Strictly Come Dancing 2023: Start date, dancers, hosts, judges for new series
All the key info you need as Strictly 2023 dances ever closer
It’s appointment viewing for many across the UK and thankfully viewers won’t have to wait too long before Strictly Come Dancing two-steps its way across our tellies once more.
Due to return for its 21st series this autumn, Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One and BBC iPlayer after its last outing in December 2022. This new series will once again pair a new batch of celebrity hopefuls with some of the best professional dancers in the business to find out who has what it takes to impress the judges and become the proud winner of the show’s coveted Glitterball Trophy.
The first series to debut following the passing of former judge Len Goodman in April 2023, Strictly’s latest outing will welcome a familiar line-up of hosts to guide us through the action and industry expert adjudicators to dish out some all-important scores.
Read more: All the winners and finalists of Strictly
Meanwhile, audiences can look forward to themed weeks, vibrant group routines, guest appearances from world-class musical acts and of course, the show’s annual return to Blackpool’s iconic Tower Ballroom.
However, while we wait for the action to start, here’s everything we know so far about Strictly Come Dancing 2023.
When does Strictly Come Dancing 2023 start?
At the time of writing, an official air date for 2023’s Strictly Come Dancing has yet to be unveiled. However, we do know that it is due sometime in autumn.
If previous release dates are anything to go by, odds are we can expect Strictly to return in mid-September, with the first live show appearing shortly afterwards.
Which celebrities are rumoured to be taking part in Strictly Come Dancing 2023?
Loose Women star Sophie Morgan has ruled herself out of taking part in Strictly this year after rumours emerged that the BBC was hoping to sign up its first wheelchair-using celebrity.
The 38-year-old TV presenter and disability rights campaigner publicly complained after The Sun newspaper reported the rumours under the headline "Cha Cha Chair".
She urged her 15.2 thousand followers to complain to IPSO (the Independent Press Standards Commission) about the "abelist" headlining, labelling her as a "wheelchair user".
Read more: Sophie Morgan speaks out on Strictly rumours: 'I am not a chair'
Other showbiz personalities linked with taking part include Matt and Emma Willis, former Emmerdale star Amy Nuttall, TV chef Gordon Ramsay, and Lioness Jill Scott.
While we’ll have to wait until later in the year to find out which celebrity faces will be lacing up their dancing shoes and trying to impress the judges, we do have details of the professional dancers appearing during Strictly Come Dancing 2023.
Below, you’ll find details of all the pros who will be trying their hardest to make the celebs look good later this year.
Strictly 2023's professional dancers
Dowden started dancing at just eight years old and grew up watching Strictly Come Dancing from her home in Caerphilly, South Wales. After joining the show in 2017, she made it all the way to the final in 2019 with her dancing partner Karim Zeroual of CBBC fame and later partnered with EastEnders star James Bye.
Carlos Gru is a Chinese National Champion and multiple world semi-finalist dancer. He joined Strictly back in 2022 alongside celebrity partner and CBBC host Molly Rainford. It was a winning pairing, with the duo going on to reach the finals of that year’s series, ultimately leaving as runners-up alongside Fleur East and Helen Skelton.
Australian Open Champion Dianne Buswell was a professional dancer on Australia’s edition of Strictly before arriving in the UK and joining our version in 2017. Together with her dance partner Joe Sugg, she reached the series final in 2018 and later danced with radio DJ Dev Griffin, the Wanted’s Max George and DJ Tyler West in last year’s show.
Giovanni Pernice is not only a champion Italian dancer he’s also the longest-serving male professional dancer UK’s Strictly has ever had, having first joined the show back in 2015. As a result, he’s had his fair share of celebrity partners, including Georgia May Foote, Debbie McGee, Faye Tozer and Michelle Visage. Together with actor Rose Ayling-Ellis, they won the show in 2021 and last year partnered with Radio 2’s Richie Anderson.
A dancer since he was a child, Gorka Marquez joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 and wasted no time putting his expert skills to fine use. He’s appeared in three show finals alongside Alexandra Burke in 2017, Maisie Smith in 2020 and most recently with Helen Skelton in 2022.
Graziano Di Prima
Graziano Di Prima has danced with Vick Hope and Judi Love since joining the show in 2018 and was crowned Strictly Christmas Champion alongside Anne-Marie in 2021. Recently, this Italian-Latin champion has made it all the way to the show’s quarter-finals with celebrity partner Kym Marsh.
After reaching the finals twice in Strictly Come Dancing South Africa, Johannes Radebe joined the UK show in 2018 and formed the series’ first all-male partnership in 2021 alongside celebrity baker John Whaite. Most recently, Radebe has danced alongside actress and comedian Ellie Taylor.
After winning the BBC’s The Greatest Dancer in 2020, Polish Open Latin Champion Jowita Przystal graduated to the Strictly ballroom, officially joining the show as a professional dancer in 2021.
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Cut to 2022, and Przystal went on to win the latest edition of the show with celebrity partner Hamza Yassin, making her the current Strictly champion.
Southhampton-born Widdrington joined Strictly in 2021 and his first celebrity partner was TV presenter AJ Odudu. They danced together so well, they made it to the final of that year’s series before having to sadly bow out of the competition due to injury. Widdrington later danced with Kaye Adams and joined actor Alexandra Mardell to be crowned the 2022 Christmas champion.
Originally from Venezuela, Karen Hauer is the longest-serving Strictly dancer of the current pro line-up, with 2023’s series marking her twelfth outing. Over the years she’s partnered with the likes of Jeremy Vine, Mark Wright, Chris Ramsey, Jamie Laing, Greg Wise and most recently comedian Jayde Adams.
Latin dancer Katya Jones is not only a world champion but a Strictly Come Dancing Champion, having won the series with Joe McFadden in her second year on the show. In later series, her famous partners have included Ed Balls, Nicola Adams, Adam Peaty and most recently footballing legend Tony Adams.
Lauren Oakley was born in Birmingham and started dancing when she was just two years old. After winning multiple awards for her skills, she went on to tour all across the world before joining Strictly’s line-up of professional dancers in 2022.
A former assistant choreographer on the show, Russian dancer Luba Mushtuk graduated to becoming one of Strictly’s professional dancers in 2018 and has gone on to dance with celebrities James Cracknell and Jason Bell.
Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas first started dancing at the age of six in her home country of Cyprus before becoming an undefeated champion and moving to the UK to study. She joined the professional line-up of Strictly Come Dancing in 2022, dancing in the show’s group numbers and music acts.
Ukrainian dancer Nadiya Bychkova first joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 and has had a range of celebrity partners since, including Lee Ryan, Davood Ghadami, David James and Dan Walker. In 2022’s series, she was partnered with singer Matt Goss.
World-class Latin dancer Nancy Xu joined Strictly in 2019 as part of the show’s group routines and musical acts. After becoming one of the series’ professional dancers, she has made it to the semi-finals with both of her celebrity partners including CBBC’s Rhys Stephenson and actor Will Mellor.
A four-time undefeated British National Professional Champion, Neil Jones has been a Strictly professional dancer since 2016 and his celebrity partners include professional footballer Alex Scott and actress and comedian Nina Wadia.
Strictly Come Dancing welcomed Ukrainian dancer Nikita Kuzmin to the show in 2021 and his first celebrity partner was Tilly Ramsay, daughter of celebrity chef Gordon. The duo made it all the way to week 10 before bowing out. Later, Kuzmin partnered with Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds.
11-time Italian Latin American Champion Vito Coppola appeared in the Italian version of Strictly Come Dancing before joining the UK edition in 2022. He was partnered with Fleur East and made it all the way to the final before emerging as runners-up alongside Helen Skelton and Molly Rainford.
Who are the judges on the new series of Strictly Come Dancing?
Sitting at the judges' table for this year’s series will be the lightning-fast Craig Revel Horwood, the award-winning Anton Du Beke and Motsi Mabuse, host of Let’s Dance Germany.
Together, they will be joined by The Queen of Latin, Shirley Ballas, as the show’s head judge.
As any Strictly fan will no doubt know, each of these adjudicators will have their eagle eyes locked on every misstep and foot out of place - making them very difficult to impress.
Who will host Strictly Come Dancing 2023?
Returning to host Strictly Come Dancing’s latest series will be Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly, the familiar duo who have fronted the show and helped calm celebrity nerves since 2014.
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