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Strictly Come Dancing Series 7

August 25, 2009

Autumn is finally on it’s way, and my world is flooded with glitter, sequins and fake tan. So, not much change there then! The news here is, of course, the announcement today of the new Strictly lineup.

Ali Bastian – actress and star of police drama The Bill, who will be dancing with Brian Fortuna

Lynda Bellingham – actress and TV presenter, who will be dancing with Darren Bennett

Natalie Cassidy – actress and former EastEnders star, who will be dancing with Vincent Simone

Martina Hingis – former professional tennis player and women’s world No. 1, who will be dancing with Matthew Cutler

Jade Johnson – long jumper and Olympic athlete, who will be dancing with Ian Waite

Zoe Lucker – actress and former star of Footballers’ Wives, who will be dancing with James Jordan

Laila Rouass – actress and former star of Footballers’ Wives, who will be dancing with Anton Du Beke

Jo Wood – model and businesswoman, who will be dancing with Brendan Cole

Joe Calzaghe – Britain’s only undefeated boxing world champion, who will be dancing with Kristina Rihanoff

Richard Dunwoody – horse-racing legend who will be dancing with Lilia Kopylova

Ricky Groves – actor and EastEnders star, who will be dancing with Erin Boag

Chris Hollins – BBC Breakfast TV’s sports presenter, who will be dancing with Ola Jordan

Craig Kelly – actor and Coronation Street star, who will be dancing with Flavia Cacace

Phil Tufnell – former cricketer and TV presenter, who will be dancing with Katya Virshilas

Ricky Whittle – actor and Hollyoaks star, who will be dancing with Natalie Lowe

Rav Wilding – TV presenter, who will be dancing with Aliona Vilani
Despite the majority of these names being leaked by various papers over the last few weekends, I am very happy with this lineup. For one thing, there’s no obvious John Sargeant candidate this time around, I suspect there will be three or four who do not pick the dancing up easily, which will help split the ‘funny loser’ vote. I fully expect Phil Tufnell to live up to his reputation of being lazy, but he’ll probably slide for few weeks on the cheeky chappy routine.

Joe Calzaghe and Martina Hingis are fantastic names for the BBC to have signed, even though Joe was first linked to the show months ago, Martina was a surprise today, probably because no-one expected her, and she would not be on the radar of papers such as the News of The World. She has Matthew Cutler as her pro partner, which is canny casting by the show, as it should deflect any criticisms of comments she made when younger, whilst Matthew is a fantastic calming presence, which will likely help control any temper issues she may still have.

There is a new format for this year too. For the first two weeks, there is a show on the Friday night, as well as Saturday. The first week, half the stars will dance on Friday, then again on Saturday, so they perform both a Latin and a Ballroom. One couple is then voted off, and the other half of the cast repeat the process the following week. From week 3 all dance together on a Saturday only, voting will be during the show with the result announced at the end. In the event of a tie in the judges voting, the judges will have to rank the couples in order of preference to avoid issues which occured last series.

The series kick off on Friday 18th September, and I for one can’t wait!! There are video interviews with each celeb, plus pictures of the couples on the updated Strictly website, and if you are anywhere near as addicted as I am, you can follow the backstage gossip (or so we are promised) with the Strictly twitter feed.

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