Angela Rippon spills Strictly Come Dancing secret
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Strictly Come Dancing is officially back, and following tonight’s launch, all 15 couples have been revealed.
Express.co.uk has rounded up the pairings as the famous faces finally found out who they would potentially be spending the next few months learning to dance with.
The BBC programme has many professionals so, as always, not all of them were paired up, but they’ll be making appearances in group dances in the coming weeks.
The line-up this year consists of Amanda Abbington, Angela Rippon, Layton Williams, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Eddie Kadi, Angela Scanlon, Zara McDermott, Adam Thomas, Nikita Kanda, Ellie Leach, Jody Cundy CBE, Bobby Brazier, Nigel Harman, Annabel Croft and Les Dennis.
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Adam Thomas and Luba Mushtuk
Actor Adam Thomas will be dancing with Russian choreographer Luba Mushtuk.
The former Emmerdale star said of the pairing: “I’m loving life…what is not to love?
“I’m on Strictly Come Dancing and I’ve got this Russian princess, I’m buzzing, absolutely over the moon.”
Luba commented: “I’ve never been this happy…so I am extremely excited and cannot wait to dance with you.”
Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice
Actress Amanda Abbington was paired with her Giovanni Pernice.
When asked by Claudia Winkleman how happy she was, Amanda replied: “I’m ecstatic, we get on really well, same sense of humour and dedicated to working hard.”
When asked about Amanda’s reaction to the reveal, her partner Giovanni replied: “That was a reaction, I have to be honest…
“And also there was screaming that I enjoyed very much…very very happy days.”
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Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu
TV Presenter Angela Scanlon has been partnered with Carlos Gu, who made his Strictly debut in last year’s series.
Angela exclaimed: “Thank you universe… I think Carlos will be able to teach me, he is direct…
“I feel like there is a directness that I might respond to, like brutal honesty that Carlos has.”
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Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington
Come Dancing icon Angela Rippon CBE was delighted to have been paired with Kai Widdrington.
Host Tess Daly remarked: “Angela, ripping up the dancefloor – we can’t wait for that can we?!
“32 years after presenting Come Dancing, how does it feel to be on the other side?”
Angela responded ‘”t’s weird not being in your place and being in this place, but I’m going to enjoy it I think, yes!”
Annabel Croft and Johannes Radebe
Former tennis pro Annabel Croft was partnered with Johannes Radebe.
On the pairing she said: “I’ve got the best partner I could possibly have wished for, honestly he’s so special, you really are so special, it’s such an honour and a privilege to be dancing with you, thank you.”
Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell
EastEnders star Bobby Brazier was partnered with Dianne Buswell, who revealed herself on the set of EastEnders.
Bobby said he was “so pleased” with the match.
Dianne added: “I am so happy I have already adopted Bobby as my little brother, and I already care so much about him, I just want him to have the best time ever.”
Eddie Kadi and Karen Hauer
Comedian Eddie Kadi was paired with longest-serving professional, Karen Hauer.
He said: “She’s a little bit like kryptonite… She’s got a sound ‘ta ta’, when you get something a little bit wrong – ‘ta ta.’
“I’m like, ‘oh my God, I’ve got to get used to ta ta.'”
Karen added: “He will be cracking the jokes, but I’m going to be cracking the whip.”
Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola
Former Coronation Street star Ellie Leach was then paired with Vito Coppola.
When asked by Claudia about her pairing she said: “I’m over the moon that Vito is my partner, honestly I’m so excited I think we are going to have so much fun”.
Vito said: “I am just going to have the best time with Ellie, I want to have the best journey and have fun” Vito revealed that they will be performing a sparkling Jive to which Ellie replied “Oh no, that’s really a hard, a Jive!”
Jody Cundy and Jowita Przystał
Jody Cundy CBE was paired with reigning Strictly champion Jowita Przystał.
When asked by Tess “You are an eight-time gold medal-winning Paralympian.
“You started off swimming, then you made the switch to cycling, so I’m thinking Strictly easy peasy for you?”
Jody replied: “I’d like to think so, but I don’t think it’s going to be.
“I’m a complete newbie at this, I had years and years of practice at the other ones so we’ll see what happens…
“Let’s shoot for the stars!”
After the pairing Jowita stated: “I need to admit I’m actually a bit nervous because I don’t want to let him down, but I have a lot
Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Lauren Oakley
New professional Lauren is making her partnership debut with journalist Krishnan.
Krishan commented: “Oh, it’s brilliant and she gets me immediately”.
This will be Lauren’s first time having a celebrity partner and she followed up with: “It might be the first time that I’m partnered with somebody, but I know it’s a big ask for the celebrities to go out there and dance. So I think I need to be kind and give you confidence to have fun, but when it’s time to be strict I know how to be strict, don’t worry about that!”
Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin
Then it was over to Layton Williams, who was paired with Nikita Kuzmin and together they form this series’ all-male pairing.
When talking about the partnership Layton said: “He is going to whip me into shape, and keep me on the straight and narrow because I do like to think I know what I am doing and do the most, but I really don’t have a clue!”
Les Dennis and Nancy Xu
Another pairing from the launch show was Les Dennis, who said: “I love a challenge…this is the biggest challenge ever, I am so excited about it, I can’t wait”.
It was then revealed that he was partnered up with Nancy Xu.
When commenting on the pairing he said: “I am so happy… as soon as I met Nancy I knew I could learn from her, she is a great teacher and she is so enthusiastic”.
Nancy said: “I am so excited and actually we have already started”
Nigel Harman and Katya Jones
Casualty star Nigel Harman was paired with Katya Jones.
Claudia told Nigel that Katya could be quite strict and asked if he was ready, to which Nigel replied: “Everyonekeeps telling me this and every time they tell me this I get more and more terrified, but I am pretending I’m really calm about it.”
When asked about what Katya has in store for Nigel, she said: “Idea’s will come as we get to know each other”.
Nikita Kanda and Gorka Márquez
Nikita Kanda and Gorka Márquez were also paired.
Nikita stated: “My mum cried… She was so happy it’s made everyone feel good and have a bit of a smile on their face”.
When asked about her dancing skills by Claudia, Nikita said: “I am a party animal but when it comes to choreography that’s what I’m here to learn…
“I need to learn some new skills, I’m just like one arm up in the air.”
Zara McDermott and Graziano Di Prima
Zara McDermott was partnered with Graziani Di Prima.
When asked about how she was feeling, Zara said: “I think I’m probably the most nervous I’ve been in my life.
“I’m not a natural-born performer or extrovert, so this is the biggest challenge of my life!”
After being paired with Graziano Di Prima he said to Zara: “The sky is the limit! Be positive all the way.”
Graziano then revealed to Zara the their first dance will the Cha Cha Cha.
Which professionals didn’t get a partner?
There are 15 celebrities this year and 20 professionals, so five of them ended up without partners, including Neil Jones, Michelle Tsiakkas, Nadiya Bychkova and Amy Dowden.
Lauren and Michelle were both new additions to last year’s line-up.
Sadly, earlier this year Amy announced she was battling cancer and so she won’t be taking part in the 2023 competition.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 6.15pm on BBC One.
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