By News Team
Last Updated: 16th September 2021
Whisper it quietly, but Strictly Come Dancing will be returning to our TV screens soon!
Everyone’s favourite dancing show is due to return on Saturday, with the professional dancers having commenced their training ahead of the series’ start.
As the new series nears, there are plenty of questions to be answered, so we’ve taken a look at all you need to know about the show.
Who are the Strictly 2021 contestants?
The first to be revealed was McFly singer Tom Fletcher, who will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of his wife Giovanna Fletcher, who was crowned queen of the jungle on the most recent series of I’m A Celebrity. Tom’s McFly bandmate Harry Judd also won Strictly back in 2011, so he’s got a lot to live up to.
Next to be revealed was comedian and actor Robert Webb, best known for his double-act alongside David Mitchell and their work together in sitcom Peep Show. Robert has appeared in a handful of panel shows but how will he fare on the dancefloor? He’ll be joined by TV presenter AJ Odudu, who was the third celebrity to be announced. She has hosted the likes of Big Brother’s Bit on the Side and The Voice.
Elsewhere, chef and TV presenter John Whaite, who won the third series of The Great British Bake Off, will appear and make Strictly history this year as one half of the show’s first all-male partnership. Staying on the theme of chefs, Gordon Ramsay’s daughter Tilly Ramsay has been announced as part of the line-up.
Greg Wise, best known for his role in Sense and Sensibility, will take the floor. He will also be joined in the line-up this year by CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson and Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Sara Davies.
Presenter Dan Walker recently stood down from presenting Football Focus after 12 years and will now be looking to get his Saturday kicks on Strictly. He is joined by former rugby player Ugo Monye, while swimmer Adam Peaty adds a few more medals to the Strictly line-up of sports stars this year.
Loose Women presenter and comedian Judi Love is no stranger to competition shows as she takes on Strictly, having been a finalist on Celebrity MasterChef.
Rounding off the names to have been confirmed for the show are Katie McGlynn, who is best known for playing Sinead Tinker in Coronation Street. And more soap stars are in the mix, in the form of Nina Wadia, who played Zainab Masood in EastEnders, and Rose Ayling-Ellis, who played Frankie Lewis in the same British classic.
What are the odds for Strictly 2021?
As for the Strictly 2021 odds, it’s British actress, Rose Ayling-Ellis, who leads the betting at this stage at 7/2. Rose is Strictly’s first ever deaf contestant and will be able to hear the beat, picking up some of the music and vocals, despite common misconceptions.
McFly singer Tom Fletcher is next in line with odds of 5/1 to win the show. Having strutted his stuff with his guitar on stage for a number of years, moving to the ballroom dancefloor will be a slightly different transition, but he’s being backed at this moment to make a success of it.
Meanwhile, actor Rhys Stephenson is next in line with odds of 7/1. Comedian Robert Webb has odds of 15/2 to lift the Glitterball trophy, and is almost guaranteed to be a character to watch out for on the show.
Elsewhere, John Whaite, AJ Odudu and Katie McGlynn are all priced at 9/1. Surprisingly, sports stars Adam Peaty and Ugo Monye are not in the top seven, despite their expected high levels of fitness and self-discipline; Peaty has odds of 10/1 and Monye is a distant price of 25/1.
Dan Walker is priced at 12/1 to lift the Glitterball trophy, with Tilly Ramsay at 16/1 and Greg Wise and Sara Davies boasting odds of 20/1. Nina Wadia and Judi Love bring up the lower end of the Strictly winner betting market with odds of 28/1 and 40/1 respectively.
When does Strictly 2021 start?
Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One on 18th September, with the first episode showing some feel-good group dances, as well as the decided pairings of the celeb and professional dancer couples. The dancers have already begun their pre-show training, ready to take the floor for the 13 weeks the show is aired.
Who are the Strictly 2021 judges and hosts?
Beloved Strictly original Anton Du Beke returns to replace Bruno Tolioni in the judging panel this year. Du Beke will join returning judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas when the show returns.
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are set to return as the presenters of the new series for an eighth year, while former professional dancer Janette Manrara will replace Zoe Ball on BBC Two spin-off show Strictly: It Takes Two.
Who are the Strictly 2021 professionals?
Four new professional dancers will join the cast this year in Kai Widdrington, Nikita Kuzmin, Cameron Lombard and Jowita Przystal. Strictly regulars Oti Mabuse, Aljaž Škorjanec, Giovanni Pernice, Karen Hardy and Katya Jones will return alongside Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Nancy Xu and Neil Jones.