Strictly 2023 launch show - as it happened: All the big moments from the first episode

Fifteen new celebrities will be taking to the dancefloor hoping to win this year's glitterball trophy

Strictly Come Dancing 2023,Generics,Angela Rippon, Layton Williams, Nigel Harman, Ellie Leach, Amanda Abbington, Les Dennis, Adam Thomas, Eddie Kadi, Angela Scanlon, Nikita Kanda, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Annabel Croft, Jody Cundy, Zara McDermot & Bobby Brazier,BBC Studios,Ray Burniston
Strictly Come Dancing 2023: The celebrities will find out who they are partnered with on the launch show. (BBC)

The 21st series of Strictly Come Dancing has begun with an emotional show of tributes to absent stars and the fifteen new celebrities finding out their dance partners.

Hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly sent a message of support to professional dancer Amy Dowden who is absent this year as she undergoes treatment for cancer.

And the presenters and judges paid tribute to former Strictly head judge Len Goodman, who died aged 78 in April this year.

Strictly judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and Shirley Ballas demonstrated their own dancing skills in a sizzling performance.

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing contestants 2023: Who is taking to the dancefloor?

And the the celebrities' professional dance partners were revealed.

Sherlock star Amanda Abbington found out she will be dancing with Giovanni Pernice, while Love Island star Zara McDermott got Graziano Di Prima.

Paralympic swimmer Jody Cundy has been partnered with last year's winner Jowita Przystal and news reader Krishnan Guru-Murthy has been matched up with new pro dancer Lauren Oakley, her first time in the competition.

The Strictly Come Dancing 2023 celebs on the dancefloor for the first time,
The Strictly Come Dancing 2023 celebs met their dance partners. (BBC)

Sex Education actor Layton Williams will be in a same-sex dance partnership with Nikita Kuzmin and EastEnders actor Bobby Brazier will be dancing with Dianne Buswell.

Veteran news reader Angela Rippon's dance partner is Kai Widdrington, actor Nigel Harman was paired with Katya Jones and Corrie star Ellie Leach has been partnered with Vito Coppola.

Tennis player Annabel Croft has been given Johannes Radebe as her pro partner, Waterloo Road actor Adam Thomas was matched with Luba Mushtuk and comedian Eddie Kadi will take to the floor with Karen Hauer.

Read more: Every Strictly winner so far

Gameshow host Les Dennis has been paired with Nancy Xu, radio presenter Nikita Kanda was given Gorka Marquez and The One Show's Angela Scanlon has Carlos Gu as her pro partner..

Our live coverage has ended, but you can catch up with the biggest moments from our updates below.

Live updates
  • Albertina Lloyd

    We'll have to wait until next week to find out what the judges really think.

    Strictly is back next week with the celebs dancing for the first time. Until then, keep dancing!

  • Albertina Lloyd

    Claudia says they are all brilliant

    We wonder what Craig is thinking?

  • Albertina Lloyd

    The celebrities are showing what they've got in their first group dance

    Angela Rippon was a bit awkward but Amanda Abbington is bringing out the high kicks already

  • Albertina Lloyd

    Anyone else reminded of Big Bird when they see Shirley Ballas's dress?

  • Albertina Lloyd

    What do the judges think?

    Craig Revel Horwood says he is the happiest he'll ever be because they haven't danced yet.

  • Albertina Lloyd

    We've met all of the Strictly 2023 celebs now

    And their partners.

  • Albertina Lloyd

    Angela Scanlon wanted a dance partner like her grandmother

    She admits that Carlos may not be the nurturing partner she hoped for. But he already has his eyes on the Glitterball.

  • Albertina Lloyd

    Gorka and Nikita Kanda will be dancing the Waltz.

    She wanted to do a Latin dance.

  • Albertina Lloyd

    Angela Scanlon has been paired with Carlos.

    He said: "I know what I want and I got what I want." Will they go all the way to the final?

  • Albertina Lloyd

    Nikita Kanda has been paired with...

    Gorka Marquez. She told him she has confidence but she is not sexy on the dancefloor.