By Amy Hunt published
The 2016 series of Strictly Come Dancing, which crowned Ore Oduba as its winner, now seems like somewhat of a distant memory, as the UK prepares for the next installment of the popular BBC show.
The excitement building for Strictly Come Dancing 2017, and anticipation for the show, which is expected to air in September, has reached fever-pitch.
We already know that Len Goodman won't be back for the 15th series of the show. So who will be taking part in the next series?
Well, the 15 celebrities for the 2017 show have now all been confirmed. So take a look for yourself at who we'll be seeing strutting their stuff on the dance floor this autumn!
Former Saturday's singer Mollie King was the first celebrity confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing2017, and the last addition to the cast is former The X Factor star Alexandra Burke.
But despite the excitement, the 2017 line-up has been hit with a wave of controversy lately, as it's been rumoured that producers are worried about not having scored big names for this year's series due to the infamous 'Strictly curse'.
Reportedly, big names have declined the chance to sign up for the show as a result of Louise and Jamie Redknapp's rumoured split, fearing that their own relationships will follow the same fate.A source toldThe Sun, "The curse is real and it contributed to the breakdown of one of the strongest couples in showbiz.No one wants to end up in the same boat.
And it's left some viewers disappointed by the current sign-ups, with a few even having referred to the line-up as a "snooze-fest".See for yourself what you think of the celebs confirmed for this year's show...
The Strictly Come Dancing 2017 line-up...
This is one Strictly rumour that did come true! Former magician's assistant Debbie had been rumoured to be taking part in the show for weeks, but the news was only confirmed on a recent episode of The One Show.
And the announcement is particularly poignant for Debbie herself, as it means she'll be following in the footsteps of her late husband, Paul Daniels, who took part in the show in 2010.Live on The One Show, Debbie described her appointment to the show as "really nerve-wracking", but "totally exciting."
She continued, explaining to hosts Matt Baker and Alex Jones, "There are no words to describe how I feel about performing on Strictly Come Dancing. The excitement is overwhelming. I can't stop smiling. It's been the hardest secret I have ever had to keep!"
Speaking previously about the show's connection to her late husband, she has said, "I love the programme and Paul did it in 2010. I loved going along supporting him and I've watched since it started. It's such a glamorous and lovely programme."
Former winner of The X Factor Alexandra Burke is set to take to the Strictly stage this autumn, and try out her dancing skills after years of singing.
Since coming first place on the talent show back in 2008, Alexandra has taken to the West End stage, starring in productions of The Bodyguard and Sister Act. In fact, the singer had her first brush with Strictly in the latter theatre show, as it was run by famously fierce judge Craig Revel Horwood.
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After confessing that she's sure he'll be just as strict on Strictly as he was at the show, she went on to say, "I am so excited to be joining this year's Strictly cast!I love this show and have followed it from the beginning, so being able to be a part of it is just a dream come true for me - I still can't believe it!
"I am very nervous as I am a singer not a dancer, but I am going to give this my absolute everything and try my best to make everyone proud."
24-year-old Paralymian Jonnie was confirmed to be joining the line-up live on The One Show on Strictly's 'Mega-Monday', which saw the final five contestants confirmed for this year's show.
The sprint runner rose to fame after winning gold at the 2012 Paralympics, and later represented Great Britain at the 2016 Summer Paralympics.
He makes history as the first contestant to take part in the show with a disability. Jonnie, who lost the bottom half of his right leg at the age of five, said, "This is the first time they have got a disabled person on the main show. Hopefully, we can change some of the stigma. If I don't dance so well, I can't blame it on the leg."
Holby City star Chizzy Akudolu was announced as the 12th famous face to join the Strictly line-up.
The fan-favourite from the popular, long-running soap starred on Holby for a long time, before taking a short break. She recently returned to the hospital drama earlier this year, to reprise her role as character Mo Effanga.
Speaking about her appointment on the show, she confessed "When I was 13, I made the finals of a disco dancing competition once but there was this amazing girl who exploded onto the stage with a gorgeous sequinned costume, throwing glitter everywhere...I knew it was game over for me.
"That was then, this is now, and this is my chance to have even more sequins!"
The Good Morning Britain presenter was the 11th contestant to be confirmed for this year's line-up - and we're pretty excited about this addition!
The news was revealed live on GMB by Charlotte herself. Looking excited, she confessed, "The breaking news is we can announce the 11th contestant to join Strictly is ... me!"
The presenter also apologised to her loved ones for keeping the exciting news from them. She admitted, "Nobody knows, I've kept it a secret from literally everybody. I'm really sorry to my friends and my family. Surprise!"
Comedian and presenter Brian Conley was the 10th celebrity confirmed for Strictly this year.
The legendary funny-man has been a regular on shows like the Royal Variety, presented shows such as Let Me Entertain You, and made the character Doug 'Dynamo' Digby famous in The Grimleys.
As news of Brian's participation was announced live on Radio 2, the sad news of former Strictly legend Sir Bruce Forsyth's death broke. Brian fittingly paid tribute to the TV star on his Twitter.
The ninth celebrity preparing to strut their stuff on the Strictly ballroom was announced to be comedian, actress and writer, Susan Calman!
You'll probably know Susan from appearances on shows including QI, Have I Got News For You and Mock the Week. But the comedian is also a regular on BBC Radio 4, and has recorded a sitcom, Sisters.
Following the announcement, Susan released a statement. She said, "Being on Strictly is a dream come true. Finally I can reveal all the moves I've been practising in my kitchen to the nation. I am an enthusiastic home dancer and now on Saturday nights I'll be dancing in other people's homes in a (hopefully) entertaining way. I am terrified but excited to start my Strictly journey."
And the comedian also tweeted a hilarious response to the news that she'd be on the show. She said, " I haven't worn heels or a dress since I was 17. Haven't danced with a man in over a decade. Strictly, I'm ready. #WhoLeads?#CalmanCanCanCan"
The pop star, formerly of JLS fame, Aston Merrygold was announced as the 8th confirmed contestant for Strictly Come Dancing 2017.
The singer undeniably has a bit of a competitive edge over his fellow contestants, as he was well known in the group for his impressive moves and unbeatable back-flips.
But when the news of his participation in this year's Strictly was announced live on Radio 1 by host Scott Mills, Aston defended the fact that his past might give him an unfair advantage over the rest of the celebrities.
He said, "‘Strictly is ballroom. That isn't anything to do with what I do."
He also revealed that he's more than up for the competition, and isn't willing to settle for anything less than first place. Aston said, "Anyone that tells you they're gonna enter a competition just to take part... we've seen the winners, they last the whole series, they have a great time and they get a trophy at the end."
Fighting talk indeed!
One of the most popular faces on weekend morning TV, Simon Rimmer has now been confirmed as the 7th contestant on this years series!
Known for fronting the immensely popular Sunday Brunch alongside Tim Lovejoy, Simon will be donning his sequins for the 15 series of Strictly, but has admitted he's never danced before in his life.
When the news was announced live on Sunday Brunch, Simon said, "I think I'll be more ballroom than latin", before his co-host Tim joked that if he didn't do well, he'd be kicked off the breakfast show! He said, "If you don't win, you're going to lose your place on the show,"
Fellow TV chef James Martin also congratulated Simon on the news, with a hilarious, mocked-up photo of him in his sequinned best.
You're likely to know him best as Raffaello di Lucca from medical drama Holby City, but the Scottish actor is now the sixth celeb to sign up to this year's Strictly.
He rose to fame as PC Joe Mason in BBC show Heartthrob back in 2007 - 2009, and also took part in another medical drama, Casualty, around the same time.
Reverend Richard Coles
The fifth famous face to join this year's line-up has been confirmed, and it's none other than Reverend Richard Coles!
He's a Church of England priest based in Northamptonshire, and is currently the Vicar of Finedon there. But Rev. Richard also moonights with a career in the media, as he's a regular host of BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live and a journalist. The top it off, he was also in '80s bandThe Communardswith Jimmy Sommerville, who had three Top Ten hits!
The Reverend has joked that a health problem could keep him from reaching the top spot in the competition though. As his appointment was announced, he quipped, "Cometh the hour, cometh the overweight Vicar with arthritis in his knee!"
Emmerdale actress Gemma Atkinson join this year's series as the fourth celebrity contestant, and the news was announced over on the Strictly Twitter account.
The soap star might be a contender for the coveted Glitterball too, as she's recently announced the news that she's swapping the Yorkshire Dales for Bollywood, for a brand new all-singing, all-dancing film.
Chatting about her turn on the BBC show, Gemma has released an official statement. She's said, "I am honoured to be asked and so thrilled to be joining Strictly Come Dancing 2017!
"I'm beyond excited and incredibly nervous but I am looking forward to learning a new skill in ballroom and latin dancing and taking on this new challenge."
The This Morning veteran presenter is the third addition to the line-up, and we could NOT be more excited!
The announcement was made live on the daytime show with Eamonn by her side, as she appeared behind a door to reveal which of the This Morning family would be appearing on the next series.
Ruth, who has always been vocal about her desire to do the show, said, "I'm very relieved because I've had to keep this a secret for so long. Now it's out there - no going back now!
And she also confessed how much it's a dream come true for her, saying "I'm very excited. I've said every year Oh I'd love to do it'".
Joining Mollie in this year's series is the second contestant confirmed on the Strictly Twitter, Eastenders actor Davood Ghadami!
He plays the loveable and ever-charming Kush on the show, who is currently in a relationship with long-standing member of Walford, Denise.
Davood's fellow Eastenders co-star Tameka Empson was on the show last year, so hopefully he can get a few tips moving forward. Although we're not sure yet how he'll fare as a dancer, he's clearly going to be providing some of that all-important Strictly eye-candy...
Mollie King, formerly in the girl band The Saturdays, was the first celebrity confirmed to take part in this year's show. She's now a solo artist, since the group went on a break back in 2014. And she's not the first of the group to try on her dancing shoes for the show - fellow bandmate Frankie Bridge took part in it two years ago.
(Frankie on Strictly in 2014)
In a statement about the news, Mollie said, "I'm a huge fan of Strictly Come Dancing so I can't actually believe I'm lucky enough to be taking part in it this year!"
Speaking to BBC Radio 1 host Nick Grimshaw when the announcement is made, she said, "I can finally talk about it, thank goodness! I told my mum and dad, because you have to, don't you?
"‘I told Frankie (Bridge) and when I called her she was driving and she was so excited she had to pull in! The other girls don't know... well they do now!"
She also revealed when everything gets started, explaining, "I start rehearsals in a couple of weeks and then it's on TV in September."
Although the singer did admit that she's more than a little apprehensive about what the show has to bring..."I do want to win but really I just don't want to be out in the first week. That would just be so embarrassing.
"I'm so, so nervous. The thing I'm most nervous about is picking up the routines as it's completely different to what I've done with The Saturdays."
But she's clearly willing to embrace every inch of the Strictly glitz and glamour, saying "I'm really looking forward to getting in the outfits, learning the dances, getting a cheeky spray tan. I am going to be lapping those babies up!"
So there you have it - the full 15 celebrities taking part in Strictly Come Dancing 2017!
From soap stars to famed daytime TV presenters - which celebrity is your money on for the coveted Glitterball trophy?
Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist, currently working as Life Channel Editor at womanandhome.com. She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on other women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly, Goodto.com, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on womanandhome.com.
She is obsessive about everything homes and interiors—whether she's sniffing out the very best deal on a KitchenAid stand mixer or keeping up the latest Dyson release. And when she isn't editing or writing articles on interior trends or the latest home gadgets, she's passionate about books—you'll usually find her with her nose in a gripping thriller at the end of the working day.
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