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Strictly Come Dancing 2021: everything you need to know

We've got all the updates on the judges, professionals and more…

strictly new 2021© Photo: Getty Images
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
Updated: August 31, 2021
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We cannot wait for Strictly Come Dancing 2021. Although the show last year looked a little different to normal, it was everything the nation needed to get us through a tough time – and we think the upcoming 19th series is going to be the best yet. 

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The excitement is already started to bubble up, with new dancers announced as well as updates on the judging line-up. So without further ado, here is your complete Strictly 2021 guide to keep you informed on when it'll be back on our screens and who to expect on the dancefloor...

WATCH: Janette Manrara makes major Strictly 2021 announcement

When is Strictly Come Dancing 2021 happening?

There's no word yet on an official start date for Strictly this year, however, HELLO! understands that the professional dancers are due to commence their training any day now ahead of its usual autumn release. The ballroom experts usually get together around July time to start learning choreography for group numbers, as well as individual routines to teach their eventual celebrity partners.

The launch show for Strictly over the past few years has usually been around mid to late September, with the first of the live episodes starting in early October.

The launch programme is filmed in advance as sees audiences reacquainted with the pros, judges, and presenters, as well as meeting the celebrity line-up for the first time. Later in the episode, the famous faces are paired up with their pros. We're excited already!

craig strictly

Strictly usually starts in the autumn

Who are the judges for Strictly Come Dancing 2021?

Veteran judge Craig Revel Horwood is returning to his seat for the 19th year and will be joined once again by Motsi Mabuse and head judge Shirley Ballas. Last year, fellow long-running judge Bruno Tonioli was unable to partake in person due to the coronavirus pandemic – but appeared virtually on Sunday episodes.

However, due to ongoing restrictions relating to the pandemic, the BBC have announced that Bruno, who lives in LA and is a regular judge on the stateside equivalent show, Dancing with the Stars, will not be returning. Instead, the King of Ballroom himself Anton Du Beke will be filling in for Bruno.

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anton strictly judge© Photo: BBC

Anton is joining the judging panel

Who are the professionals on Strictly Come Dancing 2021?

The BBC have announced some new faces that are joining the professional line-up! The four new ballroom stars include, World Junior Latin American Champion 2010 and a former Dancing With The Stars Ireland professional, Kai Widdrington. Kai is joined by six-time Latin and Ballroom National Champion in Italy and former Let's Dance Germany professional, Nikita Kuzmin.

As well as Kai and Nikita, we have reigning South African Latin Champion, Cameron Lombard and Polish Open Latin Champion 2014 and winner of BBC's The Greatest Dancer, Jowita Przystal. 

The new stars will join the regular stars Oti Mabuse, Aljaž Škorjanec, Giovanni Pernice, Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Neil Jones, Nidiya Bychkova and Nancy Xu.

Fans will notice that Janette Manrara is missing from this year's line-up. The dancer recently announced that she would be stepping down from her role as a professional to take over Zoe Ball on sister show, It Takes Two. 

strictly come dancing professionals new© Photo: BBC

The four new professional dancers joining this year

What else is there to know about Strictly Come Dancing 2021?

Strictly viewers will know that last year looked a little different. The show welcomed fewer contestants and had a shorter run. The producers also cut a number of elements to the show including Blackpool and Halloween week. 

However, this year, the series, fronted once again by Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly, will run normal length with a full-line up but, sadly, will not return to Blackpool.

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Which celebrities are on the line-up for Strictly Come Dancing 2021?

Earlier this month, the 15 celebrities joining for the nineteenth season were finally announced. The full line-up consists of: Tom Fletcher, AJ Odudu, Katie McGlynn, Robert Webb, John Whaite, Rhys Stevenson, Sara Davies, Dan Walker, Tilly Ramsay, Greg Wise, Nina Wadia, Rose Ayling-Ellis, Adam Peaty, Judi Love, and Ugo Monye. We can't wait!

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