Strictly Come Dancing 2021: The celebrities turn up the glamour for their professional photos

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    The nineteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing is set to kick off next weekend. 

    And the celebrities preparing to put their moves to the test looked sensational as they posed for their professional photographs. 

    Beaming wide smiles and donning dazzling outfits, the cast of 2021 looked more than ready to grace that famous Strictly dancefloor. 

    Strictly Come Dancing 2021: The celebrities turned up the glamour for their professional photos ahead of the brand new series

    Strictly Come Dancing 2021: The celebrities turned up the glamour for their professional photos ahead of the brand new series

    Not only did the star-studded line up strike their best poses for the sparkling group snap, they all showcased their glitz and glamour for individual shots taken in front of jazzy backdrop. 

    Among the celebrities who are competing for the chance to raise that iconic glitterball trophy is McFly star Tom Fletcher, who cut a dapper figure in a gleaming white suit. 

    While the likes of AJ Odudu, Katie McGlynn and Tilly Ramsay looked simply stunning ahead of the highly anticipated new series.

    New series: Among the celebrities who are competing for the chance to raise that iconic glitterball trophy is McFly star Tom Fletcher, who cut a dapper figure in a gleaming white suit

    New series: Among the celebrities who are competing for the chance to raise that iconic glitterball trophy is McFly star Tom Fletcher, who cut a dapper figure in a gleaming white suit

    Glam: AJ Odudu (above) and Katie McGlynn looked simply stunning ahead of the highly anticipated new series

    Dressy: The Corrie actress looked ready to take to the dancefloor

    Glam: AJ Odudu (l) and Katie McGlynn (r) looked simply stunning ahead of the highly anticipated new series

    Dancing shoes: Tilly Ramsay said she'can't wait' to get her dancing shoes on

    Dancing shoes: Tilly Ramsay said she ‘can’t wait’ to get her dancing shoes on

    Elegant: EastEnders actress Nina Wadia looked as though she was already practising her dance moves as she stunned in a sparkly number

    Elegant: EastEnders actress Nina Wadia looked as though she was already practising her dance moves as she stunned in a sparkly number

    EastEnders actress Nina Wadia looked as though she was already practising her dance moves as she stunned in a sparkly number.

    Completing the female line up is Rose Ayling-Ellis, Judi Love and Sara Davies, who all stepped into the famous gold ballroom heels for the professional snaps. 

    Meanwhile, the male celebrities did not fail to cut spruce figures, with sports pundit Ugo Monye also sporting his signature specs. 

    Pose: Sara Davies (l) and Judi Love (r) stepped into the famous gold ballroom heels for the professional snaps

    Glitzy: Judi beamed a wide smile for her individual photo

    Pose: Sara Davies (l) and Judi Love (r) stepped into the famous gold ballroom heels for the professional snaps

    Ballgown: Rose Ayling-Ellis looked a vision in her glamorous dress

    Ballgown: Rose Ayling-Ellis looked a vision in her glamorous dress 

    Smart: Meanwhile, the male celebrities did not fail to cut spruce figures, with sports pundit Ugo Monye also sporting his signature specs

    Smart: Meanwhile, the male celebrities did not fail to cut spruce figures, with sports pundit Ugo Monye also sporting his signature specs

    Chef and Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite showed a peek of his pecs as he donned a mesh black shirt. 

    Swimmer Adam Peaty and journalist Dan Walker also looked incredibly smart ahead of the new series. 

    Completing the male line up is Greg Walker, Rhys Stephenson and Robert Webb, with the former two stars embracing bold, statement suit jackets. 

    Handsome: Chef and Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite showed a peek of his pecs as he donned a mesh black shirt

    Handsome: Chef and Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite showed a peek of his pecs as he donned a mesh black shirt

    Dapper: Swimmer Adam Peaty (above) and journalist Dan Walker also looked incredibly smart ahead of the new series

    New experience: Dan is trading presenting for dancing

    Dapper: Swimmer Adam Peaty (l) and journalist Dan Walker (r) also looked incredibly smart ahead of the new series

    Ready for business: Completing the male line up is Greg Walker (above) Rhys Stephenson and Robert Webb

    Ready for business: Completing the male line up is Greg Walker (above) Rhys Stephenson and Robert Webb

    Competing for the glitterball: Rhys (pictured) and Robert embraced bold, statement suit jackets

    Comedian Robert Webb looked as though he was already practising his footwork

    Competing for the glitterball: Rhys (l) and Robert (r) embraced bold, statement suit jackets

    The veteran dance show was famously disrupted in 2020 thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    But it seems things are back to normal in 2021 – apart from one or two factors still deemed too tricky to navigate amid the global health crisis.

    The Blackpool episode ordinarily takes place near the end of the series, but was axed last year with restrictions throwing up logistical difficulties on the production.

    The judges: Anton Du Beke will join Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas full-time for the forthcoming series of the BBC One show

    The judges: Anton Du Beke will join Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas full-time for the forthcoming series of the BBC One show

    But 2021 will include the show’s themed weeks – such as movie week, musicals week and Halloween week.

    Last year, these were scrapped, proving too complicated to manage amid the pandemic. The show’s Christmas special will also be back, with the show set to start in its usual early-autumn time slot, rather than in October, like last year.

    The full 15 celebrities will be taking part again, having cut to 12 last series.

    It comes as Strictly Come Dancing bosses have reportedly put a kissing ban on contestants in a bid to stop Covid causing havoc again for the new series.

    Producers are said to have told this year’s stars ‘one snog and you’re out’ after last series celebs Maisie Smith and HRVY allegedly broke social distancing rules because of a brief romance.  

    BBC are desperate to avoid the chaos coronavirus brought last year, which saw boxer Nicola Adams and her professional dance partner Katya Jones withdraw from the competition following a positive test, and HRVY nearly not taking part. 

    An insider told The Sun: ‘Although the pandemic has eased since last year’s series, the BBC aren’t taking any chances. 

    ‘This kissing ban is likely to be part of a package of measures introduced by producers to make the show as safe as possible.

    ‘They want to minimise the risk of any bombshells, particularly as a studio audience is being brought back into the studio this year.’

    MailOnline contacted BBC for comment at the time.

    STRICTLY COME DANCING 2021: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?

    TOM FLETCHER

    Age: 36

    Profession: McFly musician

    Tom says: ‘I’m so pleased the news is out it’s been so hard keeping it secret. Equal parts excited and terrified.’

    Fun fact: Tom’s McFly bandmate Harry Judd won Strictly Come Dancing in 2011. Tom’s wife Giovanna Fletcher is the reigning champion of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

    ROBERT WEBB

     Age: 48

    Profession: Actor and comedian

    Robert says: ‘It’s very exciting but with a slight undertone of quivering terror.’

    Fun Fact: Robert squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from ’80s film Flashdance, beating the likes of Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness to the title. 

    RHYS STEPHENSON  

    Age: 27

    Profession: CBBC presenter  

    Rhys says: ‘I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation’

    Fun fact: Rhys has been an actor since the age of ten, performing alongside Matt Smith and Hugh Bonneville. 

     KATIE MCGLYNN

     Age: 28

    Profession: Actress

    Katie says: ‘I’m really not a dancer, but I’m so excited to learn a new skill on this crazy journey and cannot wait to slip into some sequins along the way.’

    Fun fact: Katie, who played Sinead Tinker in Corrie, won a NTA for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020. 

    TILLY RAMSAY

    Age: 19

    Profession: CBBC presenter

    Tilly says: ’I’m going to put my heart and soul into this and can’t wait to get my dancing shoes on!’

    Fun fact: Tilly’s father is celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and the pair often star in dancing TikTok videos.

    NINA WADIA  

    Age: 52

    Profession: Actress

    Nina says: ‘I think I should do this before I’m too old and can’t walk anymore. I just want to grab life by the horns and just enjoy it.’

    Fun fact: Nina is a JDRF Ambassador and was awarded an OBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List. 

    ADAM PEATY

    Age: 26

    Profession: Athlete 

    Adam says: ‘I’m really looking forward to doing something totally different and challenging myself away from the pool.’

    Fun fact: Adam becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.

    UGO MONYE 

     

    Age: 38

    Profession: Rugby player and sports pundit

    Ugo says: ‘What a dream come true! Strictly is the biggest entertainment show on TV and I can’t wait to show everyone I’ve got more than just dad dancing moves.

    Fun fact: Beginning his rugby career at Harlequins in 2002, Ugo went on to make 241 appearances for the club where he scored 89 tries, won a Premiership and made his England debut in 2008.

     

    AJ ODUDU

    Age: 33

    Profession: TV presenter

     AJ says: ‘I think it’s going to be really challenging. I can’t wait for the sequins, the wigs, the glitz and the glamour.’

    Fun Fact: AJ has appeared as a panelist on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in the past, too.

    JOHN WHAITE

    Age: 33

    Profession: Great British Bake Off Winner and TV chef

     John says: ‘I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family… I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on earth’

    Fun Fact: John is set tp be part of the first ever all-male partnering – the first in 17 years of the show

    SARA DAVIES 

    Age: 37  

    Profession:  Businesswoman

    Sara says: ‘I’m really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance… Truth be told – I haven’t got a clue! I’ve not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little.’

    Fun fact: Sara was the youngest ever dragon on BBC show Dragons’ Den. 

    DAN WALKER

    Age: 44 

    Profession: Journalist

    Dan says: ‘I’m enjoying the experience when it starts of learning to dance. I’ll be honest I’m not making room on any shelves in my house for the glitterball.’

    Fun fact: Dan recently quit Football Focus after 12 years at the helm and has been covering Tokyo Olympics.

     GREG WISE

    Age: 55

    Profession: Actor

    Greg says: ‘It’s about being out there and exposing yourself as someone who can’t dance, and learning.’

    Fun fact: Greg is married to the actress Emma Thompson who he met while filming Sense and Sensibility.       

    ROSE AYLING-ELLIS

    Age: 30

    Profession: Actress

    Rose says: ‘I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers. I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill.’

     Fun fact: Rose will make history as Strictly’s first deaf contestant. 

     JUDI LOVE

    Age: 41

    Profession: Comedienne 

    Judi says: ‘I’m truly looking forward to pushing myself in something that I could have only dreamed of doing and now it’s actually coming true!’

    Fun fact: Judi began comedy when she performed a set in front of her class for a degree module.

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