Strictly pairings revealed as new series kicks off


This year’s new crop of celebrity hopefuls have been paired up with their professional partners for Strictly Come Dancing.

Among the pairings this year is former Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite, who has been partnered with Johannes Radebe, making them the first all-male partnership on the BBC One series.

The pairings were announced in the first show in the series this evening.

Here is a rundown of who has been paired up with who:

1. Oti Mabuse and Ugo Monye

Oti Mabuse will be hoping for a triple win alongside rugby player Ugo Monye. South African-born Mabuse has won the series for two consecutive years alongside soap star Kelvin Fletcher, followed with a win a year later alongside comedian Bill Bailey.

2. John Whaite and Johannes Radebe

Bake Off star Whaite had set his hopes on being paired with South African dancer Radebe for the show’s first all-male pairing.

He previously said: “I hope it’s Johannes because I think it’d be really important for him to have the first all-male couple – I think it’d have a very powerful message for him as well.

“That’s not to say that in the future it has to be two gay men.

“It could be two straight men doing an all-male, but I think for the first one it would be particularly important for it to be Johannes.”

3. Adam Peaty and Katya Jones

Katya Jones will be aiming for gold with another Olympic partner, swimming champion Adam Peaty. Russian dancer Jones was paired last year with Olympic gold medallist boxer Nicola Adams in the show’s first female same-sex couple. She previously won the show in 2017 with actor Joe McFadden.

4. Matilda “Tilly” Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin

One of the new dancers to the show and formerly a Let’s Dance Germany professional, Nikita Kuzmin, will take to the dancefloor with TV presenter and influencer Matilda “Tilly” Ramsay.

She is the 19-year-old daughter of chef Gordon Ramsay who warned her “don’t date those dancers” via a video message when she was unveiled on ITV’s This Morning.

5. Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden

McFly’s lead singer, Tom Fletcher, will be taking to the stage with Welsh professional dancer Amy Dowden. Fletcher is following in the footsteps of his bandmate Harry Judd, who previously won the dancing show in 2011 with professional Aliona Vilani.

6. Greg Wise and Karen Hauer

Karen Hauer, who has been a professional dancer on Strictly since 2012, will be joining actor Greg Wise. The Venezuelan dancer reached the final of the show last year with her Made In Chelsea partner Jamie Laing.

7. Judi Love and Graziano Di Prima

Italian dancer Graziano Di Prima and comedian and television presenter Judi Love will be taking to the dancefloor together. In his first year in 2018, Di Prima was paired with radio DJ Vick Hope but was not partnered up with a celebrity for the 2019 or 2020 series.

8. Katie McGlynn and Gorka Marquez

Gorka Marquez has been paired up with Katie McGlynn, best known for her role as Sinead Tinker in Coronation Street. This is the second year in a row that the Spanish dancer has been partnered with a soap star after making to the final last year with EastEnders actress Maisie Smith.

9. Nina Wadia and Neil Jones

After a break from being partnered up with a celebrity, professional dancer Neil Jones is back on the dancefloor and is paired with actress Nina Wadia, best known for playing Zainab Masood in EastEnders. Jones joined the show in 2016 but was not coupled up with a celebrity until 2019 when he took to the stage with ex-footballer Alex Scott.

10. Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu

CBBC host Rhys Stephenson will be the first celebrity professional dancer Nancy Xu has been paired up with on the show. Xu joined the programme in 2019 and has since made a splash in the group dances.

11. Robert Webb and Dianne Buswell

Australian professional dancer Dianne Buswell returns to the ballroom, this year paired with comedian Robert Webb. Buswell, known for her bright red hair, is back on the dancing show for her fifth season. She was a runner-up on the show in 2018 with her partner YouTuber Joe Sugg.

12. Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice

Italian professional dancer Giovanni Pernice will take to the dancefloor with EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis, who will be the first deaf contestant to appear on the programme. Ayling-Ellis has played Frankie Lewis in the soap since last year. Pernice has been a runner-up on the show three times.

13. Sara Davies and Aljaz Skorjanec

Aljaz Skorjanec will be helping Dragon’s Den star and entrepreneur Sara Davies to swap business for the ballroom. The Slovenian dancer joined the dancing show for the 11th series in 2013 and won in his first year with model Abbey Clancy, but has not reclaimed the crown since.

14. AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington

Kai Widdrington, from the Irish version of Dancing With The Stars, is another one of the new professionals to join the show this year. Widdrington will make his debut alongside TV presenter AJ Odudu.

15. Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova

Professional dancer Nadiya Bychkova is reunited with a celebrity partner this year with BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker. Ukrainian-born Bychkova has been on the show since 2017 and was paired up every year up until last season where she featured only in the group dances.


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