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Why this week is particularly exciting for Strictly Come Dancing fans

Time to dust off those sequins

Ainhoa Barcelona

It's almost time to dust off those sequins and practise your cha-cha-cha – Strictly Come Dancing is returning to screens next month. Fans of the popular BBC One show should keep their eyes peeled this week though, as traditionally, the first celebrity contestants are revealed at the beginning of August.

Last year, Mollie King was unveiled as the first confirmed hopeful on 7 August. The Saturdays singer broke the news during an interview with Nick Grimshaw, saying: "I'm a huge fan of Strictly Come Dancing so I can't actually believe I'm lucky enough to be taking part in it this year."

The 2018 rumoured contestants so far...

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In 2016, it was at a similar time, on 8 August, that the BBC revealed its first contender – former Shadow Chancellor and politician Ed Balls. The news was similarly announced on a BBC radio show, this time with Ed confirming the news to Chris Evans on Radio 2. The politician said he was "scared to death" about competing and was hoping to "at least get through the first week or two".

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The judges are back this year!

Various names have been bandied around for 2018's line-up, including Scarlett Moffatt, EastEnders actress Samantha Womack, Davina McCall, Cheryl, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Les Dennis. Coronation Street favourite Catherine Tyldesley had to recently deny that she was joining the show this year, tweeting last week: "Guys - I'm not doing @bbcstrictly - I ADORE the show. And maybe one day! But to put an end to constant rumours - I'm not involved this year. But as always can't wait to watch it!! My total fave!!"

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The professional dancers have been rehearsing hard

Meanwhile, Laura Whitmore, who competed in the series in 2016, said that she heard rumours that Capital FM DJ Vick Hope is joining. The 28-year-old hosts the Capital FM Breakfast Show and 4Music's Trending Live, and although she hasn't yet addressed rumours that she'll be taking part, it sounds like her "strong-willed" nature would make her a good contender. "I've taken that [determination] into this industry which really requires it," she told A-List. "I feel like I had to prove myself a lot because people doubt you. If someone does doubt me it does ignite a bit of a fire."

Who do you want to see on Strictly? Leave your comments below.

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