Strictly Come Dancing 2017: judges, contestants and everything we know so far

Telegraph Reporters
Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing - BBC

It might feel like it's a long way away yet, but we're already getting excited about the next series of Strictly Come Dancing, which is returning to screens for its 15th series. As we prepare to be dazzled by sequins and impending celebrity divorces once again, here's everything we know so far.

When will Strictly Come Dancing return?

An official start date has yet to be confirmed, but the show traditionally begins at the end of September, before coming to a close just before Christmas.

Who will replace Len on the judge's panel?

Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Len Goodman Credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

When Len Goodman stepped down as head judge following last year's Strictly, attention quickly diverted to the question of who would replace him. While names including international dance champion Gary Edwards and Strictly professionals Karen Hardy and Anton du Beke were mooted, it was eventually announced in May that Latin and ballroom pro Shirley Ballas will be joining the series.

Ballas said at the time: "I am so excited and over the moon to have been given this wonderful opportunity. I can't wait to get in to the ballroom and be part of the incredible and respected judging panel. Strictly is so loved by the British public, I have always been a massive fan. I just can't wait!"

Shirley Ballas, who has stepped in to replace Len Goodman as head judge Credit: Steve Schofield/BBC

A British-born professional dance champion, she has been dubbed "The Queen of Latin" following her victories as an International Latin American Champion. Since her retirement from competitive dancing in 1996, she has become an acclaimed international coach to professional and amateur dancers and is an adjudicator for Ballroom and Latin American competitions around the world.

She is also the mother of Derek Ballas, a professional dancer on America's Dancing with the Stars, and a former mentor to famous dancing siblings Derek and Julianne Hough.

Ballas will be joining the traditional Strictly judge line-up, which consists of Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Darcey Bussell.

Which professional dancers are returning?

While there has yet to be official confirmation as to the dancers returning to the show, it is believed last year's entire line-up of professionals are coming back, with three exceptions. Oksana Platero, Natalie Lowe and Joanne Clifton, who won last year's series alongside Ore Oduba, have all revealed they are not participating in this year's contest.

Their replacements will be Australian Open Champion Dianne Buswell, Ukrainian professional Nadiya Bychkova and British National Champion Amy Dowden, who will be the first Welsh professional to ever appear on the show.

What is the celebrity line-up so far?

Strictly Come Dancing

Never say the BBC doesn't get mileage out of its announcement line-up, with one celebrity being unveiled per day on BBC Breakfast. So far, the line-up is as follows...

Strictly 2017: Who are this year's contestants?

Who is still rumoured to be going on the show?

Rumours are rife about further names who could strut their stuff on the dance floor and vie for this year's Glitterball trophy.

Jessica Ennis-Hill

Jessica Ennis-Hill Credit:  Joe Toth/BPI/REX Shutterstock

The heptathlon champion, who recently retired from professional athletics, is said to be one of the 2017 contestants – and paid a visit to the Strictly studios last year.

Jermain Defoe 

Jermain Defoe Credit: PA

The football star is also a hot favourite for the line-up.

"I competed in street dance competitions with my mate," he revealed in a recent interview. “I remember being really nervous for one as we had to perform in front of all the girls, too. We ended up winning and I’ve still got the medals at my mum’s. I’d never go into the jungle and do I’m a Celebrity but I’d love to do Strictly Come Dancing.”

Steph and Dom

Credit: PA

Everyone's favourite Gogglebox couple  Steph and Dom Parker have been tipped for the next series of Strictly. According to The Sun, BBC bosses saw their recent appearance on Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief  as a "trial run" for a stint on the dance show.

Scarlett Moffatt

Scarlett Moffatt

The Gogglebox star has already made a foray into the I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here jungle, and is said to be keen to continue her reality TV career. Plus, as a youngster she reportedly used to be a bit of dance champion, regularly winning prizes in local competitions. Perhaps it's time she dusted off those dancing shoes?

Joel Dommet

Joel Dommet on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here Credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Last November, it was reported in the Star that Moffat's fellow I'm A Celebrity alumni Joel Dommet was being eyed up by the Strictly team, after they found themselves impressed by his performance in the jungle.

Tim Peake 

Tim Peake Credit: AFP

The astronaut was reportedly being considered for a slot in last year's show, but had to say no due to the fact that he was in the middle of a two-year rehabilitation programme, following his time in space. As the programme will now be up, there's a good chance he'll be on this year's show, however.

Brian Conley

Credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

The actor and comedian has been widely tipped for this year's show, but he's so far not been officially confirmed by the BBC.

Alexandra Burke

Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The former X Factor winner would be another pop star addition to the show, and could mark a major TV comeback for the singer after years on the West End.

Dame Joan Collins

Credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The 83-year-old acting legend, who can reportedly still do the splits, is considered a must-have for Strictly bosses, who believe she could be a huge draw for audiences. However it seems she'll take some coaxing if this tweet from May is to be believed:

Angela Scanlon

Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage

The One Show presenter wouldn't be a hugely surprising addition to the show - as she would be following in the footsteps of fellow One Show hosts to appear on Strictly, including Alex Jones, Matt Baker and last year's winner Ore Oduba.

Matt Goss

Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley

One half of the 1980s pop duo Bros, Goss has been on the comeback trail since the pair reformed as a pop act last year, and has been mooted for this year's series as a result.

Rita Simons and Samantha Womack

Credit: Twitter/Samantha Womack

The former EastEnders siblings, who are best friends in real life and were even killed off together at the end of their soap tenure, are reportedly high on the wish list of Strictly bosses.

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