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17 Strictly pros tipped to return for 2024: BBC investigation, controversy and more

Will your favourite pro dancer be back for 2024? 

Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
June 4, 2024
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Strictly Come Dancing will be back on our screens in just a few short months, and we couldn't be more excited to find out which celebrities will be taking part. But it's also always exciting to be reunited with our favourite dancing pros, who are total stars in their own right! So who will be back for the new series? Here's what we think... 

amy dowden on loose women show in pink top© Shutterstock

Amy Dowden

We have loved seeing Amy dance on Strictly since she joined the show in 2017 - and missed her in 2023 when she was forced to miss the latest season while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The star has celebrated that the treatment worked and that she is in remission, so we hope she will retake her place on the Strictly dancefloor this year. 

Speaking about it to the BBC, she said: “Whether it's teaching at my dance academy, being with my Strictly family, whether it's talking, dancing with my husband and choreographing, that is my happiest place. That has been my medicine, I guess. The aim is, if Strictly will have me back, to be back on that dancefloor."

Nancy Xu and Les Dennis dancing a samba© Guy Levy

Nancy Xu

After leaving first in the competition with Les Dennis in series 21 after a very successful year with Will Mellor in 2022, could this year’s competition by Nancy’s chance to lift the Glitterball trophy? 

woman lying on grey sofa outside© Instagram

Dianne Buswell

So close, yet so far! Dianne has been competing on the show since 2017, reaching the final on two occasions with Joe Sugg and Bobby Brazier - however, she still hasn’t lifted the Glitterball trophy - despite coming so close twice! 

Nadiya Bychkova smiling in a grey shoulderless dress© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Nadiya Bychkova

Despite having celebrity partners in the past, fans of the show were surprised when Nadiya didn’t have a dance partner in the 2023 series. 

Posting about the situation at the time, she wrote: “I'm sure you'll understand that I'm disappointed not to be partnered with a celebrity on @bbcstrictly this series. It is an amazing show to be a part of and I'm still so excited for all the group numbers, performing with some of our music acts and much much more.” After a year on the bench, we think it’s high time that Nadiya returned with a celebrity partner! 

Graziano di Prima wearing a blue tux jacket © Getty

Graziano Di Prima

Graziano and Zara McDermott were a match made in heaven in 2023 and left the competition during Halloween Week after becoming very firm friends. As such, we’d be very surprised if we didn’t see him train up a new celebrity this year. 

Topless Nikita Kuzmin on a boat© Instagram

Nikita Kuzmin

Nikita’s prowess as a dancer reached new levels in 2023 when he was partnered with Layton Williams in the show’s second all-male pairing. The pair were sensational together - and even embarked on a tour after the show. Since Nikita didn’t lift the Glitterball trophy, with the pair landing as runner-ups in the final - 2024 could be his year!

Vito Coppola in a black polo-necked jumper© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Vito Coppola

Three cheers for Vito! We’re fully expecting Strictly’s reigning champion to be back for another year of dancing to protect his title as King of the Dance Floor! The star won alongside his actress partner Ellie Leach in 2023 - and we can’t wait to see what partnership comes next!

Giovanni Pernice© Ray Burmiston

Giovanni Pernice

It is unclear if Giovanni will be back on Strictly - or indeed will be paired with a celebrity partner - following the current investigation into misconduct by the BBC following complaints regarding his behaviour during training. His partner Amanda Abbington quit the series midway through season 21, telling the Mail on Sunday that he was “nasty”. 

Should the investigation find evidence of unacceptable behaviour behind the scenes, we can’t imagine that he would be able to return to the BBC show. However, Giovanni has strenuously denied the reports, saying that he looked forward to clearing his name. 

Katya Jones attends the "BBC Earth Experience" launch at the Daikin Centre on March 29, 2023 in London, England.© Getty

Katya Jones

Katya has said that she is keeping her “fingers crossed” about being asked back onto the show for 2024 - and we think she will! The dancer is known to be one of the best choreographers on the show, and has performed very memorable routines with Ed Balls and Nicola Adams. She is also a Strictly champ, and lifted the trophy with Joe McFadden in 2017. 

Gorka Marquez in a tweed jacket© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Gorka Marquez

Despite reports that Gorka would be leaving Strictly after joining the judging panel of the Spanish version of the show, Bailando Con Las Estrellas, he told Digital Spy: “It’s the same format but in a different country and different times. I’d love to judge again, but I'd love to keep dancing in Strictly. It’s the best show on the telly and it’s what I love to do.

"Even if they said to me ‘Do you want to judge?’ on Strictly, I’d say I want to dance because I want to keep dancing and teaching someone and choreographing. That’s what really makes me happy, more than being a judge."

Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu
++Publication of this image is strictly embargoed until 19:25 hours Saturday 11th November 2023++,BBC,Guy Levy© Guy Levy,BBC

Carlos Gu

Carlos is still relatively new to the show but has become a swift fan favourite. The star opened up about returning for the 2024 series, telling The Mirror: “Fingers crossed, you know. I hope I will." The star was paired with Angela Scanlon in 2023, with the pair making it to week 10 of the competition. Impressive!

Strictly Come Dancing's Johannes Radebe wears a blue suit

Johannes Radebe

Despite his very own tour and a cameo appearance in Doctor Who, we’re sure Johannes is ready to wow again in season 22! Johannes has landed some incredible performances with partners including Annabel Croft, Ellie Taylor and Caroline Quentin, but came runner-up with John Whaite in 2019. Will this year finally be his year to win? 

Karen Hauer smiling in a black dress© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Karen Hauer

Karen is the longest-running dancing pro on the show, first appearing in series 10. The star, who is the undefeated four-time British National Champion, still hasn’t lifted the trophy yet - despite coming in second place back in 2020 with Jamie Laing. This will be her lucky 13th year on the show - if she comes back! 

Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington on Strictly © BBC

Kai Widdrington

Kai had some major success in 2023 with Angela Rippon and took part in the Strictly Come Dancing tour in 2024. As such, we’d be shocked if we didn’t see him on the dancefloor this year! 

Jowira Przystal in turquoise dress© REX/Shutterstock

Jowita Przystal

Although she only joined two years ago, Jowita is already a bit of a Strictly legend, having won in her first-ever series with Hamza Yassin! While she and Jody Cundy were a little less successful in 2023, landing in 13th place, we think 2024 could be the year that she reclaims her Glitterball trophy!

Adam and Luba became the sixth couple to leave the show© Instagram

Luba Mushtuk

After two seasons of dancing with a celebrity partner, Luba had another two years as a support dancer on the show until 2023, when she partnered with Adam Thomas. As such, she is probably one of the dancers that we really couldn’t call for this year - so watch this space!

Lauren Oakley smiling in black lace dress © Getty

Lauren Oakley

After making her debut on Strictly as a support dancer, Lauren wowed viewers with her moves after being partnered with Krishnan Guru-Murphy for the 2023 series. The pair got to week eight in the competition, which was particularly impressive as Krishnan has zero dance experience. Only time will tell if she lands a partner this year!

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