Strictly Come Dancing 2018: when does it start and who is taking part?

Strictly Come Dancing will soon be back on our screens, taking over Saturday night TV again in the run up to Christmas (Image: BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing will soon be back on our screens, taking over Saturday night TV again in the run up to Christmas (Image: BBC)
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Strictly Come Dancing will soon be back on our screens, taking over Saturday night TV again in the run up to Christmas

But which celebs are set to take part in this year’s show, which new professionals are joining, and when does it start?

Former model and TV presenter Katie Piper has just been confirmed as the first contestant for Strictly Come Dancing 2018

Former model and TV presenter Katie Piper has just been confirmed as the first contestant for Strictly Come Dancing 2018

Here’s everything you need to know about Strictly Come Dancing 2018.

Which celebs are taking part?

Former model and TV presenter Katie Piper has just been confirmed as the first contestant for Strictly Come Dancing 2018.

The 34-year-old was unveiled on BBC Breakfast as the first celebrity taking part in the show this year.

Although Brendan Cole was one of the original Strictly stars, he revealed earlier this year that hed been axed from the 2018 lineup

Although Brendan Cole was one of the original Strictly stars, he revealed earlier this year that hed been axed from the 2018 lineup

“For me, it’s really out of my comfort zone and it’s nothing like I’ve ever done before," she said, "so I was really worried – will I be the first person to go home?”

“The only person I told was my husband, through text message, and he thought I was joking.”

Although Piper is the first contestant to be confirmed, other contestants will continue to be announced.

In previous years, the final three contestants have been revealed on a special episode of The One Show, and it is now expected that the second contestant will be named on tonight’s episode of the BBC magazine show.

According to rumours, this year’s line-up is also tipped to include the likes of Corrie star Catherine Tyldesley, Capital DJ Vick Hope, Olympic diver Tom Daley, and YouTuber Joe Sugg. Though these reports aren't yet confirmed.

Which professionals are returning this year?

This year’s show will see the return of familiar faces including Kevin Clifton, Karen Clifton, Anton Du Beke, Janette Manrara, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Oti Mabuse, Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Amy Dowden, Aljaž Škorjanec, Giovanni Pernice, AJ Pritchard, Gorka Marquez and Pasha Kovalev.

Who will not return to this year’s show?

Although Brendan Cole was one of the original Strictly stars, he revealed earlier this year that he’d been axed from the 2018 lineup, after BBC bosses decided not to renew his contract.

Chloe Hewitt, who joined the Strictly family in 2016, will also not return.

Which new professional dancers will be joining Strictly this year?

Graziano Di Prima

Graziano, aged 24, is an Italian Latin Champion and has represented Belgium at the World Championships. He’s also toured the world with dance company Burn the Floor.

Johannes Radebe

31-year-old Johannes is from South Africa and a Latin American champion. He has already been a pro dancer on Strictly Come Dancing South Africa for two seasons, reaching the final both times.

Luba Mushtuk

Luba, aged 28, is a four-time winner of the Italian Dance Championship. Like Graziano, she has also worked on Burn the Floor and appeared as part of the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour.

She’s also taken part in both Giovanni Pernice’s and Karen and Kevin Clifton’s tours, alongside assisting with choreography on some of Strictly Come Dancing’s 2016 group routines.

Who will the judges be?

Although the judges for this year’s show have not been confirmed yet, it’s believed that the lineup will be the same as last year, with Shirley Ballas, Darcey Bussell, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli all set to return.

When will it start?

Preparations for the series are already underway, with the professional dancers starting rehearsals last Monday.

There’s no confirmed date for the series yet, but the launch show, in which the celebrities meet their professional partners for the first time, usually airs in early September. The main series then begins a few weeks later.