Strictly Come Dancing 2016: which professional dancers did the celebrities get?

Published Saturday, Sep 3 2016, 20:31 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
And it's BLAST OFF for this year's Strictly Come Dancing!

After an insanely elaborate and super fun Star Wars-themed opening, the 14th series of Strictly Come Dancing got under way on Saturday evening (3 September) as the celebrities found out which pro partner they'd be paired with!

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 full line up, Sat 3 Sep


"I think this lot look fantastic," said head judge Len Goodman. "The girls are all frisky and risky. The boys are powerful and perky. This is going to be a corker!"

Judge Bruno Tonioli added: "By the way I saw them all sashay down the stairs I could see images of graceful flamingos, agile cheetahs, a few stomping wilder beasts... it's early days. I think overall they are a wonderful, fantastic cast for a magnificent season fourteen."

Strictly Come Dancing 2016: Laura Whitmore and Giovanni Pernice
Launch show 2016

© BBC / Guy Levy

Laura and Giovanni.

Strictly Come Dancing 2016: Lesley Joseph and Anton du Beke
Launch show 2016

© BBC / Guy Levy

Lesley and Anton.

Singer and television presenter Louise Redknapp
Paired with: Kevin Clifton

BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty
Paired with: Pasha Kovalev

Popstar Anastacia
Paired with: Brendan Cole

TV presenter Laura Whitmore
Paired with: Giovanni Pernice

Strictly Come Dancing 2016: Greg Rutherford and Natalie Lowe
Launch show 2016

© BBC / Guy Levy

Greg and Natalie.

Strictly Come Dancing 2016: Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse
Launch show 2016

© BBC / Guy Levy

Danny and Oti.

Radio DJ and TV presenter Melvin Odoom
Paired with: Janette Manrara

Judge Rinder star Robert Rinder
Paired with: Oksana Platero

Olympic gold medal long jumper Greg Rutherford
Paired with: Natalie Lowe

Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac
Paired with: Oti Mabuse

Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane
Paired with: AJ Pritchard

Model Daisy Lowe
Paired with: Aljaž Škorjanec

Strictly Come Dancing 2016: Daisy Lowe and Aljaž Škorjanec
Launch show 2016

© BBC / Guy Levy

Daisy and Aljaž.

Strictly Come Dancing 2016: Will Young and Karen Clifton
Launch show 2016

© BBC / Guy Levy

Will and Karen.

Actress Lesley Joseph
Paired with: Anton du Beke

EastEnders actress Tameka Empson
Paired with: Gorka Marquez

Singer Will Young
Paired with: Karen Clifton

Former MP Ed Balls
Paired with: Katya Jones

TV presenter Ore Oduba
Paired with: Joanne Clifton

Strictly Come Dancing 2016: The couples
Launch show 2016

© BBC / Guy Levy

The couples!

You may have noticed a few new names there... yep, there are SIX new professional dancers this year: British dance partners AJ Pritchard and Chloe Hewitt, and Brit Neil Jones, whose Russian-born wife Katya Jones is also new to this year's lineup. Also new are Ukrainian pro Oksana Platero and Spanish dancer Gorka Marquez.

Meanwhile, also on Saturday night's show, last year's winners Jay McGuiness and Alioni Vilani returned for a special dance, while performances came from Rebecca Ferguson and Olly Murs.

Strictly Come Dancing 2016: Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli
Launch show 2016

© BBC / Guy Levy

The judges: Craig, Darcey, Len and Bruno.

This will be judge Len last year on Strictly after he announced in July he's stepping down as head judge following more than a decade on the panel.

Len, 73, said at the time: "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."

We're SO happy Strictly is back! Now the celebs and their pro partners are off for some serious rehearsing before the live shows start Friday, 23 September on BBC One. See you then!