Strictly Come Dancing 2015 Full Line-up Follows Familiar Formula

Well they do say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


Copyright [BBC Strictly/Twitter]

And ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ bosses know that their tried and tested formula for contestants goes down a treat with audiences at home. That’s why the 2015 line-up looks familiar.

Sports stars? Check. Soap stars? Check. Pop stars? Check. TV presenters? Check. BBC drama stars? Check. Newsreaders/broadcasters? Check/check.

Yep, it’s the ‘Strictly’ approach to Saturday night entertainment, and the show certainly has a type. Let me break down the winning formula for you.

1. Sports Stars


Copyright [Iwan Thomas/Twitter]

Iwan Thomas gets into the ‘SCD’ spirit with Peter Andre and Daniel O’Donnell

2015 line-up:

  • Iwan Thomas, Athlete

  • Anthony Ogogo, Boxer

Flashback: ‘Strictly’ loves a pro sportsman or woman, with plenty appearing over the years. To a greater or lesser success, granted, but one thing you can be sure of is that this category of contestant is super competitive. A for effort.

Chances of success: High. Darren Gough, Mark Ramprakash and Louis Smith all lifted the Glitterball trophy. Dennis Taylor and Willie Thorne? Not so much.

2. Soap Stars


Copyright [Georgia May Foote/Twitter]

Georgia May Foote will be a pro at poses on the dancefloor

2015 line-up:

  • Kellie Bright, ‘EastEnders’

  • Georgia May Foote, ‘Coronation Street’

Flashback: ‘Strictly’ might as well share a set with ‘EastEnders’, so fond of the soap is the dancing competition. If you tried to count all of the past ‘Enders’ peeps to appear, you’d run out of fingers. And toes. Highlights include last year’s Jake ‘Snake Hips’ Wood aka Max Branning. But the BBC dance show doesn’t just stick with its own, and embraces ITV’s ‘Corrie’ actors too.

Chances of success: Good. ‘EastEnders’ alumni Jill Halfpenny and Kara Tointon have both won ‘SCD’. No pressure then, Kellie.

3. Pop Stars


Copyright [Jamelia/Twitter]

Jamelia gives ‘Strictly’ a double whammy of being a pop star and TV presenter

2015 line-up:

  • Jamelia, from R&B solo career to ‘Loose Women’

  • Jay McGuiness, from The Wanted to being on a break… (think ‘Friends’)

  • Peter Andre, from “Mysterious Girl” to Katie Price to reality TV

  • Daniel O’Donnell, Irish folk singer

Flashback: Singers + ‘Strictly’ = a natural fit. Some of the most famous include a Spice Girl (Emma Bunton) and a Girls Aloud (Kimberley Walsh). They also tick the golden oldies category, the girlband/boyband category, and the Pretty Young Thing category. All in all, a useful bunch.

Chances of success: Good. However, even the show enlists plenty of ‘em, pop stars don’t tend to go all the way on ‘Strictly’, maybe because viewers think they have an unfair advantage of having been in the music biz. Harry Judd was triumphant, possibly because as a drummer no-one thought he was cheating, probably because of his abs. Alesha Dixon not only won the whole thing but also landed a spot as a judge. So the moral is, go big or go home. You hear that, Peter? I can just see him eyeing up a a seat on the panel…

4. Presenters/Broadcasters/Newsreaders


Copyright [Anita Rani/Twitter]

Anita Rani will be swapping her ‘Countryfile’ wellies for dancing shoes

2015 line-up:

  • Kirsty Gallacher, Sky Sports

  • Anita Rani, ‘Countryfile’

  • Carol Kirkwood, ‘BBC Weather’

  • Katie Derham, ‘BBC Proms’, ITN newscaster, Radio 3 show, et al

  • Jeremy Vine, ‘Eggheads’, ‘Points of View’, Radio 2 show, you get the idea

Flashback: I can’t help but think of Gabby Logan when I think of Kirsty, and keep my fingers crossed for the latter that she doesn’t bow out unfairly early like poor old Gabs did. There’s the curse of the GMTV presenters, of course, and the BBC Breakfast list. Fair to say ‘Strictly’ likes a presenter… or five.

Chances of success: Fair to middling. For the huge number of them, TV presenters tend not to do brilliantly on average, but there are notable exceptions, namely reigning winner Caroline Flack and series 7 victor Chris Hollins. And when it comes to newsreaders, let’s not forget original winner Natasha Kaplinsky.

5. BBC Drama Actors


Copyright [Call the Midwife/Twitter]

Helen George is single-handedly fulfilling the show’s need for a BBC drama star

2015 line-up:

  • Helen George, ‘Call the Midwife’

Flashback: ‘Strictly’ certainly loves BBC dramas. If you’ve been on ‘Holby City’, ‘Casualty’, ‘Waterloo Road’ or some such other Beeb classic, you’re in.

Chances of success: Slim. Tom Chambers off the BBC’s ‘Holby City’ AND ‘Waterloo Road’ lifted the Glitterball, but he stands alone, tumbleweed rattling past him, in the Successful BBC Drama Actors category of ‘SCD’.

6. Chef/Politician/Socialite/Comedy Category


Copyright [BBC Strictly/Twitter]

Ainsley Harriott got a taste of things to come

2015 line-up:

  • Ainsley Harriott, celebrity chef

Flashback: This category can be made up of celebs from fields far and wide. Russell Grant, astrologer extraordinaire and human canonball on ‘Strictly’. Nancy dell’Olio, walking corpse in the show’s Halloween special. Anne Widdecombe and that iceberg moment. Chefs haven’t faired brilliantly. James Martin. Gary Rhodes. Dave Myers. Gregg Wallace. You get the picture.

Chances of success: Zero. Although I do have a sneaky feeling Ainsley is going to rival Jake Wood in the snake hips department.

Judges and Presenters


Copyright [BBC Strictly/Twitter]

You know where you stand with the ‘Strictly’ bunch. Like a pair of cosy slippers.

The judging and presenting line-ups plus the format remains unchanged from last year (compare to ‘X Factor’ and its “radical shake-ups” this year).

Bonkers Bruno Tonioli, Grumpy Len Goodman, Catty Craig Revel Horwood and Delightful Darcey Bussell are all back to pass judgement.

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are on hosting duties and Zoe Ball is on ‘It Takes Two’ again. The lovely pro Robin Windsor will be joining her *high fives*

As I said, it it ain’t broke… and Tess and Claudia’s brilliant double act certainly isn’t broken.

When Does It All Kick Off?


Copyright [BBC Pictures]

We get our first taste on Saturday 5th September 2015 at 7.15pm on BBC1.

The launch show will bring together the celebs and pros, and then we’ll get launched into the live shows proper at the end of the month.

It’s nearly time to staaaaaaaart dancing…