Strictly Come Dancing 2013 - meet the couples!

Published Saturday, Sep 7 2013, 20:10 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Strictly Come Dancing is back with a bang! So stick on some sequins and read what happened when we went behind the scenes of Saturday night's launch show to meet the celeb contestants and find out who they'll be dancing with.

Abbey Clancy is one of our particular faves.

The model-turned-WAG is taking to the glamour like a duck to water. She spent most of her time swishing her skirt and was full of nervous energy during our chat.

Strictly Come Dancing red carpet launch event held at Elstree studios - Arrivals - Abbey Clancy 2013

© WENN / Lia Toby

Abbey loves ruffling her feathers.

Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Aljaž Skorjanec


New pro dancer Aljaz is keeping Abbey company. SWOON!

Abbey told us: "I'm very excited. I've never had any training, ever. The only time I dance is when I go out, and then I think I'm Madonna after a few glasses of wine."

Lucky Abbey is partnered by hot new pro dancer Aljaz Skorjanec. We may be struggling to pronounce his name, but who cares when we can coo over his fit body for the foreseeable future?

Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Natalie Gumede

© BBC / Ray Burmiston

Corrie's Natalie looks brilliant on the dancefloor.

Artem Chigvintsev at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2012

© WENN / Lia Toby

She'll be partnered by dishy Artem this series.

Coronation Street star Natalie Gumede is our one to watch. She's partnered by Artem Chigvintsev - who won series 8 with Kara Tointon. Natalie told us: "I feel like a frightened kitten. I have danced before but I haven't danced for over ten years.

"Everyone keeps telling me about this new body you're going to get... I hope so! I can't wait."

Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Ashley Taylor Dawson

© BBC / Ray Burmiston

'Oaks star Ashley will be dad dancing.

Strictly Come Dancing red carpet launch event held at Elstree studios - Arrivals, Ola Jordan, 2013

© WENN / Lia Toby

Ashley will be dancing with Strictly pro Ola Jordan.

Next stop, Hollyoaks' Ashley Taylor Dawson, who has more to worry about than most as he hits the dance floor. His fiancée Karen is expecting their second son any minute!

With the live episodes starting from Friday, 27 September, Ashley - partnered by Ola Jordan - explains: "He's due on September 26. Bruce [Forsyth] could be telling me I'm a dad!"

Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Sophie Ellis Bextor

© BBC / Ray Burmiston

Sophie's going to stun on the dance floor.

Victoria Pendleton, Brendan Cole, Strictly Come Dancing

© BBC/Guy Levy

Brendan Cole partnered Victoria Pendleton last year.

We can't wait to see more of Sophie Ellis-Bexter too, who's going to look amazing in the Strictly outfits. She told us: "I'm looking forward to knowing what all the different dance terms mean! I hope I'm good at one of them."

Sophie's partnered by Brendan Cole, and judge Len Goodman described the pairing as "ballroom bliss". Brendan adds: "Sophie's got a little sizzle in her step."

Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Susanna Reid

© BBC / Ray Burmiston

Susanna swapping the newsroom for Strictly.

Strictly pro dancers Kevin Clifton and Karen Hauer at the show's 2013 launch

© WENN / Lia Toby

Dapper Kevin with fellow pro dancer Karen.

BBC Breakfast presenter Susanna Reid, partnered by newcomer Kevin Clifton, has the support of her colleague Bill Turnbull, who competed on Strictly in 2005. Susanna said: "Bill's been incredibly supportive because he absolutely loved his time on Strictly."

Strictly Come Dancing red carpet launch event held at Elstree studios - Arrivals - Rachel Riley 2013

© WENN / Lia Toby

Countdown's Rachel on the Strictly red carpet.

Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis at the Strictly Come Dancing launch, 2013

© WENN / Lia Toby

Pash with fellow dancer Anya Garnis at the launch show.

Also on our radar is gorgeous Countdown maths whizz Rachel Riley, partnered with lovely Pasha Kovalev. Rachel's so committed to learning some new steps that she told us: "I've said goodbye to my husband 'til Christmas as I'll be so busy. It's his birthday soon, I said: 'You'll get a good present – I'll just send it to you.'"

Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Ben Cohen

© BBC / Ray Burmiston

Rugby star Ben busts some moves.

Kristina Rihanoff press shot for Kristina Rihanoff Essentials Collection for MeMeMe Cosmetics

He's in the capable hands of Kristina this year.

We'll also be keeping an eye out for major dish, rugby star Ben Cohen, who told us he's already accepted that he'll have to get his kit off at some point. "I'm not that confident in doing it but my shirt will end up getting lower and lower. You've got to embrace it, right?" Hell yeah!

He's partnered by Kristina Rihanoff, who has already recognised his pecs appeal: "All the girls want that. I've got the hint!"

Strictly Come Dancing red carpet launch event held at Elstree studios - Arrivals - Julien Macdonald

© WENN / Lia Toby

Fashionista Julien's loving the glamour.

Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec at the Strictly Come Dancing launch, September 2013

© WENN / Lia Toby

Dance pro Janette with fellow newcomer Aljaz.

As for fashion designer Julien Macdonald he's already embracing the sequins and glitz. He'll be dancing with newcomer Janette Manrara.

And here's the rest...

Dragon's Den star Deborah Meadon will team up with Robin Windsor, former Bond girl Fiona Fullerton is dancing with Anton du Beke, Vanessa Feltz has teamed up with James Jordan, former Casualty star Patrick Robinson is dancing with new girl Anya Garnis, golf pro Tony Jacklin will take to the floor with Aliona Vilani - who replaced Natalie Lowe at the last minute after Natalie got injured, reportedly with a fractured foot - Hairy Biker Dave Myers is dancing with Karen Hauer, and actor Mark Benton has new pro Iveta Lukosiute on his arm.

Read our full interview with Abbey in Tuesday's Reveal magazine.

Check out a gallery of the Stritcly launch below: