When does Strictly Come Dancing 2021 start?

Dance competition is back this month

Isobel Lewis
Saturday 18 September 2021 12:59
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Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse dance to The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Strictly Come Dancing returns to our screens this autumn, with a new group of celebrities taking on the challenge of learning to ballroom dance.

After having to run as a limited series last year amid lockdown, the show will return at full capacity this year, with more contestants taking part and the return of all the show’s themed weeks.

Last month, the celebrities taking part in the show’s 19th series were announced, including Strictly’s first all-male partnership.

When does Strictly begin?

Strictly 2021 will kick off on Saturday 18 September at 7.45pm with a pre-recorded launch show, during which the celebrity competitors will learn which professional dancers they are performing with.

The live shows then kick off the following Saturday 25 September, during which the couples will dance together for the first time.

The information was revealed by BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker, who is competing on the series.

“I meet and greet the partner in a couple of days time, and actually the first show is on the 18th and then the live shows start on the 25th,” he told co-host Louise Minchin.

It was confirmed on the official Strictly Twitter account on Friday (3 September), with a countdown video announcing that the show would be back in 15 days.

How long will the series run for?

Strictly will return with a full-length series in 2021, having aired for a shorter run of episodes last year due to the pandemic.

Fifteen celebrities are taking part, meaning that the series will likely air for 13 weeks as it traditionally has.

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The final will most likely take place on 18 December, the last Saturday before Christmas.

Who’s on the judging panel?

Regular judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and head judge Shirley Ballas will be scoring the dancers once again.

However, there’s a new addition to the panel in the form of former Strictly pro dancer Anton du Beke.

Du Beke, who has appeared on Strictly since its first series, stepped in last series to replace Bruno Tonioli after quarantine rules prevented him from travelling between the US – where he judges Dancing with the Stars – and the UK every week.

With Tonioli facing the same problem once again, du Beke will serve as a permanent judge on this series of Strictly.

Strictly Come Dancing begins on Saturday 18 September at 7.45pm on BBC One

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