karen clifton dancing

Strictly pro dancers pictured in first group photo at rehearsals - see here

We can't wait!

Ainhoa Barcelona

Excitement is reaching fever pitch as the new Strictly Come Dancing contestants are about to be revealed. And now the BBC One show has teased fans further by sharing the first group photo of the professional dancers during rehearsals. Taking to Twitter and Instagram, Strictly's official account wrote: "First pro rehearsals, and first celebrity reveals tonight. It's beginning to feel a lot like #Strictly."

A total of 18 dancers were seen in the studio, from Kevin Clifton and his ex-wife Karen Hauer, to married couples Neil and Katya Jones and Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec.

The Strictly dancers reunited ahead of the new series

The first official photo comes shortly after the first three contestants for the 2019 line-up were accidentally leaked on Good Morning Britain. The celebrities were due to be announced on The One Show on Wednesday night, but Iain Lee revealed them a few hours in advance. Speaking to Ben Shephard, he said: "They are going to announce the first three people on a show called The One Show. It's going to be Sam Allardyce, Jamie Laing and Anneka Rice." Ben interjected: "They are announcing it later and you have already announced it?" to which Ian replied: "Oops, sorry."

MORE: The one thing Jamie Laing and Anneka Rice have in common

Katya Jones shares her excitement ahead of Strictly

The identities of the Strictly celebs have been under lock and key over the past few weeks, with the BBC even giving the stars superhero codenames. These include Batman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Mystique, Catwoman, Hulk, Captain America and Bananaman. Among the rumoured line-up are stars including The Saturdays singer Una Healy, Line of Duty actor Adrian Dunbar, I'm a Celebrity winner Harry Redknapp, Boyzone bandmate Keith Duffy, Atomic Kitten's Natasha Hamilton, Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya and Coronation Street actor Jack P Shepherd.

MORE: Duchess Kate celebrates arrival of close friend's baby

It will be a year of changes on the show, as judge Darcey Bussell has been replaced by Motsi Mabuse, who was previously a judge on the German dancing show Let's Dance, and is the sister of professional dancer, Oti Mabuse.

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

More on: