Welcome one, welcome all to the first ever edition of #StrictlyLiveBlogging! Glad you can join us tonight. As ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ returns to BBC One for a new series, we are here every step of the way with our weekly live blogs to comment on all the twists, turns, and tripping of the light fantastic as it happens, right here for you.
Tonight’s launch show (and our live blog) starts at 7pm, although we’ll have a warm up series of posts here before we get going at 6:30pm if you want to join us – and you can follow all the action as it happens below – don’t forget to leave your comments, they’re always welcome to hear. Enjoy – and get ready for us to staaaart blogging!
20 minutes to go people! None other than the new head judge of Strictly, the wonderful Shirley Ballas has confirmed she’s watching the blog tonight – hello Shirley and thanks for joining. What we lack in a good top line and non rounded shoulders we will make up for in live blogging prowess 💃😉👍
Last year’s winner Ore Oduba is back with his dance partner Joanne Clifton on the launch show tonight for one last dance. Here’s hoping it’s this one…
Also on the launch show tonight there is a performance from lover of exclamation marks and queen of country pop Shania Twain. Here’s the video for her latest hit ‘Life’s About to Get Good’:
Drinks are now ready. Coke and rum. Sparkling and fizzing like a samba.
This is your three minute warning people…Strictly is almost back!
Moment to talk about how fab Tess and Claudia are looking?
Here we go… Strictly is back!
AJ does need proof of age. Claudia awful telephone operator mind!
Wonder women! They are that for sure!
Aah look at them all. Young, naive and innocent. And none of them have a clue what they’ve let themselves in for…your stars of Strictly 2017!
Oh my days. This Gene Kelly tribute is giving me actual life right now #GottoDance
Neither do we Ore, neither do we. But that’s the beauty of it all!
By the way to ensure you’re getting all the action…swipe down and hold to keeeep refreshing!
Seriously great opening dance from the professionals there!
Remind me to get the tissues ready for the Brucie tribute. I don’t think I’m ready.
Ah. The new judges looking good already!
Here’s your Strictly stars then. Favourites are already many for us!
The glitterball trophy is like a unicorn. It is a fabled legend Claudia.
Here goes the pairing up… Gemma Atkinson first! I completely forgot she was in Hollyoaks.
Debbie McGee. I get the distinct impression she’ll be out by Week 2 or 3.
Chizzy Akudolu. I love her already. Just saying. Good tango face!
Ah lovely Ruth Langsford. I reckon I can guess who her partner will be already!
Gemma looking absolutely incredible. Who’s she gonna get?
Ah Aljaz. Good match there!
Debbie next…and her partner…Giovanni!
Chizzy is giving me total Alison Hammond teas. In a good way. I love her. And her partner…Pasha!
Ruth’s turn now…and her partner (as I thought)…is Anton!
Very good pairings so far…what’s your thoughts on Gemma and Aljaz, Debbie and Giovanni, Chizzy and Pasha and Ruth and Anton?
Shirley is very softly spoken isn’t she? Definitely has a dancer’s grace about her!
Love this Tweet as well 😂
Love this Tweet from Oriane Messina on Ruth and Anton!
Susan Calman is setting up the spare bed for her dance partner. Now that’s one way to prepare for winning!
Here come the new female professionals, Dianne, Amy and Nadiya. Already looking like the world’s best girl group that’s never existed until now.
I’ve missed Claudia’s comedy segments! Now for the first male pairings…
Here comes Aston Merrygold…love JLS so am expecting good things from him!
The Reverend Richard Coles. Obviously the Ed Balls figure for this year!
Davood Ghadami. Not watched EastEnders in a long time but I imagine he’ll be as good as Jake Wood!
Good old Simon Rimmer. Loves me a bit of Sunday Brunch!
Aston’s got Janette! Well done Strictly producers, you got this one so right!
Richard moving in mysterious ways? No, he says, just a spasm…and doing those with him is…Dianne!
Davood next. He’s quite a tall fella isn’t he. And his partner is…Nadiya! That’s two of the new professionals taken now…
Simon’s turn now. Good Scouse egg isn’t he? And his partner…Karen!
So there we are, first four male celebs partnered up. What’s your thoughts on Aston and Janette, Richard and Dianne, Davood and Nadiya and Simon and Karen?
Shania Twain performing her new single now. This does impress us much!
Ore and Joanne are doing their jive again. Honestly one of my all time favourite Strictly partnerships. Gonna miss them on this year but can’t wait to see them again!
Run run runaway runaway baby *hand jives wildly*
Ore and Joanne forever. *applauds wildly*
I’m so not ready for the Brucie tribute 😢
I loved Chelsee and Pasha. Such a good partnership!
Such a beautiful tribute dance this. Brucie you were our favourite and always will be the spirit of Strictly. Keep dancing up there sir! 😢💃
Last female celebrities now…Charlotte Hawkins (very pretty, Katie Derham vibes), Mollie King (love her, c’mon TEAM SATS), Susan Calman (I’m expecting all the lols from her) and Alexandra Burke (go and shake it Lexy).
Charlotte being partnered up first, and hers is…Brendan!
Mollie next. How weird would it be if she got Kevin like Frankie Bridge did? Let’s find out…it’s AJ!
So not Kevin then. Wonder who his partner is…Susan Calman maybe?
Susan and Kevin then! Awww bless her reaction.
Alexandra last but not least partnered up with Gorka! Very good matches all round it has to be said!
What’s our thoughts on the last four female partnerships then? Craig is loving Mollie already!
Rita Ora performing her new single with Avicii. Bit nothing-y TBH. But then that’s true of much of her songs.
Susan Calman has a Kevin Clifton poster. I repeat. Susan Calman has a Kevin Clifton poster. 😂😂😂
Last three male celebs now – Joe McFadden, Jonnie Peacock and Brian Conley. I suspect two of those will be in it longer than two weeks!
Joe McFadden already has the look of a dancer. And his partner…is Katya!
Jonnie Peacock rather rocks the top knot doesn’t he? Oti is his partner!
Which means Brian has the last of the new professionals Amy. That’s all the celebrities and partners paired up!
Time now for the first ever group dance…this could be interesting!
Good words Bruno about the partnerships…anything can happen!
So many good partnerships already just on that dance. And yet we have to wait two weeks! I cannot wait!
So that’s it. Strictly is officially back. And that’s it for our first ever #StrictlyLiveBlogging. As Tess and Claudia said the first live show kicks off on Saturday, 23rd September, and we’ll be back right here to bring you all the action. So good night for now, and in the meantime…staaart dancing!