strictly

BBC share first image of 2018's Strictly Come Dancing line-up

This is so exciting!

Fiona Ward

It really is nearly here! The much-awaited new series of Strictly Come Dancing is most certainly on its way, since the BBC released a brand-new snap of 2018's line-up on Monday. The group shot, which features all the show's professional stars, appears to have been taken in a rehearsal room – since professional rehearsals kicked off on Monday morning. "Getting ready for #Strictly 2018..." they captioned the photograph on Twitter, alongside two dancing emojis.

2018's professional line-up

The BBC have also recently revealed that the Strictly red carpet event (during which this year's celebrities are announced) will take place on 27 August, followed by the launch show on 31 August – since the ticket ballot has opened for fans to apply to watch the show live. The show is known to be pre-recorded, so it's thought that the first show will air on Saturday 1 September.

MORE: Strictly's Brendan Cole finally opens up about his rumoured affair with Natasha Kaplinsky

Loading the player...

And while we'll have to wait until nearer that time to find out which celebrities will compete for the glitterball this year – sometimes, a few contestants are announced before the red carpet event – there's still plenty of time to have a guess as to who will be taking to the dancefloor.

READ MORE: Strictly star Karen Clifton's emotional tribute to estranged husband Kevin

There have been plenty of theories surrounding which stars will join the cast of this year's run, with Scarlett Moffatt being the most recent celebrity to hint she might appear. Other stars in the rumoured line-up include Coleen Rooney and even Mary Berry – who recently showcased her skills for performance when she went on stage with Rick Astley at Camp Bestival last week.

2017's Strictly cast

This year, Strictly will have a bigger professional cast than ever before - bringing the total number of dancers to 18. Brendan Cole and fellow dancer Chloe Hewitt are the only two to miss out on a contract renewal, while all other favourites are returning. Meanwhile new dancers Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe and Luba Mushtuk have been announced as new additions– though it's not known how many will be partnered with celebrities and how many will act as supporting cast.

More on: