The Strictly Come Dancing 2021 judges have been confirmed—and fans are thrilled by the panel's new permanent addition

The Strictly Come Dancing judges for 2021 have officially been announced

Strictly Come Dancing judges
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The BBC has confirmed the line-up of Strictly Come Dancing judges set to return to the panel with their scoring paddles later this year. 

Fans of the smash hit dance contest were thrilled to hear that a particular Strictly favorite will be taking on a permanent spot as a judge after impressing as a stand-in last year. 

Who are the 2021 Strictly Come Dancing judges?

Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood will be returning to their famous roles as ballroom experts, while long-time Strictly icon Anton Du Beke will be filling in for Bruno Tonioli for the entirety of the series, while he continues his projects across the pond.

Last year, Anton filled in for Motsi while she was absent from the show for two weeks and now he's set to make a return as a full-time judge, having proved his dancing prowess on the Strictly floor since 2004.

News of the panel shake-up was confirmed on social media today, sparking serious excitement from Strictly fans who are delighted to hear of Anton's move up the Strictly ranks. 

One wrote, "Excellent! Love that Anton is finally in his rightful place as judge!"

"So pleased for Anton although hopefully he can sneak in a cheeky foxtrot along the way," another added. 

"Yeees, and especially yeees to @TheAntonDuBeke. Strictly is the glitter autumn and winter needs," a third penned. 

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Although it'll be a while until the celeb contestants are announced, a member of the royal family has been tipped to compete for the iconic glitter ball trophy. 

Opening up on the exciting prospects of a full Strictly season on the judging panel, Anton said, "My loves I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be stepping into Bruno’s brogues for the next series of Strictly. 

"It’s a dream come true to be judging alongside the best of the best and I promise to be kinder to all the couples than any of them have ever been to me."

Strictly Come Dancing Anton Du Beke

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bruno, who has stepped away from his spot as a UK Strictly judge due to his commitments on the USA's Dancing with the Stars and the ongoing uncertainty regarding pandemic travel, shared his joy for his ballroom colleague. 

"I have to tell you, Anton IS Mr Strictly and if anybody is filling in for me, it has to be him. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so excited to see him waggle his paddle," he said. 

When is Strictly Come Dancing 2021 starting?

The official start date for Strictly Come Dancing 2021 hasn't been confirmed yet but the show usually kicks off in September every year. 

Strictly had a shortened run in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, beginning at the end of October and ending in mid December, with social distancing being maintained throughout.

It's hoped that pandemic restrictions will have been lifted by the time the 2021 series of Strictly starts, allowing the beloved show to go ahead as it has in previous years. 

Caitlin Elliott
Caitlin Elliott

Caitlin is Junior News Editor for woman&home, covering all things royal, celeb, fashion, beauty and lifestyle. 

Having set her sights on becoming a magazine journalist when she was a child, Caitlin took on work experience stints at local papers and titles such as Cosmopolitan, Now, Reveal and Take a Break while studying for her Multimedia Journalism degree and has interviews with celebs, reality stars and the Archbishop of Canterbury under her belt (of course, she couldn't resist asking him about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry). 

After leaving uni, she dabbled in fashion PR as a Press Assistant for Arcadia's Topshop before becoming a part of the Now team at Future for her first real job in the world of online journalism, joining the ranks as a Digital Writer in 2019. 

Caitlin went on to add the likes of Woman, GoodtoKnow, WhatToWatch and woman&home to her writing repertoire before moving on to her current role. 

When she's not working you'll find Caitlin sipping bubbles at brunch with her besties, thinking about her next iced coffee, trying to close the rings on her Apple Watch, scrubbing up on her royal family knowledge or scrolling through the Zara app, trying to resist tapping 'check out' again.