Who is favourite to win Strictly Come Dancing 2017?

Nicola Agius, Tom Eames
Photo credit: BBC/Jay Brooks / Matt Burlem

From Digital Spy

Yes, it's that time of year again – Strictly Come Dancing is on its way back to our screens!

After months of waiting, the BBC has finally confirmed the full celebrity line-up and which star will be dancing with which pro. By the looks of things, series 15 is set to be pretty epic.

Here's everything you need to know about Strictly Come Dancing 2017...

1. WHEN IS STRICTLY COME DANCING 2017 ON?

The Strictly Come Dancing live shows officially kicked-off on Saturday, September 23 on BBC One at 6.25pm. The show is next on Saturday, October 7 on BBC One at 6.35pm.

Zoe Ball's spin-off show Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two launched on Monday, September 25, on BBC Two at 6.30pm. It is now on at the same time on BBC Two every week day.

2. WHEN IS THE NEXT ELIMINATION?

The second celebrity to leave the competition will be confirmed on Sunday, October 8 at 7.15pm.

The judges will decide who stays and who goes solely based on this week's performances.

The scenes will be filmed straight after the live show on Saturday but will not be aired on TV until the following evening.

4. WHICH CELEBS HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED?

Chizzy Akudolu – eliminated week one

Holby City favourite Chizzy, who joinsedher former co-star Joe McFadden on the show, didnn't last long on Strictly – she was eliminated in week one!

The actress, who played Mo Effanga on the medical drama between 2012 and 2017, revealed that she has entered dancing competitions before but didn't exactly do very well.

"When I was 13, I made the finals of a disco dancing competition once but there was this amazing girl who exploded onto the stage with a sequinned costume, throwing glitter everywhere," she said.

"I knew it was game over for me. That was then, this is now and this is my chance to have even more sequins."

Reverend Richard Coles eliminated week two

Photo credit: BBC/Digitalspy/ST / Rex Shutterstock

Perhaps he might shock us all and wow on the dance floor.

Strictly insiders aren't convinced though and think he may be one of the first to get the boot.

Not that he's too fussed.

Speaking on Chris Evans' Radio 2 Breakfast Show recently, he was bragging about his "remarkable" dancing skills.

4. WHICH CELEB IS FAVOURITE TO WIN STRICTLY COME DANCING 2017?

Aston Merrygold 5/2

Photo credit: Jon Furniss

JLS star Aston is tipped to win Strictly Come Dancing 2017 by bookies Ladbrokes.

Speaking to Radio 1's Scott Mills, who appeared on the BBC One ballroom reality show himself back in 2014, Aston said: "The aim is to win... you get to stay for the whole series and you get a trophy at the end."

"I just want the shortest dancer as I'm not the tallest bloke."

Alexandra Burke 11/4

Photo credit: ITV

X Factor winner Alexandra, who has scored three UK number-one singles since rising to fame on the ITV reality competition in 2008, also stands a good chance of winning Strictly Come Dancing.

However, she has been incredibly modest when opening up about her ability on the dance floor.

She said: "I'm a singer, not a dancer at all. This is such a challenge. It's the one show I've wanted to be a part of for the longest time. It's a massive dream come true."

Debbie McGee 4/1

Photo credit: Rex Shutterstock

Debbie signed up for Strictly as it was the wish of her late husband Paul Daniels.

The magic icon competed back in 2010 with professional Ola Jordan and finished second-to-last place.

But it looks like Debbie is already set to do better than Paul and is tipped as a potential winner.

Gemma Atkinson 8/1

Photo credit: ITV

In fourth place is Emmerdale star Gemma.

But despite Ladbrokes' confidence in her, the actress has admitted Strictly isn't going to be easy.

She told BBC Breakfast: "Learning to dance is so out of my comfort zone – so I just want to challenge myself. I'm beyond excited and incredibly nervous, but looking forward to learning a new skill."

Mollie King 10/1

Photo credit: David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Mollie, who was named the first celebrity to be taking part in this year's Strictly Come Dancing on Monday, August 7, is fifth favourite to win.

Speaking on Nick Grimshaw BBC Radio 1 breakfast show, The Saturdays star insisted she is "ready for the challenge".

"I'm a huge fan of Strictly Come Dancing so I can't actually believe I'm lucky enough to be taking part in it this year," she said. "I'm literally so excited to learn Latin and ballroom dancing, and of course, I can't wait to get into the sequins too! It's going to be a lot of hard work, but I'm ready for the challenge."

Joe McFadden 10/1

Photo credit: BBC

Holby City's Joe McFadden proved all the doubters wrong when he made his ballroom debut on Saturday (September 23).

Originally, Ladbrokes had him down as just seventh favourite to win – now, he's in joint fifth place with Gemma.

"Strictly is one of the biggest, most entertaining shows on TV and being asked to be part of it is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I'm thrilled and terrified about in equal measures," he said of the show.

Jonnie Peacock  10/1

Photo credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire / PA Images

Jonnie will be making history as the first Paralympian to ever grace the ballroom on the BBC One series – and industry insiders have high expectations of him.

But can he win?

"I think this is the first time they've had a disabled person on the show. I'm hoping we can change the stigma," he said.

"I've got no previous dance history outside of the occasional 'worm' at a mate's party, and I know this will be a challenge and new experience. I can't wait to see what I achieve and how far I can push myself."

Davood Ghadami 12/1

Photo credit: BBC

EastEnders star Davood, who plays the Square's resident ladies' man Kush Kazemi, is yet to win over bookies.

Opening up about his decision to compete for the trophy, he said: "Having the opportunity to take part in this year's Strictly is such an honour.

"It's going to be exciting, challenging and terrifying all at once and I am so looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and learning to dance. See you under the Glitterball!"

Charlotte Hawkins 100/1

Photo credit: Getty Images

Charlotte has demonstrated some of her dancing skills on Good Morning Britain – but it looks like that hasn't convinced bookmakers she's capable of winning the show.

She will be following in the footsteps of Richard Arnold and Kate Garraway, by signing up to the series.

However, she is just ninth favourite to win.

Susan Calman 100/1

Photo credit: Getty Images

Susan is also in the running to be sent home in week one.

The star – best known for her work on Radio 4, as well as hosting CBBC show Top Class – has been practising ever since she was invited to be on the show so will be doing everything in her power to stay in the competition for as long as possible.

"Being on Strictly is a dream come true. Finally I can reveal all the moves I've been practising in my kitchen to the nation," she said.

"I am an enthusiastic home dancer and now on Saturday nights I'll be dancing in other people's homes in a (hopefully) entertaining way. I am terrified but excited to start my Strictly journey."

Ruth Langsford 100/1

Photo credit: ITV / YouTube

Poor Ruth!

It looks like the Loose Women and This Morning presenter may be first to get eliminated if these odds are anything to go by.

However, she's not paying any attention to bookies as she throws herself into rehearsals.

"I have dreamt about doing Strictly for so long, I can't quite believe my dream has come true," she said.

"Without doubt it will be the scariest yet most exciting thing I've ever done. It will be a welcome change worrying about my next hot move instead of my next hot flush!"

Brian Conley 100/1

Photo credit: Getty Images

Brian was one of the last celebs to be confirmed the show but is one of the favourites to leave first.

He admitted he signed up for the show quite some time back so has been able to get in plenty of rehearsing – but will that be enough to save him?

"I knew I wanted to do it and they were making advances to me when I came to see Strictly on Halloween," he said. "I couldn't be in the SAS or anything – I'm just useless at keeping secrets – but I have tried and not that many people know, I hope, and that's why it's a surprise today."

Simon Rimmer 100/1

Photo credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage / Getty Images

Simon is set to become the first contestant to get eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing 2017.

By the looks of things, bookies have absolutely no faith in The Sunday Brunch host ahead of his ballroom debut.

However, the presenter has insisted he will be pulling out all the stops to make sure he isn't given the boot in week one.

"Nobody will try harder, have more fun or get more out of it than me. I can't wait," he said.

"I'm so excited, terrified and proud to be invited to be part of Strictly 2017. I've always been a huge fan of the show. But when I put on my sequins and hit the floor, it will genuinely be my very first time dancing ballroom and Latin."

5. WHICH PROFESSIONAL DANCERS HAVE THE CELEBS BEEN PAIRED UP WITH?

Gemma Atkinson is partnered with Aljaz Skorjanec

Debbie McGee is partnered with Giovanni Pernice

Chizzy Akudolu is partnered with Pasha Kovalev

Ruth Langsford is partnered with Anton Du Beke

Aston Merrygold is partnered with Janette Manrara

Reverend Richard Coles is partnered withDianne Buswell

Davood Ghadami is partnered with Nadiya Bychkova

Simon Rimmer is partnered with Karen Clifton

Charlotte Hawkins is partnered with Brendan Cole

Mollie King is partnered withAJ Pritchard

Susan Calman is partnered with Kevin Clifton

Alexandra Burke is partnered with Gorka Marquez

Joe McFadden is partnered with Katya Jones

Jonnie Peacock is partnered with Oti Mabuse

Brian Conley is partnered with Amy Dowden

6. WHO ARE THE STRICTLY COME DANCING 2017 JUDGES?

Head judge Len Goodman retired at the end of last year after 14 series – and we're going to miss the heck out of him.

The good news though is that the Beeb have hired his very good friend Shirley Ballas, also known as the 'Queen of Latin', to replace him. Apparently, she's so good, Len's delighted the job has gone to her.

Shirley will be joining Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood on the judging panel.

7. WILL LEN BE MAKING AN APPEARANCE ON STRICTLY COME DANCING 2017?

Yes! During an appearance on The One Show, the retired judge confirmed he will be returning.

Unfortunately though, he won't be making a comeback to the judging panel.

He didn't reveal exactly what he's planning but Len said he would be on the show towards the end of the series.

8. WILL BRUCE FORSYTH GET A TRIBUTE?

Photo credit: Getty Images

Strictly Come Dancing has confirmed that it will pay tribute to former host Sir Bruce Forsyth, who sadly passed away at the age of 89 on August 18.

Brucie will be honoured during Strictly's launch show in September, with producer Louise Rainbow confirming the news and revealing that the professional dancers will group together for a "heartfelt" dance in his honour.

"The thoughts of everyone here at Strictly are still very much with Sir Bruce's family," Louise said in a statement.

Related: Bruce Forsyth obituary: Remembering an iconic entertainer and TV star

"Of course, we will be paying tribute to Sir Bruce at our launch show and this will include a heartfelt performance from our Strictly professional dancers.

"We all want to celebrate him and all that he loved about the show. Sir Bruce was, and will always be, a huge part of Strictly Come Dancing."

"We'll pay tribute to Sir Bruce, in the best possible way. Through his love for dancing," the Strictly team added in a tweet.

Strictly Come Dancing is onBBC One, Saturdays at 6.45pm and Sundays at 7.15pm.

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