Strictly Come Dancing launch show has arrived!

Friday: Strictly Come Dancing - (BBC1, 7pm)

After being postponed from Saturday, September 17, the Strictly Come Dancing launch show is now here.

Naturally, the celebrities and professional dancers won’t mind that they had to wait a little longer for it to air, given the circumstances. In fact, Jayde Adams has practice when it comes to being patient about appearing on Strictly.

The comedian, who is one of this year’s contestants, says her whole career has been leading up to it.

James Bye; Kym Marsh, Hamza Yassin; Tyler West; Tony Adams; Kaye Adams; Jayde Adams; Helen Skelton; Fleur East; Richie Anderson; Molly Rainford; Matt Goss; Ellie Simmonds; Will Mellor and Ellie Taylor

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Jayde, whose credits include the sitcom Alma’s Not Normal, says: “Since I watched the first series in 2004, I feel like every step I’ve taken in my career over the last 11 years was to be on Strictly. I cannot begin to express the emotions I am feeling, this means so much to me and my family.”

She adds: “I’ve always watched it, apart from a brief hiatus in 2011 as I was relentlessly gigging every weekend (to try and get on Strictly). I’ve been a massive fan of the show for years.

“I feel like I’m watching myself in a dream and I can’t believe I’ve manifested this.”

She’s not the only long-term fan who’s excited to be appearing on the show rather than watching it at home.

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Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman

Paralympian Ellie Simmonds says: “Oh my gosh!! I’m literally bursting with excitement!!… I’ve been watching Strictly from as far back as I can remember; it’s a traditional lead up to Christmas with my family and it’s a genuine privilege to be part of it.”

Radio and TV presenter Richie Anderson adds: “This is a dream come true! I cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins and shimmy across the most famous dance floor in the world! Strictly is the ultimate feel-good show, as soon as I hear that iconic theme tune it’s just pure escapism.

“I’m going to have to cancel my legendary Strictly launch-night kitchen party that I throw every year, I’m sure my friends and family will understand.”

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Hopefully, they’ll not only be understanding, they’ll be tuning into watch him as he joins Jayde, Ellie, Will Mellor, Kym Marsh, Kaye Adams, Ellie Simmonds, Tyler West, Matt Goss, Ellie Taylor, Molly Rainford, Fleur East, Hamza Yassin, James Bye, Helen Skelton and Tony Adams (yes, there are three unrelated Adamses taking part this year) in the studio tonight.

The competition starts in earnest on Saturday, September 24, but here, Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly reveal which professional dancers the celebs have been paired with.

The presenter will also welcome back judges Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse, who get their first chance to assess the class of 2022’s form as they take to the floor.

We’ll also meet the new professionals, and the celebs will be shown what they are aiming for as Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice, who lifted the glitterball trophy last year after what was arguably the most emotional final in the show’s history, return to perform one of their memorable routines.

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If that leaves some of this year’s Strictly stars feeling more nervous than excited, at least John Legend is on hand for a musical performance which should soothe their nerves.