Strictly Come Dancing fans, rejoice! Not only has the launch show happened in all its sequined glory, but the live shows are set to kicked off last night.

As ever, a fresh batch of intrepid celebrities have taken to the floor to show off their best tango, try to squeeze a 10 out of the judges, and generally keep us glued to the screen on a Saturday night.

This year’s line-up is complete and looks to be as good as ever, with the search for the successor to reigning champion Hamza Yassin underway.

But who are Strictly 2023’s contestants? And where might you know this year’s celebrities from?

Here’s who you’ll be watching take to the ballroom this autumn…

Amanda Abbington

Sherlock actress Amanda Abbington was confirmed as the first celebrity to be taking to the dancefloor this year.

The 49-year-old, who admitted to being ‘incredibly competitive’, was unveiled as a contestant on The One Show, and could barely hide her excitement at taking part.

‘I’m thrilled to have been asked to do Strictly,’ she said. I’m actually really shy and self-conscious so this will be a great opportunity for me to overcome those things!

‘Plus, I get to learn to dance which I am incredibly excited about. I’m really looking forward to the training too, I’m quite competitive as my family and friends will tell you. I can’t wait to start!’

However, her casting hasn’t been without controversy…

Angela Rippon

TV presenter and former newsreader Angela Rippon was the second celebrity to be confirmed for the series.

Angela’s career spans over 50 years, having presented a wide variety of programmes from hard news and current affairs, to quiz shows and magazine programmes for broadcasters across the world.

Angela, who at 78 is the oldest contestant ever to take a spin around the Strictly dancefloor, already has ties to the series, having previously hosted Come Dancing, the show that inspired it.

‘Having been a fan of Strictly since day one, and as a former presenter of Come Dancing, this will be quite an adventure for me,’ she said.

‘A scary one, considering I’m about to be 79.  But I’m really looking forward to the challenge, and perhaps being able to learn to dance the Argentinian Tango.’

Layton Williams

Bad Education star Layton Williams was the third celebrity to be announced for this year’s show.

The actor, who plays Stephen Carmichael in the BBC comedy, is also known for hisWest End career, having played the title roles in Billy Elliot and Everyone’s Talking About Jamie – and he was also the voice over artist on the UK’s first gay dating show I Kissed A Boy.

After the news was announced during Friday’s The One Show, Layton told 2022 contestant Richie Anderson that he would love to be partnered with a male professional.

He said: ‘Absolutely buzzing to confirm that I will be taking part in THE most iconic dance competition in the UK! It’s time to bring it to the Ballroom. So excited to learn new skills from the best. Bring on the sequins… ALL the sequins!’

Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Journalist and broadcaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy was confirmed as the fourth contestant to be waltzing into the Strictly ballroom this year.

The 53-year-old is best known for presenting Channel 4 News as well as the documentary series Unreported World.

‘I’m surprised, delighted and slightly confused to find myself taking part in Strictly on the basis of “you only live once!” and I can’t wait to start learning to dance, but I am slightly worried about my general decrepitude,’ Krishnan said.

‘I know I’m going to love it and have a brilliant time and just hope I’m not the only one enjoying my participation.’

Eddie Kadi

We have number five! Eddie Kadi has been announced as the newest celeb taking part.

Kadi is a multi-award winning stand-up comedian and radio presenter, and he was the first British black comedian to headline the O2 Arena in London.

He has said of taking part: ‘WOW. Anyone who knows me, understands that music and dance is so important and central to who I am. I’m so unbelievably proud and honoured that Strictly and the BBC have asked me to join the 2023 Team.

‘I promise you, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. This is going to be a VIBE.’

Angela Scanlon

Strictly’s sixth contestant – and second named Angela – was confirmed on Monday, August 7.

Irish presenter Angela Scanlon, known for appearances on The One Show and hosting Your Garden Made Perfect, will be taking to the dancefloor.

Speaking of signing up, Angela said: ‘I’m terrified, I’m excited and I have so many questions. Will they make me tan? How itchy are sequins?! Do they do flesh coloured sports bras?’ (all very good questions, Angela)

‘Well – there’s only one way to find out, right!? Now I’m panicking a bit… but also secretly thrilled about the prospect of all that glitter. Let’s go!’

Zara McDermott

The seventh contestant for this year’s show, Zara McDermott, was also confirmed on Monday, August 7.

Zara made history as the first Love Island star ever to go on Strictly Come Dancing.

Following her Love Island success, Zara has turned her talents to documentary making, fronting the BBC films: Revenge Porn, Uncovering Rape Culture, Disordered Eating, and Gaia: A Death on Dancing Ledge.

Sharing her excitement at being on the show, Zara said: ‘I am so excited to be joining the world of Strictly!

‘I can’t wait to throw myself into this experience and start training. It’s going to be incredible.’

Adam Thomas

Waterloo Road star Adam Thomas was announced as the eighth contestant for this year’s series on August 8, after hinting he would like to experience the infamous ‘Strictly curse’.

Adam is currently playing the role of Donte Charles on the school soap, a role he originally played back in 2006.

He said in a statement: ‘I am so excited to be joining the cast of this years’ Strictly Come Dancing. I’ve been such a big fan of the show for years, I can’t believe I’m actually doing it!

‘I can’t dance to save my life but I’m buzzing to learn and have a good laugh with my pro. Get me on that dance floor…I can’t wait!’

Nikita Kanda

BBC radio and TV presenter Nikita Kanda was announced as the ninth celeb to take part in the competition on August 8.

The news that Nikita will be putting on her dancing shoes this autumn was announced on BBC Asian Network Breakfast, on the radio star’s own breakfast show.

Addressing the news, Nikita said: ‘I can’t believe I’m going to be on Strictly. This is a dream come true. I’m still pinching myself.

‘I don’t think it will properly sink in until I step onto the dancefloor. I can’t wait to get glammed up and get out there. Throw the glitter on me!’

Ellie Leach

Ellie Leach was announced as the 10th Strictly star to grace this year’s competition on August 9.

The Coronation Street star played Faye Windass in the ITV soap from 2011 to her departure earlier this year.

Expressing her excitement at joining this year’s cast, she said: ‘It still doesn’t feel real that I’m going to be doing Strictly!!’.

‘It’s always been a dream of mine so I guess dreams really do come true!!!!’

Jody Cundy

Paralympic Gold medalist Jody Cundy was announced as the 11th Strictly celebrity on August 9.

Jody is a cyclist and swimmer and has represented Team GB at seven Paralympic games.

He said: ‘Excited to be welcomed into the Strictly family and throw myself head first into the world of ballroom dancing.

‘So far away from what I’m used to, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and pushing myself way out of my comfort zone, especially as I’m always last onto the dance floor” Can’t wait to get stuck in, bring on the glitter and sequins!’

Bobby Brazier

Bobby Brazier was announced as the 12th contestant vying for this year’s glitterball on August 9th.

Bobby, known for his role as Freddy Slater on EastEnders, is just 20 year’s old, making him this year’s youngest contestant.

Addressing the exciting news, he said: ‘I’m so excited to be part of the Strictly line up, I can’t wait to start training like a professional dancer and adding a few moves to my locker.’

Nigel Harman

Nigel Harman was announced as the 13th Strictly star for the 2023 line-up.

Nigel is best known for playing Dennis Rickman in EastEnders from 2003-5, and went on to star in West End productions plus took on the role of villainous valet Mr Green in Downton Abbey.

He made his debut in Casualty earlier this year as new ED clinical lead Dr Max Cristie.

On joining Strictly, he said: ‘I’m amazed, excited, and terrified to be doing Strictly. As an armchair fan of the show I have watched in awe as people have twirled and gyrated across the screen. And now it’s my turn… gulp!’

Annabel Croft

Tennis star Annabel Croft has been revealed as the 14th contestant for Strictly 2023.

Annabel won Junior Wimbledon back in 1984 and became the British number 1, but decided to retire from tennis at the age of 21. She went on to present various TV shows, including Channel 4’s Treasure Hunt and ITV’s Interceptor, and is a sports commentator.

On joining Strictly, Annabel said: ‘I have always loved watching Strictly and can’t quite believe I’m going to be part of this magical show – swapping tennis balls for glitter balls and looking forward to finding some joyfulness in the process.’

Les Dennis

The final celebrity to join this year’s Strictly line-up is the Family Fortunes host, Les Dennis.

As well as hosting the iconic daytime TV game show, Les has also appeared in a huge amount of TV series – from Extras to The Bill, and Casualty to Celebrity Big Brother, as well as starring in many a theatre production.

The 69-year-old was revealed as the 15th addition to the celebrity dance contest on Good Morning Britain, with Les telling viewers that he had previously been asked before to join Strictly, but wasn’t allowed while he was appearing in Coronation Street.

In a statement about joining the lineup, Les said: ‘I’m thrilled to be doing this iconic wonderful show as I approach my 70th birthday!

‘In my career I’ve always gone for challenges outside my comfort zone and this is the ultimate one! Can’t wait.’

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One on Saturday, September 23 at 6.15pm

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