Strictly Saturday – The Strictly Come Dancing 2011 Launch Show

Strictly Come Dancing 2011 Launch Show

Strictly Come Dancing
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly – The Strictly Come Dancing Launch Show Photograph : BBC

It’s time to start dancing…. and who better to kick things off than the Strictly Professionals ? Colour co-ordinated with Tess Daly’s canary yellow pant suit, the Strictly girls are in yellow and black, the boys in braces and canes! There’s a nice shot to camera for each of them, and then Sir Bruce and Tess are upon us. Cracking jokes as ever, will Bruce be called Sir Dancelot from now on ?

The celebrities are introduced and we see them negotiate the stairs for the first time. Nancy Dell-Olio doesn’t even look up when her name is called!
Len says this the the Golden group – the best ever, and Bruno hopes for a great show.
Let the match-making begin !
Robbie, Dan and Harry are the first to go under the microscope and introduce themselves to the audience.  Harry did the Children in Need Christmas Special, so has previous form.  Dan has danced with Diversity but says that the thing he’s most scared about is the dancing.  Eek.  Robbie says he’s called the Marmite Man; you either love him or hate him.  But he says he’s going to train really hard and try to change perceptions.
Robbie Savage is first up to be matched.  With….. Ola Jordan.  She’s looking pretty pleased.
Dan Lobb is partnered with …. Katya Virshilas.
Harry Judd seems confident, and he is matched with …. Aliona Vilani.  They both look very happy!
Tess has a chat with the first three couples, asking the slightly inane question “are you all pleased with your partners?”  Lucky for her they all stick to the script.
Strictly new boy Pasha Kovelev receives a smokin’ welcome from the Strictly girls.  Not bad for a first day on a new job!  Dressed in red, the girls showcase all the moves and more.
Anita Dobson, Lulu and Chelsee Healey are next up.  Legend Lulu says she has a few moves, but she’s not a dancer and needs to train haaaaard!  Chelsee says she’s looking forward to a bit of eye candy and having her make up done for her.  Anita has a massive EastEnders fanbase behind her, but can she dance ?  Her husband Brian May went pale when she told him she wanted to accept the Strictly offer!
So, who is Anita paired with ?  Robin Windsor.  Who couldn’t look more pleased.  Robin says this is going to be amazing.  I think he’s spot on.
Chelsee has already mentioned a few times that she’s single, and ready to mingle.  Just in case anyone didnt know.  Her dance partner is … Pasha Kovalev.
Lulu looks nervous but slightly less excitable, and she is partnered with ….. Brendan Cole.  Who promptly lifts her over his shoulder and carries her away, smacking her bottom along the way.
Bruno says that the pairing of Lulu and Brendan will be more explosive than nitroglycerine !
Rehearsal footage follows, showing the celebrities tackling their first group routine.  Lulu is already hot and bothered.  It’s quite a surreal experience for all of them, but they don’t look too bad.  Dan says he feels like he’s on the central reservation of the motorway.  Holly is keen on sweaty men.  Audley comments on the adrenaline among the men.  Jason never stops working.  Fail to prepare, prepare to fail is his motto.
Ladies and Gentlemen…. the wonderful Dolly Parton, who unusually, isn’t accompanied by the Strictly dancers.
Jason Donovan, Rory Bremner, Audley Harrison and Russell Grant are next to meet their dance partners.  Russell wants a Pisces dancer partner.  Will Audley’s feet be as light on the dancefloor as they are in the rink ?  He’s 6ft 6 !  Rory’s impressions won’t win him the Glitterball….  Jason has sold 13 million albums worldwide, but can he dance ?  He says that dancing is foreign to him.
He’s first up.  His partner, chosen especially for him, is Kristina Rihanoff.
Rory is paired with … Erin Boag.
Audley and Russell are left, along with Flavia Cacace and Natalie Lowe.  I think that height is going to give this one away…..  No surprise then, Audley has been paired with Natalie Lowe, leaving Russell and Flavia, who seem to be getting on famously already.
Craig isn’t entirely happy, he says that he’s going to miss the Argentine Tango with Flavia because of her pairing with Russell.
The Strictly Professionals take to the floor, covering it with a red cape to Sweet Child of Mine.
Alex Jones and Edwina Curry are next to be paired up with their professional dance partners.  Eggwina has always been outspoken, so her partner will have his hands full.  Alex Jones is under pressure to do better than Matt Baker – which means winning!
James and Artem are asked to step forward.  Vincent and Anton take a backseat.
Alex will be putting on a show with … James Jordan.
Edwina thinks that she has been paired with … Artem, but there’s news for her!
Holly Valance and Nancy Dell’Olio are the final celebrities to be paired with their dance partners.  Nancy thinks that dancing is glamorous and so it will suit her. 
Holly is paired with … Artem Chigventsev.
Nancy’s dance partner is … Anton du Beke!
Which means that Edwina is partnered with Vincent Simone.
The celebrities take to the floor for the first time…. in the group dance.  During rehearsals for this dance, they didn’t know who they’d be partnered with, and they are dancing to Can you feel it.  Some more than others, I’d say. Russell and Audley have a laugh, the others are just trying to keep up.  Anita looks to be having an absolute ball.  Jason is concentrating hard.  Pasha looks as though he has his hands well and truly full with Chelsee.  Lulu was slighty late at the end.  But they’ve done it.
In three weeks time the dancing couples will be back, dancing live.

All photographs © BBC Pictures.  No aunathorised reproduction.

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Here you can see the photographs from the red carpet entrances by the celebrities which was filmed earlier this week.

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