Strictly Come Dancing 2018: Lineup, start date, judges, dancers and all the details
17 August 2018, 11:20
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!"
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.
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
Stacey Dooley's next investigation: who will be her #Strictly dance partner? All we know is that @StaceyDooley's joining our glittering 2018 line-up! https://t.co/h01xuApH44 pic.twitter.com/jDJVacuhna— BBC Strictly (@bbcstrictly) August 16, 2018
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
When I grow up I wanna be famous, I wanna be a star, I wanna be on #Strictly - what Ashley Roberts was (probably) singing before joining our 2018 line-up, right @ImAshleyRoberts? https://t.co/wWTO1H0ytY pic.twitter.com/ZHvS5TVWB7— BBC Strictly (@bbcstrictly) August 17, 2018
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."
Here are the other rumours so far:
Former England Women's football star Alex is one of the sporty names being rumoured this year.
The World Cup pundit previously took part in Strictly Come Dancing for Sport Relief.
The actress has recently left Coronation Street, and now rumours have sprung up about a potential appearance in Strictly. Speaking to OK! magazine recently, she said: "I've started going to auditions and I've been put up for some really exciting jobs. I'd love to do a gritty drama, but I want to try as many genres as possible. I don't watch much reality TV but the one show I do watch is Strictly Come Dancing. I adore it. That's the only one I would possibly do."
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."
Yes, The Beast off The Chase has been rumoured to be taking part.
Last year, during an episode of The Chase, host Bradley Walsh asked him if he'd appear on the show. “I’d love to,” he replied. “Have they got anyone tall enough for me to dance with?”
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.”
The former Gogglebox star and I'm a Celebrity winner convinced fans she would take part, tweeting: "I've watched that many [episodes], I've choreographed a Charleston in my head." Could she be taking part?
This would be quite a coup, but rumours have emerged that Olympic diving ace Tom Daley may be interested in signing up.
Tom has been a huge fan of the show over the years, and in 2012 was seen in the audience cheering on fellow GB teammate Louis Smith.
Which professional dancers are returning?
The BBC shared this image on Twitter on July 30, confirming the professional judging lineup:
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."