It's the glitziest television show of the year, and once again the anticipation has started to build ahead of the start of Strictly Come Dancing 2017. Here at HELLO! Online, we have rounded up the list of this year's celebrities contestants who have been confirmed to take part. This year will mark Queen of Latin ballroom dancer Shirley Ballas' first stint as head judge, taking over from Len Goodman. She will be joined on the show by three new professionals: Amy Dowden from South Wales, Australian dancer Dianne Buswell and Ukraine's Nadiya Bychkova, who will join the Strictly crew when the award-winning entertainment series returns in September to BBC One.
The newcomers will join Strictly when the award-winning entertainment series returns in September to BBC One. Those returning to the dance floor once again are male dancers, Anton du Beke, Brendan Cole, Kevin Clifton, Neil Jones, Pasha Kovalev, Gorka Marquez, Aljaž Škorjanec and Giovanni Pernice; alongside female dancers Karen Clifton, Chloe Hewitt, Katya Jones, Janette Manrara and Oti Mabuse.
Saturdays singer Mollie King, EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami and This Morning's Ruth Langsford have been announced as the first stars taking part in the new series. A number of famous faces have been linked to this year's show, with rumoured contestants including singer Matt Goss, Olly Murs and Dame Joan Collins.The names of the other celebrities taking part in Strictly are to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Saturdays singer Mollie King was the first celebrity to be announced on Monday. The news was confirmed live on BBC Radio 1's Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw. Speaking about her participation in the show, Mollie, 30, said: "I'm a huge fan of Strictly Come Dancing, so I can't actually believe I'm lucky enough to be taking part in it this year! I'm literally so excited to learn Latin and ballroom dancing, and of course I can't wait to get into the sequins too! It's going to be a lot of hard work but I'm ready for the challenge."
On Tuesday, BBC show bosses confirmed EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami has joined the star-studded line-up. Sharing his delight about his participation in the dancing competition, the soap star said: "Having the opportunity to take part in this year's Strictly is such an honour. It's going to be exciting, challenging and terrifying all at once and I am so looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and learning to dance. See you under the Glitterball!"
Loose Women's Ruth Langsford was named as the third celebrity contestant on this year's dance show. The announcement was made live on This Morning on Wednesday, with the TV show and both Strictly's official Twitter accounts confirming the news. "Loose Woman, Ruth Langsford is limbering up for #Strictly 2017. Welcome," they tweeted. The 57-year-old said: "I have dreamt about doing Strictly for so long, I can't quite believe my dream has come true! The sum of my dance experience is throwing a few shapes at a party, I've never had a dance lesson in my life. Without doubt it will be the scariest yet most exciting thing I've ever done. It will be a welcome change worrying about my next hot move instead of my next hot flush!"
The eighth contestant who will be taking to the dance floor is JLS star Aston. The Everybody in Love singer said: "I'm so happy to be joining Strictly. It is such a brilliant show and I've followed it for years. I'm both nervous and excited to learn from the professionals about a whole new way of dancing!"
Aston, 29, is best known for being a member of pop group JLS. The band sold over ten million records worldwide, had five number one hits, a four-time platinum album, won a MOBO award, and even starred in their very own film, JLS – Eyes Wide Open. After five years, the band split and Aston became a judge on British talent show Got to Dance in 2013. He is now performing as a solo artist. His platinum debut solo record, Get Stupid, received huge international success.
Brian was the tenth celebrity confirmed to take part in the talent competition. The news was announced on Steve Wright's BBC 2 Radio show on Friday afternoon. Sharing his excitement at competing in the dance show, Brian said: "I'm delighted and honoured to be asked to strut my stuff on this year's Strictly. My family all love the show and can't wait to see me do my Dad dancing on national television. I know it's going to be a lot of hard work but I'm up for the challenge, so bring on the spray tan and sequins."
The Good Morning Britain presenter made the announcement live on air, confirming that she is the eleventh celebrity to join the line-up. Speaking about her decision to sign up, Charlotte said: "I am so thrilled to be one of the contestants on Strictly this year! I've always been a big fan of the show. It is a dream come true to be taking part and I'll be following in the footsteps of my Good Morning Britain colleagues. I'm looking forward to stepping out from behind the news desk to cha-cha-cha my way across the dancefloor!"
The actress – full name Andrea Chizoba Akudolu – will join the talent show, with the hope of lifting the coveted glitterball trophy at the end of series 15. Chizzy, best known for playing heart surgeon Mo Effanga in BBC One's Holby City, said: "When I was 13, I made the finals of a disco dancing competition once but there was this amazing girl who exploded onto the stage with a gorgeous sequined costume, throwing glitter everywhere… I knew it was game over for me. That was then, this is now and this is my chance to have even more sequins!"
Actress Gemma Atkinson was confirmed to appear on Strictly on BBC Breakfast on Thursday. Gemma, 32, said: "I am honoured to be asked and so thrilled to be joining Strictly Come Dancing 2017! I'm beyond excited and incredibly nervous but I am looking forward to learning a new skill in ballroom and Latin dancing and taking on this challenge." The star first found fame playing Lisa Hunter in Channel 4 sitcom Hollyoaks, between 2001 and 2005. Since then she has appeared as Tamzin Bayne in Casualty, and was most recently seen on Emmerdale.
The Scottish actor, who is best known for playing Raffaello 'Raf' di Lucca in Holby City, was the sixth celebrity contestant to be announced. Speaking of his upcoming stint in series 15 of Strictly, Joe said: "Strictly is one of the biggest, most entertaining shows on TV and being asked to be part of it is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I'm thrilled and terrified about in equal measures!" He also took to this Twitter page to confirm the news, writing: "So, this is happening!"
Reverend Richard Coles
Reverend Richard Coles' participation announced on Friday during Radio 2's Chris Evans Breakfast Show. Richard is a broadcaster and Church of England priest, best known for co-hosting BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live. Speaking about joining Strictly, he revealed: "Cometh the hour, cometh the overweight Vicar with arthritis in his knees."
Richard is currently the only Vicar in Britain to have had a number one hit single with pop band The Communards in the 1980s, which went on to have three UK top ten hits and the biggest-selling single of 1986, Don't Leave Me This Way.
Simon was the seventh celebrity contestant to be unveiled on this year's line-up. The news was revealed on his cookery chat show Sunday Brunch, with Simon telling co-presenter Tim Lovejoy: "Spray tan and sequins are the thing I'm most looking forward to. I think I'll be good at the waltz. As you know I have child bearing hips, so they're not really built for Latin, they're built for ballroom."
The Scottish comedian and broadcaster will also be taking part in the dance competition this year, with the news announced on Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show. Speaking about her participation in the show, Susan said: "Being on Strictly is a dream come true. Finally I can reveal all the moves I've been practising in my kitchen to the nation. I am an enthusiastic home dancer and now on Saturday night I'll be dancing on other people's homes in a (hopefully) entertaining way. I am terrified but excited to start my Strictly journey."
Glasgow-born Susan, 42, is a comedian, broadcaster and a regular contributor on BBC Radio 4. She appears on shows including The News Quiz, The Unbelievable Truth, Dilemma, and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, and she recently recorded the second series of her sitcom Sisters.
Debbie McGee, widow and former assistant of the late Paul Daniels', was the first of the three contestants to be announced on The One Show. While on the programme, she said the first day of rehearsals on Monday had been "such fun." The 58-year-old follows in her late husband's footsteps, who did the show back in 2010, and she revealed that Bruce Forsyth, who sadly passed away on Friday, was his inspiration for taking part.
She added: "There are no words to describe how I feel about performing on Strictly Come Dancing. The excitement is overwhelming. I can’t stop smiling. It’s been the hardest secret I have ever had to keep!"
The fourteenth contestant to be revealed was Jonnie Peacock, a double Paralympic, World and European T44 100m Champion. He said he wanted to "change the stigma", as the first paralympian while appearing on The One Show.
He added: "The opportunity to be the first contestant with a disability to take part in Strictly's main show was too good to turn down. I’ve got no previous dance history outside of the occasional ‘worm’ at a mate’s party and I know this will be a challenge and a new experience. I can’t wait to see what I can achieve and how far I can push myself."
Alexandra Burke was the final contestant to be announced on The One Show on Monday. The 2008 X Factor winner said of taking part: "I am so excited to be joining this year’s Strictly cast! I love this show and have followed it from the beginning, so being able to be a part of it is just a dream come true for me - I still can’t believe it! I am very nervous as I am a singer not a dancer, but I am going to give this my absolute everything and try my best to make everyone proud."