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Your Complete Guide to Strictly Come Dancing 2016 – Everything You Need To Know.

31st August 2016

Your Complete Guide to Strictly Come Dancing 2016 – Everything You Need To Know.
Yes it's that time again! It only seems like yesterday we were watching Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani win Strictly Come Dancing 2015. Yet here we find ourselves with a new series of Strictly only a matter of days away!

From the latest gossip to the one's to watch here is everything you need to know about Strictly Come Dancing 2016.

When does Strictly Come Dancing 2016 start?

The 14th series of the BBC ballroom series will begin with a special launch show on Saturday the 3rd of September at 6.50PM on BBC One. This episode will see the contestants matched with their professional counterparts before beginning their training.

If the last few years are anything to go by, it is likely that the live shows will begin 3 weeks later. This means cancelling your plans for the weekend of the 24th folks!

The 2016 Strictly Come Dancing line up:

Ed Balls – Former MP
Will Young – Pop Idol winner
Laura Whitmore – TV Personality
Melvin Odoom – Xtra Factor host
Ore Oduba – Olympics Favourite
Louise Redknapp – Singer
Danny Mac – Ex Hollyoaks actor
Daisy Lowe – Model
Naga Manchetty – BBC Breakfast host
Anastacia– Singer
Claudia Fragapane – Gymnast
Judge Rinder – TV Host
Lesley Joseph – Birds Of A Feather Actress
Greg Rutherford – Olympian
Tameka Empson - EastEnders Actress

Strictly Come Dancing One's to Watch

Unsurprisingly the clear favourite is 18 year old British gymnast Claudia Fragapane. Her background should provide her with a natural elegance and a significant advantage, this is reflected by William Hill making her favourite at just 7/2. She is closely followed by Will Young with odds of just 5/1. Will used to take dance classes as a child and like most singers has become comfortable performing routines on stage.

As much as we're looking forward to watching Claudia and Will blow us away, personally I can't wait to see Ed Balls bust his moves again. Although admittedly Ed has the worst odds in the competition so whatever amusement he provides is likely to be short lived.

Who are the judges on Strictly Come Dancing 2016?

There hasn't been a change in personnel on the judging panel this year. Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussel amd Craig Revel Horwood will be on hand to critique the contestants performances.

Sadly, this year marks the end of Len Goodman's Strictly career, which has lasted longer than 10 years! In a recent statement Len Said “In 2004, I was asked to take part in a brand new BBC Saturday night show and who would have thought me, old Len Goodman, would still be part of this amazing series more than 10 years on”.

“This adventure began when I was 60 and now that I’ve reached my 70s, I’ve decided after this year it’s time to hand the role of Head Judge to someone else.”

“It is an honour being part of the wonderful ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ family and I’m looking forward to my last series very much and to whatever comes next.”

Strictly Come Dancing professionals 2016

Sadly at the end of Strictly 2015 we had to say goodbye to Ola Jordan, Kristina Rihanoff, Aliona Vilani and Tristan McManus. Much to the disappointment of many women across the UK, 2015 hunk Gleb Savchenko has also been forced to pull out due to family commitments.

Not to worry though ladies! Gleb has been replaced by Latin dancer Gorka Marquez who looks set to become Strictly's new heartthrob. Gorka has represented Spain in the World Latin Championships and made it to the semi-finals of the 2012 Dance Sport Federation World Cup.

Veterans Karen and Kevin Clifton are facing competition from a second married couple, Katya and Neil Jones. Katya is a World Latin Champion and Neil is an undefeated four-time British National Champion.

Dance partners AJ Pritchard, 21, and Chloe Hewitt, 20, are set to become Strictly's youngest ever professionals. You may recognise AJ and Chloe from from 2013's Britains Got Talent where they reached the semi finals.

Oksana Platero is the final professional to join Strictly 2016. She has danced since the age of six becoming three time Ukraine National Youth Champion in the process. She is used to the glitz and glamour of TV having appeared on the US spin off Dancing With the Stars.

Strictly Come Dancing Gossip

Craig Revel Horwood claims that Simon Cowell needs to do Strictly Come Dancing to improve his career! The two have famously been at loggerheads ever since their shows first clashed on Saturday night TV.

Craig said Simon would “probably love himself too much. I think he's probably got two left feet."

Craig continued to say that "We have celebrities whereas on 'The X Factor' they're wannabes hoping to be famous”.

Arlene Philips was controversially dropped from Strictly Come Dancing in 2009 to be replaced by Alesha Dixon. It is now rumoured that she will be replacing Len Goodman as head judge. Professional dancer Anton Du Beke is still favourite to replace Len however.

How to find a Strictly style ballroom dance class

Thanks to Dance Near You finding a ballroom dance class near you is easier than ever! We have hundreds of dance instructors teaching thousands of fantastic classes across the UK.

Are you intrigued by the glitz and the glamour of ballroom dancing? Fancy yourself as the next Strictly champion? Simply visit Dance Near You, type your post code in and book yourself in for a class today!