Strictly Come Dancing 2022: Launch Show – Live | Come dance strictly

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Anyone else frantically trying to work out which male celeb is left for Kaye? Oh of course, it’s Kai Widdrington. They meet in Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow, and Kaye is delighted. I mean you would be, wouldn’t you?

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Kai made the Grand Final last year but sadly couldn’t compete because AJ Odudu contracted Covid. Kaye and Kai has a pleasing ring to it, no? OK, I’m quite tired.

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Tony is absolutely terrified, and has the air of a man who popped out for a pint of milk and somehow ended up on Strictly.

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He’s been paired with Katya Jones, who made it well into November with Adam Peaty last year. She says something about tackling some dancing, which I think is a football pun.

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And there’s the Adams family gag! DRINK.

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Jayde goes off to Brizzle to meet her dance partner. My day job is in Bristol, about a five minute walk from the Clifton Observatory – I can’t believe Jayde was there meeting Karen Hauer and I missed it.

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Jayde is thrilled because ‘Karen IS Strictly.’ Karen has many ideas and feels like this is going to be a golden moment for her. After hauling Greg Wise round the dancefloor last year like a piece of garden furniture, Karen deserves a great partner.

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How many couples are there? I feel like we’ve been at this for YEARS.

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…And they all have the surname Adams, presumably so Tess can labour an ‘Adams Family’ joke at some point.

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First up is Jayde Adams, who is best known as an actor and stand-up comedian, and I also know her as a Eurovision podcaster. She’s also a West Country girl like me, which makes me wonder why we aren’t best friends. I’ll work on that over the coming weeks.

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Time for our first musical interlude of the season, courtesy of US R&B crooner John Legend. He’s singing his new single ‘All She Wanna Do’. He’s dressed for kung-fu fighting, while Luba, Kai, Michelle and Cameron treat us to some human friction.

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I’ve just looked up whether Legend is John’s real surname, mostly so we could discuss whether being born a Legend might inspire you to go on to actually be one. But it turns out he was born John Stephens, and now I’m mortally offended. What’s wrong with Stephens? It’s a perfectly good surname.

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Although now I’m thinking about the career potential of changing my name to Heidi Legend. Has a certain gravitas, no?

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Whoever gets paired with Ritchie will need to start by sorting out his dreadful posture. He’s also a LOT.

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He’s has been paired with Giovanni Pernice – Ritchie feels like he’s the envy of the British public right now, then calls him ‘Mr Giovanni’, like he’s the local ice cream man. Giovanni looks slightly overwhelmed, and I already love these two.

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Molly is very excitable and I’m finding her joy quite infectious. She’s partnered with Carlos Gu, who is another of this year’s newbies. I know literally nothing about either of these two, which is why they will undoubtedly be my favourites by Week 6. That’s just how Strictly goes.

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Ellie T had Johannes at the top of her pro partner wish list, and through the magic of Strictly her wish has been granted and she’s paired up with Johannes Radebe. OK, I’m a bit excited about this one.

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Johannes says that meeting Ellie has already been joyous, because he is the loveliest man on earth. Apart from Hamza.

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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. There, I said it.

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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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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

And finally… It’s Kaye and Kai!

Is anyone else frantically trying to figure out which male celebrity is left for Kaye? Oh sure it is Kai widdrington. They meet at Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow, and Kaye is overjoyed. I mean you would be, wouldn’t you?

Kai made the Grand Final last year but unfortunately couldn’t compete as AJ Odudu contracted Covid. Kaye and Kai sound good, right? OK, I’m pretty tired.

It’s Tony and Katya!

Tony is absolutely terrified and looks like a man who went out for a pint of milk and somehow ended up on Strictly.

It was paired with Katia Jones, who made good progress in November with Adam Peaty last year. She says something about tackling the dance, which I think is a football pun.

It’s Jayde and Karen!

And there’s the Adams family gag! BEVERAGE.

Jayde travels to Brizzle to meet his dance partner. My day job is in Bristol, about a five minute walk from Clifton Observatory – can’t believe Jayde was there in a meeting Karen Hauer and I missed it.

Jayde is thrilled because “Karen IS Strictly.” Karen has lots of ideas and thinks this will be a golden moment for her. After lugging Greg Wise onto the dance floor last year like patio furniture, Karen deserves a great partner.

How many pairs are there? I feel like we’ve been here for YEARS.

And finally, we pair a Scottish TV presenter and a journalist Kaye Adams, who is best known for being the presenter of Loose Women. She also does a podcast called How To Be 60, which presumably recommends rolling around in glitter and taking a spin on the Strictly dance floor. We all need life goals, and this one is a good one.

Kaye Adams on Strictly Photograph: Ray Burmiston/PA

Then it’s Arsenal and the legend of English football Tony Adams MBEwho won 66 caps for England and captained the team at Euro 96. You can assume from this biog that I know something about football and have heard of Tony Adams before , but I don’t know and I don’t have it.

He strictly follows in the footsteps of some stellar football stars like Robbie Savage, David James and Alex Scott, so let’s see what his footwork looks like in Cuban heels.

Tony Adams on Strictly
Tony Adams on Strictly Photograph: Ray Burmiston/PA

There are three celebrities left!

…and they all go by the Adams family name, presumably so Tess could make an “Adams family” joke at some point.

The first is Jayde Adams, who is best known as an actress and stand-up comedian, and I also know her as a Eurovision podcaster. She’s also a West Country girl like me, which makes me wonder why we’re not best friends. I will be working on it in the coming weeks.

Jayde Adams on Strictly
Jayde Adams on Strictly Photography: Ray Burmiston/BBC

It’s John Legend!

It’s time for our first musical interlude of the season, courtesy of American R&B crooner John Legend. He sings his new single “All She Wanna Do”. He’s dressed for kung fu combat, while Luba, Kai, Michelle, and Cameron provide us with human friction.

I just researched if Legend is John’s real last name, mainly so we can discuss whether being born a legend might inspire you to become one. But it turns out he was born John Stephens, and now I’m mortally offended. What’s wrong with Stephens? It’s a very good last name.

Although now I’m thinking about the career potential of changing my name to Heidi Legend. To a certain gravity, Nope?

It’s Richie and Giovanni!

The one who is paired with Ritchie will have to start by fixing his terrible posture. He is also a LOT.

It was paired with Giovanni Pernice- Ritchie feels like he’s the envy of the British public at the moment, then calls him “Mr Giovanni”, as if he were the local ice cream man. Giovanni looks slightly overwhelmed, and I already love these two.

It’s Molly and Carlos!

Molly is very exciting and I find her joy quite contagious. She is in partnership with Carlos Gu, which is another of this year’s debutants. I literally don’t know anything about either of these two, which is why they’re definitely going to be my favorites by week 6. That’s exactly how it goes.

It’s Ellie T and Johannes!

Ellie T. had Johannes at the top of her professional partner wish list, and thanks to the magic of Strictly, her wish has been granted and she is paired with Johannes Radebe. OK, I’m a little excited about this one.

Johannes says meeting Ellie has already been joyful, as he is the most charming man in the world. Apart from Hamza.

It’s Matt and Nadiya!

Mast was in partnership with Nadiya Bytchkova, who was paired with Dan Walker last year and arrived at the week… *checks notes*…really? As far? Must be a typo.

Matt is ready to put his heart and soul into it, and I think I’ll have to add “Matt Goss speaks in metaphor” to the bingo. He’s a fascinating human being, but also (he whispers) the one most likely to have a colossal crisis. There, I said it.

time to welcome Richie Anderson, who’s 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, me too – if that’s a qualifier for Strictly, I have a resume stitched in rainbow sequins.

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

Richie Anderson on Strictly
Richie Anderson on Strictly Photography: Ray Burmiston/BBC

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