevin will be starring in the theatre production of Rock of Ages from the end of January, playing the lead role of Stacee Jaxx. Graeme's Strictly partner, Oti Mabuse, meanwhile, is unable to take part as she is appearing in new BBC One dance show, The Greatest Dancer, alongside Cheryl and Matthew Morrsion. Katya Jones and her husband Neil will also not be involved in the tour.
MORE: Kevin Clifton pays sweet tribute to Strictly partner with new tattoo
Ahead of the tour – which will see the Strictly stars on the road for a few weeks – Graeme and Karen spoke to HELLO! about whether they will miss home while they are away. Karen said: "I will miss my dogs Marley and Betty, I wish I could take them with me." Graeme, meanwhile, can't wait: "I was housebound over Christmas for four or five weeks, there is nothing I am looking forward to more!"
Karen Clifton and Graeme Swann talked about being away from home on the Strictly tour
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