'Strictly' is back! 5 things we've learned about 'Strictly' this week, 13-17 September

'Strictly' is back for 2021. (BBC)
'Strictly' is back for 2021. (BBC)

Dig out your dancing shoes, because Strictly Come Dancing is back!

The BBC One celebrity dance contest is set to make its triumphant return to the ballroom this weekend and we can't wait to welcome it back with a full series after last year's cut-down version.

Each week, we'll bring you all the news and gossip from the world of Strictly with our superfans round-up, and of course will update you with the results as they happen each weekend.

Read more: All you need to know about Strictly 2021

As we eagerly await the launch show, here are the top five stories in the world of Strictly this week.

Strictly pro dancer tests positive for COVID

One of the pros has tested positive for COVID. (BBC)
One of the pros has tested positive for COVID. (BBC)

With memories of COVID restrictions on Strictly still fresh in our minds from the 2020 series, the 2021 cast were dealt a blow this week when it emerged a pro dancer had tested positive.

The celebrities and their partners have already been matched, although the pairings won't be revealed until Saturday night's show, so Strictly have confirmed the pre-recorded launch episode hasn't been affected.

Read more: Katie McGlynn names Caroline Flack as her Strictly inspiration

However, it does mean that the dancer and their celebrity - whose names haven't been released yet - won't be able to rehearse together for 10 days, which takes them very close to the first live show on 25 September.

Look out for more details in the launch show...

John Whaite reveals fears about all-male couple announcement

John Whaite will dance with a man. (BBC)
John Whaite will dance with a man. (BBC)

Strictly fans were delighted to hear the news that this year the show has finally cast its first all-male couple after Nicola Adams and Katya Jones competed as the first all-female pair last series.

But it comes as sad news to hear that former Bake Off winner John Whaite, who will make up the celebrity half of the couple, braced himself for messages of hate when it was announced.

He said: “I genuinely did think that I was going to receive a fair bit of hate in my inbox because you know, you do as a gay man, you get a lot of hate. It’s something you learn to deal with - you shouldn’t have to but you do.

“But I can honestly say that I haven’t had a single message of negativity.”

Watch: Who is Strictly's John Whaite?

Whaite added that he hoped it would help young children to feel more confidence than he did growing up, saying: "I realised how important a step forwards this is because little kids who watch the show, you have role models, you know, same sex role models, it will give them a little bit of hope for the future.

“It won’t make them grow up with the same shame that I grew up with.”

Rose Ayling-Ellis vows to challenge stereotypes about deaf people and music

Rose Ayling-Ellis will be the first deaf contestant. (BBC)
Rose Ayling-Ellis will be the first deaf contestant. (BBC)

Strictly's first ever profoundly deaf contestant is EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis, who isn't just aiming for success on the dancefloor - she also wants to prove that deaf people can still enjoy music.

The actor, who says she likes Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton and Dusty Springfield, explained to BBC News how she would be able to listen and dance to music.

She said: "A lot of people think that [deaf] people can't hear the music, and enjoy the music and enjoy dancing. And I thought it would be a good platform for me to break that stereotype.

"I have a hearing aid, so I pick up some of the music and I can hear the beat. I can hear someone singing, but I can't identify exact words. I also feel the vibrations."

Dan Walker suffers bump to the head

Dan Walker has had a run-in with a door. (BBC)
Dan Walker has had a run-in with a door. (BBC)

BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker has sustained an injury already - and it wasn't even dancing related.

The TV star owned up to an embarrassing run-in with a glass door as he tried to run out of a hotel to get his wallet which he had left in a taxi.

Walker posted a photo of a large bump on his forehead on social media and wrote: “I left my wallet in the taxi as I checked into a hotel. I ran back out to chase the driver and ran straight into a giant glass door which I thought was open.

Read more: Dan Walker hoping for Strictly fun after 'grim' headlines

“Full deck on the floor, gasps in the restaurant… lump on the head. Thankfully… I still remember the routine."

At least it ended well for Walker, who added: “I got the wallet back as the driver had stopped for a fag around the corner.”

Tom Fletcher's kids don't rate his dance moves

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: n/a - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Celebrity Announcements (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Tom Fletcher - (C) BBC - Photographer: BBC
Tom Fletcher's kids say his dancing is 'gross'. (BBC)

He might be one of the favourites to win as the contest launches, but if there's anyone who wouldn't bet on the McFly star it's his own kids.

Fletcher admitted that his three sons couldn't bear to watch him dance with wife Giovanna, who won last year's I'm A Celebrity, and even labelled the sight "gross".

He said: "My kids get embarrassed. I have tried doing a bit dancing around the house and they get embarrassed and they don't want to watch.

"You know, like looking at your parents kiss or something. Looking at me dance, they're like, 'Urgh! That's so gross, Dad, what are you doing?' So I'm not sure what that says about my dancing abilities."

Watch: Who is Strictly's Rose Ayling-Ellis?