Strictly host Tess Daly stuns in velvet wrap dress

Strictly Come Dancing: Tess Daly, 50, stuns in velvet wrap dress as she joins co-host Claudia Winkleman for lavish launch show

Strictly Come Dancing host Tess Daly stunned fans with her glamorous look as she hosted the lavish launch show with co-host Claudia Winkleman. 

The presenter, 50, looked sensational in a blue velvet wrap dress as she took to the stage for the 17th series. 

It comes as Tess once again joined forces with Claudia for the first episode of the new series, to see this year’s celebrities discover which professional dancer they will be paired with.

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Incredible: Strictly Come Dancing host Tess Daly stunned fans with her glamorous look as she hosted the lavish launch show with co-host Claudia Winkleman

Tess put on a leggy display in her blue dress which boasted an asymmetrical hem, long sleeves and plunging front.

The host teamed her look with sparkling silver heels, and styled her long blonde tresses into loose waves.

Meanwhile Claudia oozed sartorial chic in a sparkling red trouser suit as she took to the stage with partner Tess for the dazzling opening shot.

Flawless: The presenter, 50, looked sensational in a blue velvet wrap dress as she took to the stage for the 17th series with Claudia, who oozes sartorial chic in a red sequinned trouser usit

Earlier in the evening, Tess took to Instagram to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the launch.

In one snap, she posed in her amazing blue velvet dress, while backstage ahead of the film for the launch, which took place last week.

She captioned the post: ‘LAUNCH SHOW READY. Backstage getting ready for the recording of @bbcstrictly.’

Later Tess also took to Instagram Stories to share another snap from the makeup room as she eagerly awaited the start of the new series.

Exciting: Earlier in the evening, Tess took to Instagram to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the launch 

Wow! The presenter looked sensational in her blue dress as she shared several snaps from backstage of the launch on Instagram

Viewers learned which professional dancer will be partnered with each celebrity in Saturday’s launch, as they embark on three weeks of training before their first official dance live on Saturday 21st September. 

The new series also sees the debut of judge Motsi Mabuse, who will take over from Darcey Bussell who quit the show earlier this year.

Last year’s winner Stacey Dooley also made a spectacular return to the show with partner Kevin Clifton, as they take to the floor once again for a special performance.

Pals: It comes as Tess once again joins Claudia Winkleman for the new series of Strictly which sees 15 celebrities discover their professional partners


Doing the funny fandango: Chris is known for his career in comedy

Name: Chris Ramsey

Age: 32

Famous for? Comedian and TV presenter

About Chris: With two series of The Chris Ramsey Show under his belt, he is also a regular face on other entertainment shows such as Celebrity Juice, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Live at the Comedy Store. He has also appeared on TV hosting Stand Up Central, and I’m a Celebrity: Extra Camp. In addition to his television work, Chris has also completed sell-out tours across the UK. Chris finished touring the UK last year with his 106 date stand-up tour Chris Ramsay Live 2018: The Just Happy To Get Out of the House Tour.

Chris says: ‘I’m both excited and absolutely terrified to be doing the show. You will not find me on the dance floor at parties, you will find me at the buffet table. All night. At my wedding I danced with my wife; that one song took about 6 months practice, and I definitely stood on her feet a couple of times. So I’m looking forward to the possibility of making a fool of myself in front of millions of people… there better be a buffet after the live shows!’

Waltzing from Walford: Emma plays Honey Mitchell on EastEnders

Name: Emma Barton

Age: 42

Famous for? Playing Honey Mitchell in EastEnders from 2005 to 2008, then returning to the roll from 2014 to present.

About Emma: As well as many on screen roles, Emma is also an accomplished stage actress with theatre credits including: Roxie Hart in Chicago; Dolly in the National Theatre’s production of One Man Two Guvnors; Vera in Doctor in the House; Lily in Annie; Marty in Grease; Eileen in Over the Moon. She recently ran the London Marathon as one of Dame Barbara Windsor’s ‘Revolutionaries’, in aid of Dementia Revolution.

Emma says: ‘As possibly one of the biggest Strictly fans on the planet, I still can’t believe this is happening. I’m very much a dance around your handbag kinda girl, but now I’ve been given this wonderful opportunity to learn all the different styles of dancing from the very best in the business. So, I’m whipping off Honey’s Minute Mart tabard & diving right in to all the glitter & sparkle. From Albert Square to the Strictly dance floor – I just can’t wait!’

From the Rovers Return to the rumba: Former Corrie star Catherine Tyldesley 

Name: Catherine Tyldesley

Age: 35

Famous for? Starring as Eva Price on Coronation Street from 2011-2018.

About Catherine: Hailing from from Walkden, Greater Manchester, the stage and screen star’s acting credits include Holby City, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Sorted, Shameless and Trollied. She is best known for playing barmaid Eva Price on Corrie from 2011 until she left the role last summer to pursue different roles and spend more time with her young family. Catherine lives in Manchester with her personal trainer husband Tom Pitford and their son Alfie, four. Alongside acting, Catherine is a talented singer, releasing an album in 2016. 

Catherine says: ‘I’m thrilled to be a part of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. I’m a huge fan of the show. It’ll be my biggest challenge to date as I’m not much of a dancer, but I’ve always wanted to learn the skill and the time feels right! I’m nervous as hell but super excited to work with such talented professionals. Hold onto your jazz shoes… mine is sure to be a bumpy/clumsy/fun ride!’ 

Breakfast to ballroom: BBC sports and morning presenter Mike Bushell

Name: Mike Bushell

Age: 53

Famous for? Presenting the sports coverage on BBC Breakfast.

About Mike: The sports presenter has been working for the BBC for nearly 30 years, after first starting out as a trainee reporter on BBC Radio Solent. He moved to BBC Breakfast after working for the 24-hour News channel. He also made headlines after a hilarious gaffe saw him tumble into a swimming pool during a live segment for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Mike also holds the world record for crossing one mile of water in a large inflatable ball in 1 hour 57 seconds. He married second wife Emily in May 2019, and has three daughters from his first marriage.

Mike says: ‘I am so excited to be joining this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. I’ve heard so many wonderful things from colleagues over the years so thrilled I’m now getting the chance. I know I will completely throw myself into the whole experience and I’m sure will love it from start to finish. I may have tried and profiled over 500 sports over the years in my Saturday morning BBC Breakfast slot but think the Strictly challenge could be the greatest. Bring on the glitter!’ 

From CBBC to cha cha cha: CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual  

Name: Karim Zeroual 

Age: 25 

Famous for? Presenting CBBC and starring in The Sparticle Mystery.  

About Karim: Karim is best known for his presenting duties on CBBC after joining the children’s television brand in 2014, he has also hosted BBC Young Dancer and Wimbledon Live. The talented 25-year-old is also currently filming a CBBC documentary, A Week to Beat the World. Karim rose to fame as a child in the West End, he has previously performed in the likes of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Far Pavillions and The Lion King. The presenter is also known for his acting credits after starring in EastEnders and as Sadiq in The Sparticle Mystery for three series from 2011 to 2015.

Karim says: ‘To be offered the chance to take part in Strictly is dumbfounding, I’m pinching myself! I’m so excited to be Strictlified. I want THE LOT. The skimpiest of clothes, the widest of flares, the brightest of colours and the tallest Cuban heel a guy can find! The more flamboyant the better… sequins galore please!’ 

From Longleat to the Lindy Hop: Viscountess Weymouth Emma Thynn

Name: Viscountess Weymouth Emma Thynn

Age: 33 

Famous for? Businesswoman, chef, model and philanthropist.

About Emma: Raised in South Kensington where she was head girl at Queen’s Gate School. She later attended University College London where she studied History of Art. Following her marriage in 2013 to Ceawlin Thynn, Viscount Weymouth, Emma became the chatelaine of the Longleat Estate in Wiltshire. In 2015 Emma launched ‘Emma’s Kitchen’ at Longleat, a space for her to share her love of food and cooking using the backdrop of the original kitchens within Longleat House. In addition, Emma is a contributing editor for British Vogue.

Emma says: ‘I absolutely love watching Strictly every weekend and I can’t believe that I’m getting the chance to be on this series. I know it will be such an amazing experience from start to finish. I can’t wait for the dancing and the fabulous outfits!’

Not dragging her heels: Michelle Visage is a RuPaul’s Drag Race judge and former Celebrity Big Brother contestant 

Name: Michelle Visage

Age: 50 

Famous for? RuPaul’s Drag Race judge and Celebrity Big Brother contestant

About Michelle: Michelle is a member of the band Seduction and appears as a judge on American reality competition RuPaul’s Drag Race, which she has featured on since season three. She has also featured on all seasons of the spin-off show RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. Michelle will appear on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, which is set to air on BBC Three this October. Michelle was also on the fifteenth series of Celebrity Big Brother finishing in fifth place. Most recently, she has appeared as a judge on the first two seasons of Ireland’s Got Talent. This year, Michelle made her West End debut as Miss Hedge in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

Michelle says:‘I’m very excited! I’m over the moon to be on the show! I’ve loved it for years! I can’t wait to be dramatic. I’m a woman who is 50-years-old and people of an age say I cant do it anymore but we can!’   

Going for gold! Table tennis star Will Bayley will be competing in Strictly 2019 

Name: Will Bayley

Age: 31 

Famous for? Paralympic gold medal-winning table tennis player

About Will: In January 2017 Will was awarded an MBE for services for Table Tennis and is currently training to defend his Paralympic title at the Tokyo 2020 games. He recently won Gold at the Japan Open 2019. Will has suffered from arthrogryposis since birth, a rare condition which affects all four of his limbs. Will is classified as a Class 7 Paralympic athlete and was one of the stars of London 2012 and Rio 2016 games, winning consecutive silver and gold medals.

Will says: ‘I’m so proud to be on the show, it’s my family’s favourite show. I have no dance experience at all, but I hope I can do well. I want to inspire people with a disability – that would mean a lot to me. I want to prove to people I can do this.’  

DJ to Dance floor: Dev presents the Radio 1 Weekend Breakfast Show

Name: Dev Griffin

Age: 34 

Famous for? Radio 1 DJ

About Dev: Dev presents the Radio 1 Weekend Breakfast Show having formerly fronted the Early Morning Show between September 2009- March 2014. He began his career as an actor, appearing in the likes of Emmerdale, The Bill and EastEnders. Dev was a contestant on Celebrity MasterChef in 2017.

Dev says: ‘I just can’t believe I’m doing Strictly, it just doesn’t feel real yet! It’s going to be so much fun, but just to be clear, I’m not doing this to take part, I’m totally in it to win it! I can’t wait to meet my partner and start practicing.’

Hot-footed: Alex represented Great Britain in football at the 2012 London Olympics

Name: Alex Scott

Age: 34 

Famous for? Footballer 

About Alex: Alex was a footballer who mostly played as a right-back for Arsenal in the FA WSL. She made 140 appearances for the English national team and also represented Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics. Alex captained Arsenal – the team she signed for at the age of eight – and helped the club to a domestic double of the FA Women’s Cup and the FA Women’s Premier League, and remained a key figure when they won the quadruple in the 2006/07 season. Since her retirement last year, she has started a successful TV career on BBC and Sky Sports, and last August she became the first female Sky pundit on a Sky Sports’ Super Sunday, and made waves as a fresh addition to the BBC World Cup Commentary line up. 

Alex Says: ‘I am absolutely buzzing to be signed up to Strictly. It’s the show I’ve always wanted to do and I can’t believe I’m finally going to be part of it. I’m super excited, but also terrified at the same time…! The football pitch is a bit less glam than the ballroom, but I’m ready to try the sequins and dresses! Bring it on!’

11th in line: Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing has joined the Strictly 2019 line-up 

Name: Jamie Laing

Age: 30 

Famous for? Long-running star of Made In Chelsea.

About Jamie: Jamie hosts the podcast Private Parts alongside actor-comedian Francis Boulle. Jamie has also appeared on Celebrity Hunted, The Great British Bakeoff and Famous and Fighting Crime. Jamie has appeared in the award-winning television series Made In Chelsea since 2011. As well as his media presence, Jamie is also a successful businessman, having founded the sweets brand Candy Kittens in 2012.

Jamie says: ‘I am beyond thrilled to be asked to be on Strictly, the only person potentially more thrilled is my mother. I have finally become the son she hoped for! I think I’ve got a little bit of rhythm but I went to Leeds University and I studied theatre and performance for the first year and I had to do contemporary dance. I spoke to a lot of people who had done it in the past and people said it’s the scariest thing they’ve ever done. But you have to challenge yourself. I’ve turned down other reality shows. I just want to make my mum proud.’ 

Challenge accepted! Anneka Rice will be back on Saturday night TV this autumn

Name: Anneka Rice

Age: 60 

Famous for? TV shows Challenge Anneka and Treasure Hunt.

About Anneka: In 1982 Anneka became the jump-suited ‘skyrunner’ om Channel 4’s Treasure Hunt – leading to a BAFTA nomination and being bestowed with the Rear Of The Year award. Her next project, Challenge Anneka, was initially aired on BBC One and lasted from 1989-1995. It returned, on ITV, from 2006-2007. Prior to this, she adapted it in 2001 for US TV.  It was branded Challenge America and hosted by Erin Brockovich. Anneka acted as a producer.

Anneka says: ‘I haven’t danced since I was 7 and Miss Beer sent me home from my ballet class because I was hopelessly uncoordinated. My family and friends haven’t seen me dance since, not at a wedding or round a handbag so it’s going to be a challenge for my partner. In fact I’ve asked for two, one on each side. I can’t see myself in a long frilly dress either. But I’m feeling recklessly excited. Strictly has always been my Autumn’s entertainment and now I’m part of it! My children will probably leave the country.’ 

From football to foxtrot: David is a goalkeeper, artist and pundit

Name: David James MBE

Age: 48

Famous for? Former England No.1 goalkeeper.

About David: Starting his career at Watford, David went on to play for a number of clubs including Liverpool, where he lifted the League Cup in 1994-95, and Portsmouth, whom he helped to FA Cup success in 2007-08. He amassed 53 caps for his country over an international career spanning 13 years and was first choice at both Euro 2004 and the 2010 World Cup. David, who has worked as a football analyst for the BBC & BT Sport, was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to football and charity, and hung up his boots in 2013 after finishing his career at Icelandic club IBV. Aside from football James has also modelled for Giorgio Armani and H&M as well as being an avid artist, and was the illustrator on the book Harry’s Magic Pockets: The Circus.

David says: ‘I’m really excited to be on Strictly this year. Not just competing against this year’s stars, but being compared to previous sport stars from previous Strictly seasons. I have some big shoes to fill, #LetsGetLive.’

From the Tube to the twist: Saffron Barker is a YouTube star 

Name: Saffron Barker

Age: 19

Famous for? Boasts over two million YouTube subscribers 

About Saffron: Famous for her blend of make up, shopping and challenge videos on YouTube, the teen has made an estimated $1million since she started to make videos in 2015. The released her book My Perfectly Filtered Life in 2018. Before kick starting her solo YouTube career in 2015, Saffron was a part of a girl band called ‘Born2Blush’ with friends Libby Whitehouse, Jazmine Tiley and Georgia McNarmara. The teenager only turned 19 a week before her Strictly announcement and lives at home with her mum, dad and three brothers.

Saffron says: ‘Everyone keeps thinking I’m going to be really good. Sorry to disappoint everyone but I don’t think I’m going to be. I’d rate myself maybe a four, that’s not great!’


Cracking on: Olympic rower James was banned from taking part in Strictly last year

Name: James Cracknell

Age: 47 

Famous for? Olympic champion oarsman 

About James: Olympic rower James was banned from taking part in Strictly Come Dancing last year by his wife because she was wary of the glamorous professional dancers – and the ‘Strictly Curse’ that has triggered a string of very public break-ups among the celebs. Now, just a month after being granted a divorce, the double Olympic champion oarsman has signed up as a contestant on this year’s series of the hit BBC show. His decision to take part in Britain’s biggest entertainment show comes just months after his split from Beverley Turner, his wife of 17 years who nursed him back to health after a near fatal brain injury. Beverley, 45, had previously refused to let him take part in the show because she ‘didn’t want him having some Russian f***y in his face every week’.

James says: ‘I’m really looking forward to being a part of Strictly this year. Having spent so many years mucking around in a rowing boat with big men in tight lycra, it’s time I learned a new skill. I need to apologise to my kids in advance for the embarrassment.’ 

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