Strictly Come Dancing will be extra poignant this year, as the new series will launch just weeks after the death of former co-host Sir Bruce Forsyth. Ruth Langsford, who is competing in this year's dance show, said that she and her fellow stars will be dancing for the late TV star.
"It slightly took the sheen off my excitement about doing Strictly. But he would have loved this," said Ruth. "I don't think he would want any of us to not be enjoying this. And he was such a fabulous dancer, so I think this year, he'll be very much in our thoughts. And all of us will really be doing it for him, as much as for ourselves."
"All of us will really be doing it for him," said Ruth
Mollie King, who was the first celebrity to be announced for this year's line-up, added: "As the class of 2017, we really want to make him proud. And we want to just dance our socks off, give it everything. I mean, he has been such a huge part of Strictly." JLS singer Aston Merrygold also paid tribute, saying: "Growing up through the industry, everyone knows Bruce. It's just like… He's just the face of Strictly and stuff… BBC and just entertainment in general. For a country, it's a bit like… We've lost a great one there. But the legacy lives on because he's Bruce. Do you know what I mean? Brilliant."
The Strictly stars at the launch of the show
The celebrity contestants were speaking at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing on Monday. All 15 stars gathered together for the first time to strut their stuff on the red carpet, wearing sequins, tassels and glitzy outfits. New judge Shirley Ballas also made her debut, joining regulars Craig Revel-Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli at the launch. The next series of Strictly is back on screens on Saturday 9 September.