Strictly Come Dancing 2017 launch show: Celebrity pairings revealed

The 2017 series of Strictly Come Dancing has finally started, the launch show revealing which celebrity has been matched with which professional dancer. 

First up is Gemma Atkinson, the CasualtyEmmerdale and Hollyoaks star being paired with Slovenian Alijaz Skorjanec.

Then, Debbie McGee — who’s late husband Paul Daniels previously appeared on the show — was put with Giovanni Pernice. 

Rounding off the first selection of partners, Holby City’s Chizzy Akudolu was placed with Pasha Kovalev, while Ruth Langsford and Anton Du Beke were paired together. 

Update this page for the latest on the Strictly Come Dancing 2017 launch show. 

Before the show started, The Sun revlead the celebrity pairings, the BBC angered by the publication breaking the embargo.

Meanwhile, Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood returned as judges, while Len Goodman’s replacement — Shirley Ballas — was introduced. 

Presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman also paid tribute to former host Bruce Forsyth, the professional dancers performing a special routine.

Ballas said of the performance beforehand: “People had better have a box of Kleenex at the ready.

“The professional dancers do the most beautiful tribute to Sir Bruce – it’s endearing, heart-warming and heart-wrenching. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.”

Catch up with the latest on the show here.

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