Strictly Come Dancing 2022: launch show – live | Strictly Come Dancing

Matt has been partnered with Nadiya Bychkova, who was paired up with Dan Walker last year and made it to Week… *checks notes*…really? That far? Must be a typo.

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Matt is ready to put his heart and soul into this, and I think I’m going to have to add ‘Matt Goss talking in metaphor’ to the bingo. He’s a fascinating human being, but also (whispers it) the the one most likely to have a colossal meltdown.

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Next up it’s Matt Goss, who is…well, he’s Matt Goss. Eighties pop legend and the frontman of Bros, still a singer-songwriter and all-round quite intense human being. I was fourteen when the first Bros album came out, so apologies in advance if I occasionally make an involuntary squealing noise and get a bit befuddled.

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Incidentally, if you haven’t yet watched the 2018 Matt Goss documentary After The Screaming Stops, you really should. It’s INCREDIBLE.

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Matt also loves a hat, which is good news for future bingo lovers.

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Lovely to see last year’s Glitterball winners Rose and Giovanni back on Strictly, and revisit their amazing journey last year. Rose was one of the celebs I’d never heard of at the start of the series, but she and Gio turned out to be one of the most special partnerships Strictly has ever seen.

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They take another spin around the Strictly dancefloor, gifting us another look at their fabulous Viennese Waltz to Fallin’ by Alicia Keys. Such a gorgeous dance, and such incredible storytelling. *Sigh*

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Hamza has been paired up with Jowita Przystal – she joined the Strictly pro lineup last year but this is her first year with a celeb partner.

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She’s delighted that Hamza is fearless and strong and patient, which makes him sound like some kind of big game fisherman.

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I’ve never heard of Hamza before, but I’ve already decided he’s an angel who must be protected at all costs.

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Fleur confirms that she sets six alarms because she snoozes through all of them. This actually gave me an anxiety shiver.

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Fleur goes to Walthamstow to meet her partner, and we discover that she’s bagged Italian newbie pro Vito Coppola. I mean, E17 is no Naples, but Vito is styling it out. Fleurito is already making me a bit hot under the collar, despite the rapping.

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Can I just say that it’s SO lovely to see a full studio audience again. I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed it until it came back.

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James has ZERO dance experience (drink). He’s in Albert Square to discover that he’s been paired with Amy Dowden, then says he is incredibly relieved and feels like a winner already. DRINK.

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Helen informs us that she has three little kids. DRINK.

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She takes her black labrador (Spiderman, for some reason) to Roundhay Park to discover she’s been partnered up with Gorka Marquez, who can definitely understand a northern accent because he’s engaged to Strictly alumni Gemma Atkinson. He was a surprise Movie Week exit with Katie McGlynn last year, so hopefully he’ll hang around a little longer this time round.

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Helen is genuinely over the moon. I actually believe her, because it’s GORKA.

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Up next is Helen Skelton, who is a TV and radio broadcaster, former Blue Peter alumni, and now does lots of stuff on BBC sport and Countryfile. She’s been rumoured for Strictly for so long I’d sort of convinced myself she’d already done it, but no. Still, better late than never.

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Whilst we’ve lost Aljaz and Oti this year, we’ve gained FOUR newbies. So let’s meet European cup winner Vito Coppola, Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu, former Under-21 British National Champion Lauren Oakley and Cyprus Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas.

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They are all very young and beautiful, and Vito has a whiff of a man whose shirts inexplicably have no buttons. Must be an Italian thing.

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Please note that I have already forgotten all their names. Even four years on, I have to go and look up Graziano every time he appears in a musical interlude.

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Apparently Will has seen Anton a the local tip, because they live near each other. If you’ve ever encountered a Strictly star at a local municipal facility, let us know in the comments.

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He’s been coupled up with Nancy Xu, who made it all the way to the Semi-final with Rhys Stephenson last year. Can she go one better and waltz Will all the way to the Grand Final? She’s already made it as far as Runcorn.

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Apparently Kym already knows all the Strictly pros because they regularly appear on Morning Live, a BBC daytime show she presents. Did I put ‘current project plugging’ on the bingo? Have a bonus drink anyway. Also she’s just become a grandma for the third time, aged 46. I mean, that’s at least three nana drinks, right?

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She’s been partnered with Graziano Di Prima, which could be another very good coupling. Last year Graz was partnered with Judi Love, which has made me want to watch her twerking to Sean Paul’s Get Busy again. What a moment.

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Tyler’s mum! Drink! He’s been paired with Dianne Buswell, who finds Tyler DJ-ing in a pod on the London Eye. Is that even a thing?

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Dianne immediately names them Team Ty-Di, and I’m getting good vibes from this partnership – last year Dianne was paired with Robert Webb, who decided to leave the show for health reasons fairly early on.

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Ellie (who will henceforth be known as Ellie S, to distinguish her from Ellie T) tells us that it means everything to be representing not just dwarfism, but disability in general – the prospect of going out there and dancing every Saturday night makes her SO proud.

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She’s been paired with Nikita Kuzmin. Last year Nikita made it to Week 10 with Tilly Ramsay – can he do better this year?

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OK, I already love this partnership. They’re both adorable.

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First up is Ellie Simmonds OBE, who is is best known as a gold medal-winning Paralympic swimmer and broadcaster. At the age of thirteen she was the youngest British athlete at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, and won gold medals in the 100m and 400m freestyle events. Her first dance tomorrow will almost certainly have a watery theme, because that’s Strictly law.

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MEET SOME CELEBS!”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Fri 23 Sep 2022 20.14 BST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Fri 23 Sep 2022 18.30 BST”},{“id”:”632d9c8b8f0891514fe7aa7c”,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Tess in white flares and some kind of gold cape/scarf thing with a weird baggy sleeve. Claudia’s in a rather fabulous white suit.

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I think we’ll call that a mixed bag from Tess and Clauds, who had a generally solid season last year, bar a few notable exceptions (dog collar pantsuits. No). They are both stunning and fabulous and rocking it for the older woman, so let’s cross our fingers for weekly fashion heaven. God knows we’ve seen enough wonky bin bags and polyester coffin linings over the years.

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A new season of Strictly calls for a new season of Strictly Come Bingo! If you’re new around here, this is a fun weekly drinking game, whereby I list five Strictly tropes, clichés and pet peeves, then invite you to take a sip whenever you spot one. It doesn’t have to be booze – you can always choose water and increase your hydration levels. I also know someone who keeps a bowl of Haribo Tangfastics on the arm of the sofa and eats one every time there’s a bingo score – some weeks are more intensely sugary than others.

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I did consider easing you in gently, particularly as we have to do it all again tomorrow. But it’s our first ever Friday night Strictly so I’m feeling a bit giddy – so take a swig of whatever tickles your fancy for any occurrence of the following:

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    n

  • Someone claiming they can’t dance at all

  • n

  • Someone demonstrating their dance skills by doing the robot/running man

  • n

  • The word ‘excited’

  • n

  • Any early mentions of parents, nannas or kids

  • n

  • ”OMG he/she was definitely the person I was hoping to be partnered with” *big fat lie face*

  • n

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Good evening all, and welcome back for the 20th series of Strictly Come Dancing! I’m delighted to be back on my liveblog sofa, and hope you’ll join me for another autumn of communal watching. It’s been a challenging year for many once again, but this blog – and in particular the comment box – brings its own unique brand of low-cost sparkly energy.

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Tonight’s pre-recorded launch show is an opportunity to pair up our fifteen new celebs with their pro-dancer partners – this should have been broadcast last Saturday, but it was considered inappropriate to festoon the nation in fake tan and feathers while the Queen was still lying in state. So the launch is tonight, and the first live show is tomorrow. That’s *checks notes* just short of four hours of liveblogging in total, but it’s all going to be fine because I’m banking on plenty of support from all of you down below. If you’re a first-timer, feel free to come out from behind your lurker curtains and join in. If you’re an old hand, welcome back. I’ve missed you.

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We’re kicking the new Strictly season off at 7pm, so please gather snacks, drinks, family members and a bucket of glitter, and I’ll see you then!

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Key events

It’s Matt and Nadia!

Matt has been partnered with Nadia Bychkova, who was paired up with Dan Walker last year and made it to Week… *checks notes*…really? That finger? Must be a typo.

Matt is ready to put his heart and soul into this, and I think I’m going to have to add ‘Matt Goss talking in metaphor’ to the bingo. He’s a fascinating human being, but also (whispers it) the one most likely to have a colossal meltdown.

Time to welcome Richie Anderson, who is the guy who does the travel bulletins on BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show with Zoe Ball. He was also in Turin in May to cover The Eurovision Song Contest. I mean, so was I – if this is a qualifier for Strictly, I’ve got a CV sewn out of rainbow sequins.

I believe Richie will be partnered with a male pro dancer this year – John and Johannes last year were a tough act to follow, so let’s see what Richie’s made of.

Richie Anderson on Strictly Photograph: Ray Burmiston/BBC

Time to meet Molly Rainford, who is a singer and actress. In 2012 she was the youngest ever finalist of Britain’s Got Talent, and since graduating from Sylvia Young, she’s played Nova Jones on the hit CBBC show. This is literally everything I know about Molly Rainford, but we’ll update as we go along.

Molly Rainford on Strictly
Molly Rainford on Strictly Photograph: Ray Burmiston/BBC

Next up it’s Ellie Taylor, who is a comedian, broadcaster, writer and actor. She’s consistently very funny on shows like Mock The Week and The Mash Report, and recently stood in for Siobhán McSweeney’s broken leg on The Great Pottery Throw Down. In the interests of full disclosure, I have quite a big girl crush on Ellie, but I’ll do my best to keep it under control.

Ellie Taylor on Strictly
Ellie Taylor on Strictly Photograph: Ray Burmiston/PA

More celebrities please!

Next up it’s Matt Goss, who is… well, he’s Matt Goss. Eighties pop legend and the frontman of Bros, still a singer-songwriter and all-round quite intense human being. I was fourteen when the first Bros album came out, so apologies in advance if I occasionally make an involuntary squealing noise and get a bit befuddled.

Incidentally, if you haven’t yet watched the 2018 Matt Goss documentary After The Screaming Stops, you really should. It’s INCREDIBLE.

Matt also loves a hat, which is good news for future bingo lovers.

Matt Goss on Strictly
Matt Goss on Strictly Photograph: Ray Burmiston/BBC

Rose and Giovanni are BACK!

Lovely to see last year’s Glitterball winners Rose and Giovanni back on Strictly, and revisit their amazing journey last year. Rose was one of the celebs I’d never heard of at the start of the series, but she and Gio turned out to be one of the most special partnerships Strictly has ever seen.

They take another spin around the Strictly dancefloor, gifting us another look at their fabulous Viennese Waltz to Fallin’ by Alicia Keys. Such a gorgeous dance, and such incredible storytelling. *sigh*

It’s Hamza and Jowita!

Hamza has been paired up with Jowita Przystal – she joined the Strictly pro lineup last year but this is her first year with a celebrity partner.

She’s delighted that Hamza is fearless and strong and patient, which makes him sound like some kind of big game fisherman.

I’ve never heard of Hamza before, but I’ve already decided he’s an angel who must be protected at all costs.

It’s Fleur and Vito!

Fleur confirms that she sets six alarms because she snoozes through all of them. This actually gave me an anxiety shiver.

Fleur goes to Walthamstow to meet her partner, and we discover that she’s a bagged Italian newbie pro Vito Coppola. I mean, E17 is no Naples, but Vito is styling it out. Fleurito is already making me a bit hot under the collar, despite the rapping.

It’s James and Amy!

Can I just say that it’s SO lovely to see a full studio audience again. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed it until it came back.

James has ZERO dance experience (drink). He’s in Albert Square to discover that he’s been paired with Amy Dowden, then says he is incredibly relieved and feels like a winner already. DRINK.

It’s Helen and Gorka!

Helen informs us that she has three little kids. DRINK.

She takes her black labrador (Spiderman, for some reason) to Roundhay Park to discover she’s been partnered up with Gorka Marquez, who can definitely understand a northern accent because he’s engaged to Strictly alumni Gemma Atkinson. He was a surprise Movie Week exit with Katie McGlynn last year, so hopefully he’ll hang around a little longer this time round.

Helen is genuinely over the moon. I actually believe her, because it’s GORKA.

Let’s meet Hamza Yassin, who is a wildlife cameraman and presenter on BBC’s Animal Park and Countryfile. He also competes in the Highland Games and rides around Scotland on a motorbike in his spare time.

How long before Hamza appears in a kilt, do we think? Keep a dram of something on standby for Bonus Kilt Bingo.

Hamza Yassin on Strictly
Hamza Yassin on Strictly Photograph: Ray Burmiston/BBC

Next up is singer-songwriter, TV and radio presenter Fleur East, best known for being a runner-up on The X Factor and then releasing the absolute banger ‘Sax’. She also did I’m a Celeb in 2018 and is traditionally rumored to be the UK’s entry for Eurovision every year without fail. That hasn’t come to pass yet, but I’m happy to settle for her being on Strictly instead.

Please keep a bottle on standby for the time Tess or Claudia says ‘Take to the Fleur’. And the six times after that.

Fleur East on Strictly
Fleur East on Strictly Photograph: Ray Burmiston/PA

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