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Katie Piper revealed as first celebrity contestant in Strictly Come Dancing 2018

Did you guess the line-up?

strictly group shot

It's that time of the year again! Strictly Come Dancing is set to return to screens next month and ahead of the show's launch, the celebrity contestants are gradually being unveiled. The first star has been unveiled as Katie Piper! The news was announced on BBC News on Monday morning - and the star revealed that her dream professional partner would be Giovanni Pernice. Speaking of her decision to join the show, she said: "The only person I told was my husband - and he thought I was joking!"

kate piper swarovski

Katie Piper has been confirmed for 2018!

She added: "I feel so privileged and excited to be part of my favourite show on TV. I already know how much of an amazing experience it will be for me and I can’t wait to show my girls some of my new dance moves. I’m nervous to put on my dancing shoes but can’t wait to learn a new skill and have the Strictly tan and makeover!"

MORE: Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman reveal some very cryptic clues about this year's Strictly Come Dancing contestants

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!!"

MORE: BBC newsreader joining cast of Strictly Come Dancing

Show representatives also recently revealed that they will not introduce same-sex couples in the line-up. "Strictly has chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples and at the moment we have no plans to introduce same-sex couples," a spokesperson told The Telegraph.

strictly come dancing judges 2017© Photo: Getty Images

The show's judges

One of the show's judges, Craig Revel Horwood, has spoken about the subject in the past, telling This Morning earlier this year: "I would love to champion that. Other territories do it, so there is no reason why we can't, but that's obviously not my decision. But I would love to see it."

The Strictly red carpet event will take place on 27 August when, typically, the judges, the professional dancers and the celebrity contestants are pictured together for the first time. The show is known to be pre-recorded, so it's thought that the first episode will air later that week on Saturday 1 September.

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