The new series of Strictly Come Dancing is edging ever closer, with the hit dance show set to return to our screens in just two months' time. And now fans have been given their very first opportunity to be a part of the Strictly magic! The BBC has confirmed there will be an exclusive red carpet event to launch the stars of this year's show to the media and the public on Monday 26th August – and YOU could be there. Fans can now enter a random draw to win tickets to the unveiling, with registration open until 10pm on 5 August.
Strictly Come Dancing will return to our screens in September
Hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, the event – which will be held at the Television Centre in Shepherd's Bush - is "an opportunity for fans of the series to be part of the audience, seeing the celebrities in all their finery – live and exclusive". The press release notes that it is a standing event, lasting approximately three hours, and that applicants can only apply for two tickets per person.
With the Strictly countdown well and truly underway, speculation is rife as to which celebrities will be taking to the dance floor this series. Among those being linked to the show are Chris Evans, Catherine Tyldesley, Alan Carr, Huw Edwards, Vogue Williams and cleaning sensation Mrs Hinch. The pro dancers, meanwhile, were confirmed in June this year, with the likes of Kevin Clifton, Anton du Beke, Gorka Marquez, Janette Manrara, Aljaz Skorjanec, Karen Clifton and AJ Pritchard all set to return. Sadly this series will go ahead without dad-to-be Pasha Kovalev, who announced his departure in February.
Motsi Mabuse has been announced as the new Strictly judge
And there are changes on the judging panel too. Following Darcey Bussell's decision to step down after seven years on the show, it was announced this week that she would be replaced by Motsi Mabuse, sister of Strictly pro dancer Oti Mabuse. Motsi was previously a judge on Let's Dance in Germany from 2011. "I am absolutely overjoyed to be joining the Strictly judging panel," she said. "I have so much respect and admiration for the other three judges and hope to add my own bit of sparkle to the show. I can't wait to get started."
Oti has previously praised her sister for inspiring her love of dance. She told the BBC: "My family plays a big part in my role as a dancer and my sister was my first trainer. She's still my role model and inspiration until this day. She was my first trainer, she taught me my first steps. My mum was my first coach, she coached me for my first competition. I've literally only looked up to my family, because we are so competitive as a family as well and they always aim to be the best."