Strictly Come Dancing Premiere | the celebrities meet their pro dance partner
You know it’s going to be alright when Strictly returns to distract you from the fading summer (well, what we had of it !).
The Strictly Come Dancing 2012 Premiere debuted tonight on BBC One, launching the tenth series. Hosted once again by Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly the professional dancers opened the show with a choreographed dance around BBC Television Centre, including special appearances from Sir Bruce Forsyth, Tess Daly, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood.
In another first for the show, new judge Darcey Bussell also took to the dance floor to perform a spectacular American Smooth inspired routine with professional dancer Ian Waite.
Alongside a special performance by pop star Mica – also joined by the Strictly pros – Sir Bruce and Tess revealed the celebrity and professional pairings, capturing the initial reactions they had to the news.
The pairings are as follows:
Colin Salmon and Kristina Rihanoff
Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone
Denise Van Outen and James Jordan
Fern Britton and Artem Chigvintsev
Jerry Hall and Anton Du Beke
Johnny Ball and Aliona Vilani
Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev
Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor
Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace
Michael Vaughan and Natalie Lowe
Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer
Richard Arnold and Erin Boag
Sid Owen and Ola Jordan
Victoria Pendleton and Brendan Cole
The premiere culminated in a group dance by the celebrities and the professional dancers to the Queen hit Don’t Stop Me Now.
Now they have met their partners the hard work begins, as they embark on their first few weeks of training in preparation for the first live show of the series on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th October on BBC One.
Bruce asked the judges “what do you think of this year’s line up?” Len said “last year I thought we had a great line up, but this is the first time – I’ll be honest – this is the first time I’ve known every single one of the celebrities. I knew them all. Normally I’m thinking ‘who’s that?’, but no, I know them all. And, you know what’s great? We’ve got hunky dunky blokes and gorgeous girls… It’s a buffet of delight and I can’t wait for the 5th October. Come on!”
Tess asked Bruno, “which of the celebrities have got your blood pumping?” and he replied “are you kidding me? I am literally throbbing! To the point of hyperventilation. I cannot wait to get my eyes on some of these girls. I cannot wait to see Victoria, Denise and Kimberly performing the raunchy rhumba and the saucy salsa. I think they’re like super cars, ready to go for it at the start of it. Engines are ready! And have you seen the bodywork? I mean, I’m telling you. Oh it’s going to be a scorcher.”
Tess asked Craig, tongue firmly in cheek, “we always look to you for a positive, inspirational outlook/take on things. How are you feeling about our all-star cast?” He replied, “well, erm, positive actually. I can be positively vile on occasions but I’m very much looking forward to this lot, you know. In particular Richard…”
Bruce turned to Darcey Bussell and asked, “now Darcey, what are your first impressions of the group as a whole?” Darcey said “well it’s such an amazing variety, very different strengths. I mean, you got Olympians, actors, presenters, singers and I am looking forward to Jerry Hall and those legs getting on that dance floor.”
Bruce asked Len what he thought of Fern, Artem, Dani, Vincent, Victoria and Brendan, and Len said, ” I’ll tell you what, I’m looking forward to this so much. I mean, Fern and Artem, hunky Artem and they are going to be fabulous. I remember when she was on the Christmas special and I’ll tell you what, she can shake it about. I’m telling you, and what about Dani and Vincent? Young, fresh and frisky. A couple of dancing munchkins out there. I’m looking forward to it. And Brendan has got the perfect one – Victoria. ‘Get on your bike son’, she’ll say. I’ve got a feeling they’re going to be like a couple on a tandem, going along smoothly right into that final. Into the sunset. Lovely three, and congratulations to them all, and good luck.”
Tess asked Bruno the same question and he said “I’m telling you, the characters are absolutely brilliant. Imagine : you’ve got Sid and Ola, it could be the Ricky and Bianca of the dance floor. You can get all the stormy relationships, more ups and downs then the plot of EastEnders. I’m looking forward to that! Then you’ve got Nicky and Karen. I want to see the wild side of Westlife! Something we’ve never seen before. It’s about time. And he’s got the right girl, I’m telling you. She looks pretty hot and jolly. Distinguished gentlemen, the hot crumpet. Is she going to be too hot to handle? It’s going to be elegant I’m sure. I can’t wait to see them dance.”
Bruce turned to Craig, “you’re looking pensive. I don’t trust you when you’re pensive. Can you see some potential there with the stars?” He responded, “as a matter of fact, yes I can. I think Kimberly and Pasha are going to be really dynamic and explosive. I think that’s a really great pairing. Jerry and Anton… Jerry, I think she was looking for someone tall, handsome with lots of stamina, and she ended up with Anton. Darling, we haven’t started… Lisa and Robin – good luck. Denise and James – I hope, actually, that Denise can calm James’ mouth down this series.”
Bruce asked Len whether any of the couples stand out for him, and Len replied, “well, I know it’s all about the dancing, but it’s also about chemistry… It’s about the characters, and getting on. And of course, for the first time ever we have a celebrity dancer who’s older than me. Not older than you Bruce. Johnny Ball-room. I’m looking forward to it. So for me – come on All and Ball.”
Tess asked Bruno whether he thought it was the best line up ever and he said, “now I have to say, it really is outstanding. It’s exciting, I think it’s interesting. I mean there really is something for everyone. It is a dream team. Can you imagine Louis and Flavia? The fireworks, the potential is enormous! And let’s not forget Colin and Kristina… The intensity, the drama. The passion. Great actor, fiery lady. I mean, I tell you we are going to see some really interesting scenes.”
Bruce turned to Darcey and said “now then Darcey my darling, it’s your first Strictly line up. What do you think of them as a group?” Darcey said “well I mean now they’ve been matched up, I don’t think there’ll be any personalities that will be clashing. At all. One of those dance couples I can’t wait to see on the floor is Kimberly and Pasha. I think he’ll be giving her a lot of passion on that dance floor. Exciting!”
Tess asked Craig, “are there any of our couples that are shaping up to be a dancing disaster?” He replied, “well darling, that remains to be seen. There’s potential for disaster in every pairing… Jerry and Anton are springing to mind immediately. Richard and Erin… It seems Erin’s quite possessed with all of that darling. Opening with the lobster claw. Erm, when one’s legs wrap around ones chest. I’m just hoping he will cope with all the ball changes.”
All photographs © BBC Pictures. No unauthorised reproduction.