Aljaz Skorjanec returns to BBC Strictly Come Dancing for 20th anniversary series

-Credit: (Image: PA)
-Credit: (Image: PA)

BBC Strictly Come Dancing enthusiasts were thrilled when the show's bosses announced Aljaz Skorjanec's return to the dance floor for the 2024 series. After a two-year break, Aljaz will be joining the line-up of professionals for the upcoming season, which also marks the 20th anniversary of the popular BBC programme.

Aljaz took a break from the competition in 2022 and has since become a father to daughter Lyra, whom he shares with his wife and fellow professional dancer Janette Manrara. Speaking about his return, he said: "I could not be more ecstatic to be back with the Strictly family! This year is such a special one for this legendary show, I can't wait to be a part of it and make my return to the dance floor."

"I had an absolute ball during my nine-year stint on Strictly, during my time away I became a parent, which has been an exciting challenge in itself and now I'm ready to experience the Strictly magic again. It feels so right to be coming back, I missed the fun, glitter, and the judges of course and I hope to make my daughter Lyra proud."

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The announcement has left many fans excited about Strictly's return, with many wondering when the 2024 series will start, who the celebrity contestants will be, and who will be joining Aljaz in the professional line-up, reports the Mirror.

Is there a Strictly Come Dancing 2024 start date?

BBC chiefs have yet to announce a confirmed start date, but they have revealed that the series will make its comeback in autumn 2024 as anticipated. In 2023, the launch show began on September 16, with the live shows commencing on September 23.

In 2022, the launch show was broadcasted at a slightly later date of September 23 after the original date of September 17 was postponed due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Therefore, it's probable that the 2024 series will air around the same time.

Aljaz Skorjanec is returning to Strictly Come Dancing -Credit:BBC
Aljaz Skorjanec is returning to Strictly Come Dancing -Credit:BBC

Rumoured contestants for Strictly Come Dancing

The BBC has stated that the celebrity contestants for 2024 will be "revealed in due course," but there are numerous names circulating in the rumour mill, including Helen Worth, Roman Kemp, and Hannah Waddingham as potential participants.

Professional line-up for Strictly Come Dancing

This year's participants include Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima, Amy Dowden, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Gorka Marquez, Luba Mushtuk, Jowita Przystal, Johannes Radebe, Kai Widdrington, Nancy Xu, Carlos Gu, Lauren Oakley, Michelle Tsiakkas and Vito Coppola.

They will be joined by Aljaz Skorjanec following the announcement of the professional dancer's return.

Claudia and Tess presenting on Strictly
Strictly Come Dancing's Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly -Credit:BBC/Guy Levy

Judges and presenters for BBC Strictly Come Dancing 2024

As per tradition, the judging panel will feature Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel-Horwood and Anton Du Beke. Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will continue their roles as presenters.

BBC chiefs have also announced that the series will feature "unforgettable group routines, world-class music acts performing in the Strictly Ballroom, theme weeks and of course the much-anticipated trip to the North West of England as the show takes up residency for one week only in the iconic and much loved Tower Ballroom in Blackpool."