Strictly Come Dancing 2018: Lineup, start date, judges, dancers and all the details
12 April 2018, 17:37
A new series of Strictly Come Dancing may seem like a lifetime away, but before you know it you'll be watching the next batch of stars battle it out for the glitter ball trophy.
It's only spring, and we've already started hear some juicy rumours about who might be taking part.
Here's all the details you need to know about the SIXTEENTH series of the dancing competition...
Strictly Come Dancing 2018 start date: When does it return?
Strictly usually launches in early September.
Last year's series started on Saturday, September 9 - with the first live show airing two weeks later on Saturday, September 23.
We're predicting the new series to launch on Saturday, September 8, with the first live show airing on Saturday, September 22.
Strictly Come Dancing 2018 lineup: Who is taking part?
Here are the rumours so far:
Head judge Shirley Ballas has said that she would love to sign up the former Girls Aloud star. She said: "I think Cheryl Cole would be amazing." Could Shirley get her wish?
Reports have claimed that Wayne Rooney's wife was supposed to take part last year, but had to pull out at the last minute when she got pregnant with her fourth child. The Mirror claims she is already in talks to try again this year. "This would be one of Strictly's biggest signings ever and it would be a ratings sensation," a source said.
Soon after Piers Morgan challenged Dan to compete against him on Strictly (see below), Anton du Beke appeared on Good Morning Britain and said that Dan's tango is "coming along nicely". Could he already be rehearsing?
Former England and Liverpool goalkeeper David is said to be a popular choice with producers. “It’s been a while since we had a celebrity from the world of football and, as 2018 is a World Cup year, a footballer makes perfect sense," an insider told The Sun. "David would be a fantastic signing for us, and he is interested."
The TOWIE star has apparently been lined up for a stint on the show, following his former castmate Mark Wright's appearance a few years back. A source told Daily Star Sunday that "Joey Essex has always been and will always be TV gold," adding: "The mums and the kids love him, and he'd be perfect for a family show like Strictly."
Boyband Union J member Josh is apparently a frontrunner according to The Sun. An insider said: “Josh has caught the eyes of producers and they’re seeing if he could take part. He could easily be a fan favourite. He’s young, in good shape and can dance. He’d be a strong signing.”
The comedian and Family Fortunes favourite said on Sunday Brunch that he would love to appear this year. He said: "When I was doing Coronation Street I was approached but we weren't allowed to do it, we had a policy. I wouldn't mind doing it, I always like a challenge."
TV presenter and rapper Stormzy's girlfriend Mama is another rising star who Strictly bosses are keen to hire, if The Sun is anything to go by. An insider said: "Maya would be a great contestant on the show – she looks incredible, loves music and is already a big fan of the series."
After seeing husband Mark Wright's success on the show in 2014, former Corrie star Michelle is apparently wanting a go. "Everyone knows that having Michelle Keegan out on the Strictly dance floor would be ratings gold," a source told the Daily Star Sunday. "Everyone behind the scenes thinks she would set the dance floor alight. It's now a matter of convincing her to sign up."
After making an appearance as a guest on one of the live shows last year, the Bake Off winner is thought to have fallen in love with the show, and now would like to take part herself. An insider told The Sun that Strictly bosses "have openly said how much they would like to get Nadiya on the show".
The often controversial Good Morning Britain host started this rumour himself, after challenging Dan Walker to compete against him. Lord Alan Sugar has even offered to donate £25,000 to charity if Piers appears, and a further £25,000 if he gets past week five. Piers said on GMB that he will be signing up when the series returns, and even performed a routine live on air with Anton du Beke.
Fresh from her Oscars win, former Hollyoaks star Rachel is believed to be one of the top picks by Strictly bosses, with The Sun claiming that "she ticks all the boxes" for the show.
Reality TV star and TV presenter Rylan has said that he's a big fan of the show, and bosses are now thought to be hoping to sign him up. “Rylan is charismatic and popular, and the bosses are sure he would be a huge hit on the show," a source told The Sun. “He is definitely one of their targets for 2018.”
Which professional dancers are returning?
It has yet to be confirmed as to which pros are coming back this year, but we do know at least one who definitely won't be returning – Brendan Cole.
The veteran dancer appeared on ITV's Lorraine in early 2018, revealing that his contract had not been renewed.
"It's quite, actually, hard to talk about," Brendan said. "The BBC haven't renewed my contract. We get contracted year upon year.
"They've made an editorial decision to not have me back on the show. I'm a little bit in shock. I'm quite emotional, a bit raw about it.
"It's done via a process of a phone call and stuff. I have had 15 incredible series on the show. I'm very proud of the whole show. It's a great team."
Which judges will be returning?
Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood are all expected to return this year.
Head judge Shirley Ballas has also confirmed her return, despite previously hinting that she may not return earlier this year.
She told The Sun at the start of last year's series: "Let's wait and get this season over with first. It's been an experience. And at 57! It's been wonderful."