Strictly Come Dancing 2018: Lineup, start date, judges, dancers and all the details

21 August 2018, 10:27

Strictly Come Dancing - Tess and Claudia

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?

The confirmed celebrities for series 16 are:

1. Katie Piper

TV presenter and former model Katie Piper first became known to public in March 2008, when she had sulphuric acid thrown in her face. The attack blinded her in one eye, and was arranged by her ex-boyfriend and carried out by an accomplice.

She has since gone on to have a successful career in TV, hosting shows including Bodyshockers.

Katie said: "I feel so privileged and excited to be part of my favourite show on TV."

"I already know how much of an amazing experience it will be for me and I can't wait to show my girls some of my new dance moves. I'm nervous to put on my dancing shoes but can't wait to learn a new skill and have the Strictly tan and makeover!"

2. Faye Tozer

Faye is a member of 1990s pop legends Steps, and she was announced to be joining the show on The One Show on August 14.

She has also been a successful theatre star, performing in musicals and productions including Aladdin and Me and My Girl.

Faye said of joining the show: “I can’t wait to get in the costumes. The swishy skirts and fabulous fringing encrusted with crystals... It’s a big yes from me!”

3. Danny John-Jules

Actor Danny John-Jules was also announced as a contestant on The One Show on August 14.

Danny is best known for playing The Cat in sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf, and as officer Dwayne in crime drama Death in Paradise.

He was also a dancer at the start of his career, appearing in various stage productions and films including Labyrinth and the music video for Wham!'s 'Edge of Heaven'!

4. Joe Sugg

YouTuber Joe Sugg will also be joining the show. "I don't really know what I'm doing to be honest," the 26-year-old vlogger said.

Joe's YouTube channel, which usually features pranks, dares and impressions, has more than eight million subscribers.

His sister is fellow YouTube star Zoella, and he added that he felt "chuffed" to be involved in the show, even if it was "totally out of his comfort zone".

5. Vick Hope

Capital FM presenter Vick Hope was announced on her own show on August 15.

"It's a bit of a turn-up for the books to be honest," she said.

"I'm a fan of the show and I feel very honoured to be a part of it. I promise you I'm going to work so, so hard - I'm so excited."

6. Graeme Swann

England cricket legend Graeme was announced to be joining on August 15.

The bowler, who helped lead England to win the Ashes three years in a row, joins the likes of fellow cricketers Mark Ramprakash, Darren Gough, Phil Tufnell, and Michael Vaughan.

"I’ve never been taught to dance I don’t know anything, so you work for two weeks… but if I get this wrong it will be the end of the world," he said.

7. Dr Ranj Singh

Dr Ranj Singh was confirmed to be donning his sequinned shirt on ITV's This Morning on August 16.

The NHS clinician is known for his work with helping the wellbeing of youths and young adults, and often appears on the show as one of their resident doctors giving advice to callers. 

Talking about joining the show, he said: "I've been a massive fan for so long, and I can't quite believe this is happening, but I'm going to give it my best shot. Anyone that knows me knows that I love a bit of sparkle... so bring on the glitter! I can’t wait!!”

8. Stacey Dooley

TV presenter and journalist Stacey Dooley was recently awarded an MBE for her documentary-making, and she was the eighth celebrity to be added to the lineup.

She said that she wanted to "soak up the escapism and bathe in the sequins.

"Typically, work for me is very serious and can be quite hardcore so I'm going to soak up the escapism and bathe in the sequins. See you on the dancefloor!"

9. Ashley Roberts

Former Pussycat Dolls singer Ashley Roberts was the ninth celebrity to be announced. She is also known for being a runner-up on I'm a Celebrity and for her work with Ant & Dec on Saturday Night Takeaway.

She said: "When I got the call I was super excited. I miss performing and I'm excited to learn a new style of dance - the worlds of Latin and ballroom are foreign to me."

10. Seann Walsh

Standup comedian Seann Walsh joined the lineup, and he said: "Having seen videos of me dancing on friends’ phones from the night before, it’s safe to say I’m petrified but also so excited.

“I’m really looking forward to the lifts, the Lycra and the laughs, although as Craig would probably say ‘dancing is no laughing matter dahhhhling…’”

11. Kate Silverton

BBC newsreader Kate Silverton will swap the newsroom for the ballroom, and she said: "It’s something of a departure for a news journalist, shifting focus from the headlines to my hemlines and I suspect the only serious element of my life over the coming months will be in training hard and figuring out the foxtrot.

"But I am so looking forward to the fun, laughter and all the challenges ahead.”

12. Lee Ryan

Former Blue singer and EastEnders actor Lee Ryan joined the show on August 20, and follows his bandmate Simon Webbe, who was a runner-up in 2014.

"It is a real honour for me and I can't wait to get out on the dance floor," he said. 

13. Lauren Steadman

Paralympian Lauren Steadman was announced as part of the line-up on The One Show.

The 25-year-old is a double world champion paratriathlete and a silver medallist from the Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games. She was born missing her lower right arm.

She said she probably wouldn't wear a prosthetic on the show because "maybe with a spin it would fly off somewhere".

She added: "I'm more nervous about being on stage, performing live and in front of the judges than I am about the elite paratriathlon grand final next month!"

14. Susannah Constantine

The What Not To Wear star and fashion guru has also joined the series.

She said: "I am sick with nerves and jangling with excitement, and I'm starting from a very low bar. That's fine because I can only improve."

15. Charles Venn

Casualty and EastEnders actor Charles (formerly Chucky) is the final star on the list for this year's show.

He said: "It truly is a pleasure to be a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, to be associated with a show that has such a huge following excites and scares me in equal measure.

"Dancing on Strictly is going to be quite a challenge but life's all about testing yourself so there's lots to look forward to. Let the games begin!"

Which professional dancers are returning?

The BBC shared this image on Twitter on July 30, confirming the professional judging lineup:

Three new professional dancers are joining the show for 2018 series: Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe and Luba Mushtuk.

The 18-strong line-up will also see regular faces AJ Pritchard, Aljaž Škorjanec, Amy Dowden, Anton Du Beke, Dianne Buswell, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Janette Manrara, Karen Clifton, Katya Jones, Kevin Clifton, Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones, Oti Mabuse and Pasha Kovalev will all be in the mix once again.

However, veteran dancer Brendan Cole will not feature. He 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."