Hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly sent a message of support to professional dancer Amy Dowden who is absent this year as she undergoes treatment for cancer.
And the presenters and judges paid tribute to former Strictly head judge Len Goodman, who died aged 78 in April this year.
Strictly judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and Shirley Ballas demonstrated their own dancing skills in a sizzling performance.
And the the celebrities' professional dance partners were revealed.
Sherlock star Amanda Abbington found out she will be dancing with Giovanni Pernice, while Love Island star Zara McDermott got Graziano Di Prima.
Paralympic swimmer Jody Cundy has been partnered with last year's winner Jowita Przystal and news reader Krishnan Guru-Murthy has been matched up with new pro dancer Lauren Oakley, her first time in the competition.
Sex Education actor Layton Williams will be in a same-sex dance partnership with Nikita Kuzmin and EastEnders actor Bobby Brazier will be dancing with Dianne Buswell.
Veteran news reader Angela Rippon's dance partner is Kai Widdrington, actor Nigel Harman was paired with Katya Jones and Corrie star Ellie Leach has been partnered with Vito Coppola.
Tennis player Annabel Croft has been given Johannes Radebe as her pro partner, Waterloo Road actor Adam Thomas was matched with Luba Mushtuk and comedian Eddie Kadi will take to the floor with Karen Hauer.
Read more: Every Strictly winner so far
Gameshow host Les Dennis has been paired with Nancy Xu, radio presenter Nikita Kanda was given Gorka Marquez and The One Show's Angela Scanlon has Carlos Gu as her pro partner..
Our live coverage has ended, but you can catch up with the biggest moments from our updates below.
We'll have to wait until next week to find out what the judges really think.
Strictly is back next week with the celebs dancing for the first time. Until then, keep dancing!
Claudia says they are all brilliant
We wonder what Craig is thinking?
The celebrities are showing what they've got in their first group dance
Angela Rippon was a bit awkward but Amanda Abbington is bringing out the high kicks already
What do the judges think?
Craig Revel Horwood says he is the happiest he'll ever be because they haven't danced yet.
Angela Scanlon wanted a dance partner like her grandmother
She admits that Carlos may not be the nurturing partner she hoped for. But he already has his eyes on the Glitterball.
Gorka and Nikita Kanda will be dancing the Waltz.
She wanted to do a Latin dance.
Angela Scanlon has been paired with Carlos.
He said: "I know what I want and I got what I want." Will they go all the way to the final?
Nikita Kanda has been paired with...
Gorka Marquez. She told him she has confidence but she is not sexy on the dancefloor.