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Strictly 2020 pairings: Nicola Adams and Katya Jones CONFIRMED as first same-sex couple in the series


The Strictly Come Dancing 2020 pairings were revealed on Saturday night during the highly anticipated pre-recorded launch show for the 18th series.

Celebrities like Nicola Adams, Jamie Laing, and Maisie Smith discovered which professional dancer would put them through their paces in the coming weeks.

The pairings were revealed as Nicola and Katya Jones, Jamie and Karen Hauer, Maisie and Gorka Marquez, Caroline Quentin and Johannes Radebe, Jason Bell and Luba Mushtuk, and Max George and Dianne Buswell.

Announced: Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer have also been announced as a couple

Hooray! The Strictly Come Dancing 2020 pairings were revealed on Saturday night during the highly anticipated pre-recorded launch show for the 18th series (Nicola Adams and Katya Jones, left, and Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer, right).

The Strictly duos were rounded off by Ranvir Singh and Giovanni Pernice, Clara Amfo and Aljaz Skorjanec, Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse, JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden, Hrvy and Janette Manrara as well as Rt Hon Jacqui Smith and Anton du Beke.

It started with the celebrities first discovering their professional partners, although they were instead revealed via video link in a post-COVID switch.

This allows couples to create their own "bubbles" for training and performances, meaning the stars keep their distance from one another while filming.

Celebrities! Max George and Dianne Buswell

Competitive! Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez

Celebrities! Max George and Dianne Buswell (left) and Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez (right)

Dance duo! JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden

Legendary: Rt Hon Jacqui Smith and Anton Du Beke

Dancing duos! JJ Chalmers and Amy Dowden, left, and Rt Hon Jacqui Smith and Anton Du Beke, right

After all of the pairings were announced, the celebrities and their professional partners had to go down to perform with contestant Jamie, who was injured during the group routine at the 2019 kick-off show.

Elsewhere during the show, the pros sat on separate podiums with a sensational opening routine with Judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel-Horwood to ensure the program complied with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 pairings

Nicola Adams, 37, and Katya Jones, 31

Jamie Laing, 31, and Karen Hauer, 38

Caroline Quentin, 60, and Johannes Radebe, 33

Jason Bell, 42, and Luba Mushtuk, 30

Max George, 32, and Dianne Buswell, 31

Ranvir Singh, 43, and Giovanni Pernice, 30

Clara Amfo, 36, and Aljaz Skorjanec, 30

Bill Bailey, 55, and Oti Mabuse, 30

JJ Chalmers, 33, and Amy Dowden, 30

Maisie Smith, 19, and Gorka Marquez, 30

Hrvy, 21, and Janette Manrara, 36

Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, 57, and Anton Du Beke, 54

The fourth judge, Bruno Tonioli, was unable to return to the UK from his home in LA to film because of the Covid 19 crisis and his work obligations for Dancing With The Stars.

He's spent the past 15 years flying between the U.S. and the U.K. for the two shows, but coronavirus travel restrictions have cut his schedule.

During the show, presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman got back together to make sure they were at least two meters apart for the entire episode.

During the 2019 winners, Kelvin Fletcher returned to the dance floor with former professional partner Oti to perform a socially distant routine.

Former boxer Nicola (37) and professional dancer Katya (31) have been confirmed as a couple and will be the first same-sex couple in the series to make history.

Before the pairing, the sports star said, “I am the first woman to win an Olympic boxing medal in 2012, the first woman to win the Commonwealth Games gold medal, the first woman to become a double Olympic champion. I like these little novelties to make history! & # 39;

Nicola was surprised by the professional dancer Katya at the Royal Albert Hall in London where she had her last professional fight. The dancer appeared from behind a giant sparkling disco ball.

Katya was overjoyed when she started screaming and jumping. She said, "It's a dream, honestly," and Nicola added, "I'm super excited to be with Katya, absolutely humming."

The duo then practiced some dance moves and was already "in sync", said Nicola: "I got a little foretaste of what will come next!"

Back in the studio, presenter Claudia said, "Nicola, you like premieres, this is a strict premiere, you wanted a woman and you wanted someone who was competitive, I'll give you Katya."

About what choreography fans can expect, Katya said, “I think the nice thing about this partnership is … it has never been done at Strictly before. Basically we can do what we want, there are no really set rules! & # 39;

Write history! Former boxer Nicola (37) and professional dancer Katya (31) have been confirmed as a couple and will be the first same-sex couple in the series to make history

Write history! Former boxer Nicola (37) and professional dancer Katya (31) have been confirmed as a couple and will be the first same-sex couple in the series to make history

Legend: Before the mating, the sports star said: “I am the first woman to win an Olympic boxing medal in 2012, the first woman to win the Commonwealth Games gold medal, the first woman to become a double Olympic champion. I like these little novelties to make history! & # 39;

Amazing: The duo posed for a picture after the pairing was announced

Legend: Before the mating, the sports star said: “I am the first woman to win an Olympic boxing medal in 2012, the first woman to win the Commonwealth Games gold medal, the first woman to become a double Olympic champion. I like these little novelties to make history! & # 39;

Special Meaning: Nicola was surprised by the professional dancer Katya at the Royal Albert Hall in London, where she had her last professional fight. The dancer appeared from behind a giant sparkling disco ball

Special Meaning: Nicola was surprised by the professional dancer Katya at the Royal Albert Hall in London, where she had her last professional fight. The dancer appeared from behind a giant sparkling disco ball

A dream! Katya was overjoyed when she started screaming and jumping. She said, "It's a dream, honestly!"

Exciting! Nicola added: "I'm really excited to be with Katya.

A dream! Katya was overjoyed when she started screaming and jumping. She said, "It's a dream, honestly," and Nicola added, "I'm super excited to be with Katya, absolutely humming."

Synchronous: The duo then practiced some dance moves and was already & # 39; in sync & # 39 ;. Nicola said: & # 39; I got a little taste of what's coming next! & # 39;

Synchronous: The duo then practiced some dance moves and was already & # 39; in sync & # 39 ;. Nicola said: & # 39; I got a little taste of what's coming next! & # 39;

Judge Craig loved the pairing and said, “I'm really looking forward to seeing Nicola and Katya when a pro girl has the opportunity to actually lead the dance, which is really super exciting for Katya.

“Obviously she's had to drag a lot of people across the floor, darling, and pretend she doesn't lead! I think it's going to be a sensational partnership, I really am. & # 39;

It has been reported for weeks that the duo would team up after they were seen leaving filming with colleague Karen Hauer after losing to Katya.

Nicola recently joked about the "Strictly Curse" insisting that there is nothing to "compete" with what she has with her friend Ella Baig, 22.

So much fun: the first celebrity to meet their partner was Caroline, 60, who had gone to Shakespeare's Globe Theater in South Bank, London, where she was surprised on stage by Pro John, 33, who brought a bouquet of flowers in the hand held

Such fun: the first celebrity to meet their partner was Caroline, 60, who had gone to Shakespeare's Globe Theater in South Bank, London, where she was surprised on stage by Pro John, 33, who brought a bouquet of flowers in the hand held

Delighted: When the men met for the first time, the star raved: “Oh, I'm so glad it's you, you are the one I want! Hurray, we are together! & # 39;

It's fire! And the duo wasted no time when Johannes quickly turned Caroline around Shakespeare's globe, to which he declared, "It's fire, it's hot!"

Delighted: When the men met for the first time, the star raved: “Oh, I'm so glad it's you, you are the one I want! Hurray, we are together! & # 39;

He makes me happy! In the studio, Caroline said, "I love him, he makes me happy" and he added, "Darling, I'm going to turn her up, down, side by side, she don't know what's coming!"

He makes me happy! In the studio, Caroline said, "I love him, he makes me happy" and he added, "Darling, I'm going to turn her up, down, side by side, she don't know what's coming!"

Surprise! Caroline was surprised by John at Shakespeare & # 39; s Globe Theater in South Bank, London

Sweet: He was holding a bouquet of flowers and hugging her very much

Surprise! Caroline was surprised by John at Shakespeare & # 39; s Globe Theater in South Bank, London, where there was a bouquet of flowers

The first celebrity to meet her partner was Caroline, 60, who went to Shakespeare's Globe Theater in South Bank, London, where she was surprised on stage by Pro John, 33, holding a bouquet of flowers.

When they first met, the star raved about the misbehaving men, “Oh, I'm so glad it's you, you are the one I want! Hurray, we are together! & # 39;

And the duo wasted no time when Johannes quickly turned Caroline around Shakespeare's globe, to which he declared, "It's fire, it's hot!"

Pairing: Next up was Clara, 36, who was surprised by her pro partner Aljaz, 30, during her radio duties at the BBC studios

Pairing: Next up was Clara, 36, who was surprised by her pro partner Aljaz, 30, during her radio duties at the BBC studios

Energy! She said, "I'm so pleased with its energy, I connected with it immediately."

Sweet: While Aljaz added, & # 39; She seems such a lovely, cool girl. I can't wait to get started! & # 39;

Energy! She said, "I'm so pleased with its energy, I connected with it immediately."

Big fan! Clara spoke on the show after their pairing aired: "Aljaz was definitely in my top three, number one, it's all about you!"

Big fan! Clara spoke on the show after their pairing aired: "Aljaz was definitely in my top three, number one, it's all about you!"

Surprise! Clara was surprised by her pro partner Aljaz during her radio duties in the BBC studios

Surprise! Clara was surprised by her pro partner Aljaz during her radio duties in the BBC studios

In the studio, Caroline said, "I love him, he makes me happy" and he added, "Darling, I'm going to turn her up, down, side by side, she don't know what's coming!"

Next up was Clara, 36, who was surprised by her pro partner Aljaz, 30, during her radio duties at the BBC studios.

She said, "I'm so pleased with its energy, I connected with it immediately."

While Aljaz added, “She seems such a beautiful, cool girl. I can't wait to get started! & # 39;

Clara spoke on the show after their pairing aired: "Aljaz was definitely in my top three, number one, it's all about you!"

GMB! Next, GMB star Ranvir (43) met her professional partner, who was surprised by Giovanni (30) while walking her dog

GMB! Next, GMB star Ranvir (43) met her professional partner, who was surprised by Giovanni (30) while walking her dog

Nervous: The host admitted she was "nervous" prior to hand and announced that she had a dream about Giovanni before they mated

Premonition? She joked that it was a premonition

Nervous: The presenter admitted she was "nervous" prior to hand and announced that she had a dream about Giovanni before they mated. She joked that it was a premonition

Dreams! She quipped, "I actually had a dream about you, so dreams do come true!" to which Giovanni replied: "I am so happy!"

Dreams! She quipped, "I actually had a dream about you, so dreams do come true!" to which Giovanni replied: "I am so happy!"

Nice: Back in the studio, Giovanni (pictured after the star's surprise) revealed that her first dance next Saturday would be a pasodoble for Beyonce, while Ranvir affectionately shared that her son Tushaan, eight, is "super proud" and told her that it was she had to agree to attend

Nice: Back in the studio, Giovanni (pictured after the star's surprise) revealed that her first dance next Saturday would be a pasodoble for Beyonce, while Ranvir affectionately shared that her son Tushaan, eight, is "super proud" and told her that she had to agree to attend

Next, GMB star Ranvir (43) met her professional partner, who was surprised by Giovanni (30) on a walk with her dog.

The host admitted she was previously "nervous" and announced that she had a dream about Giovanni before they were paired. She joked that this was a premonition.

She quipped, "I actually had a dream about you, so dreams do come true!" to which Giovanni replied: "I am so happy!"

Back in the studio, Giovanni announced that her first dance next Saturday would be a pasodoble for Beyonce, while Ranvir affectionately shared that her eight-year-old son Tushaan was "super proud" and told her to agree to attend.

Surprise! Next came singer Hrvy (21), whose real name was Harvey Leigh Cantwell, who was surprised by Janette (36) at Wembley Arena

& # 39; Fiery Mess! & # 39 ;: The star was overjoyed to be with Janette and called their partnership a & # 39; fiery mess & # 39 ;. He said, & # 39; We have the same excitement, we're going to ricochet off really well.

Surprise! Next came singer Hrvy (21), whose real name was Harvey Leigh Cantwell, who was surprised by Janette (36) at Wembley Arena

Covid-19 drama! Back at the studio, Hrvy, who tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month, was asked how he was feeling since recovering and testing negative

Covid-19 drama! Back at the studio, Hrvy, who tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month, was asked how he was feeling since recovering and testing negative

Recovered: He said, "I can't believe I made it this far. I tested positive, isolated with my family. I'm here."

Recovered: He said, "I can't believe I made it this far. I tested positive, isolated with my family. I'm here."

Sad: Elsewhere, Janette announced that she will have to live apart from her husband and colleague Aljaz for the entire duration of the competition as they have to bubble up with her celebrity partner (pictured after surprising the singer).

Sad: Elsewhere, Janette announced that she will have to live apart from her husband and colleague Aljaz for the entire duration of the competition as they have to bubble up with her celebrity partner (pictured after surprising the singer).

Next came singer Hrvy (21) whose real name was Harvey Leigh Cantwell, who was surprised by Janette (36) at Wembley Arena.

The star was overjoyed to be with Janette and called their partnership a "fiery mess". He said, "We've got the same excitement, we're going to ricochet off really well."

Back at the studio, Hrvy, who tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month, was asked how he was feeling since recovering and testing negative.

He said, "I can't believe I made it this far. I tested positive, isolated with my family. I'm here."

Big fan! Next up was retired American football player Jason, 42, who admitted to being a "huge Strictly fan" and was welcomed by professional dancer Luba, "30" at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, "home of the NFL" ) surprised who wore a complete set of equipment

Big fan! Next up was retired American football player Jason, 42, who admitted to being a "huge Strictly fan" and was welcomed by professional dancer Luba, "30" at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, "home of the NFL" ) surprised who wore a complete set of equipment

Happy: He shouted & # 39; Yes & # 39; and said, & # 39; When Luba was running around the corner on the full set, I almost tackled her because I got a look back, but then I realized that wouldn't be right. I am your student, let's do this! & # 39;

He added: “Sometimes you win the lottery, I won the lottery today with Luba. I can't stop smiling I'm ready to start this party! & # 39;

Happy: He shouted & # 39; Yes & # 39; and said, & # 39; When Luba was running around the corner on the full set, I almost tackled her because I got a look back, but then I realized that wouldn't be right. I am your student, let's do this! Sometimes you win the lottery, today I won the lottery with Luba. I can't stop smiling I'm ready to start this party! & # 39;

Family: Jason, who shares his daughter with Anaíya Bell, six, and ex-Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle, said in the studio he was looking forward to seeing him perform

Family: Jason, who shares his daughter with Anaíya Bell, six, and ex-Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle, said in the studio he was looking forward to seeing him perform

Surprise: He said: "I think she (Anaíya) just wants to see me on the dance floor, she has never seen me on the field, but I have to impress her now!"

Surprise: He said: "I think she (Anaíya) just wants to see me on the dance floor, she has never seen me on the field, but I have to impress her now!"

Elsewhere, Janette revealed that she will have to live apart from her husband and colleague Aljaz throughout the contest as they have to create a bubble with her celebrity partner.

Moderator Claudia spoke about her absence and asked: "You have lived with Aljaz for ten years, you had to form a bubble, both live alone … how is it?"

Janette joked: & # 39; I love it! I miss him terribly, but we're doing our best for the show. I am so excited to start with Hrvy.

Next up was retired American football player Jason, 42, who admitted to being a "big Strictly fan" and was welcomed by professional dancer Luba, "30" at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, "home of the NFL" ) surprised who wore a complete set of equipment.

Write history! Next, Jamie, who became the first celeb twice on Strictly Come Dancing, returned history to the show after being forced to leave the show in 2019 following a painful foot injury following the launch episode

Yay: He was a partner with the professional dancer Karen

Write history! Next, Jamie, who became the first celeb twice on Strictly Come Dancing, returned history to the show after being forced to leave the show in 2019 following a painful foot injury following the launch episode

Candid: When talking about his return, he said, “It's a little embarrassing, I'm here, super excited to be here and just so happy that I got another chance. I've made burpees, ate less cake, I feel ready to do it. I take this competition seriously. & # 39;

Candid: When he talked about being back, he said, “It's a bit embarrassing, I'm here, super excited to be here and just so happy that I got another chance. I've made burpees, ate less cake, I feel ready to do it. I take this competition seriously. & # 39;

Funny: It was revealed when Jamie met his pro partner Karen in Chelsea that the reality star was arriving on his Vespa scooter when he was blowing his horn with excitement

Funny: It was revealed when Jamie met his pro partner Karen in Chelsea that the reality star was arriving on his Vespa scooter when he was blowing his horn with excitement

Memories: Jamie could not reunite with professional dancer Oti Mabuse. The duo were originally paired on the 2019 series before being forced to retire due to his injury (see picture). Oti won the show with replacement candidate Kelvin Fletcher

Memories: Jamie couldn't reunite with professional dancer Oti Mabuse. The duo were originally paired on the 2019 series before being forced to retire due to his injury (see picture). Oti won the show with replacement candidate Kelvin Fletcher

He shouted & # 39; Yes & # 39; and said: & # 39; When Luba ran around the corner in the filling kit, I almost tackled her because I got a look back, but then I realized that would not be right. I am your student, let's do this! Sometimes you win the lottery, I won the lottery today with Luba. I can't stop smiling I'm ready to start this party! & # 39;

Jason, who shares his daughter with Anaíya Bell, six, and ex-Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle, said in the studio he was looking forward to seeing him perform.

He said, "I think she (Anaíya) just wants to see me on the dance floor, she never saw me on the field, but I have to impress her now!"

Als nächstes kehrte Jamie, der als erster Promi zweimal bei Strictly Come Dancing auftrat, Geschichte in die Show zurück, nachdem er nach der Start-Episode nach einer schmerzhaften Fußverletzung gezwungen war, die Serie 2019 zu verlassen.

So viel Spaß: Als nächstes mussten Maisie (19) und Gorka (30) gepaart werden, da sie zugab, dass sie nicht aufgehört hatte zu lächeln und Fotos von allen Kostümen gemacht hatte, die sie bisher anprobiert hatte

So viel Spaß: Als nächstes mussten Maisie (19) und Gorka (30) gepaart werden, da sie zugab, dass sie nicht aufgehört hatte zu lächeln und Fotos von allen Kostümen gemacht hatte, die sie bisher anprobiert hatte

Überraschung! Der EastEnders-Star ging ins Strictly-Studio, wo sie von Gorka überrascht wurde. Sie sagte: „Ich wollte Strictly schon immer machen, um einen Partner zu treffen. Es ist alles sehr aufregend, ich kann es kaum erwarten, mein ganzes Leben lang buchstäblich in Elstree zu arbeiten auf der anderen Straßenseite hier, aber das ist mein Traum. & # 39;

Weihnachten: Als Gorka über die Paarung sprach, sagte er: "Es fühlt sich an, als wäre Weihnachten dieses Mal früh für mich angekommen", worauf Maisie sagte: "Ich bin so glücklich, so ein Gewicht von meinen Schultern und Gorka ist so schön!" So aufgeregt ich auch bin, ich bin so nervös. Es ist eine ganz neue Erfahrung für mich. & # 39;

Überraschung! Der EastEnders-Star ging ins Strictly-Studio, wo sie von Gorka überrascht wurde. Sie sagte: „Ich wollte Strictly schon immer machen, um einen Partner zu treffen. Es ist alles sehr aufregend, ich kann es kaum erwarten, mein ganzes Leben lang buchstäblich in Elstree zu arbeiten auf der anderen Straßenseite hier, aber das ist mein Traum. & # 39;

Allein: Zurück im Studio gab Maisie zu, dass sie mit ihrer Mutter aus ihrem Haus ausziehen musste, um in einer Blase zu sein, und alleine lebt. Sie gab zu, dass es das erste Mal ist, dass sie alles selbst kochen und putzen muss

Allein: Zurück im Studio gab Maisie zu, dass sie mit ihrer Mutter aus ihrem Haus ausziehen musste, um in einer Blase zu sein, und alleine lebt. Sie gab zu, dass es das erste Mal ist, dass sie alles selbst kochen und putzen muss

Große Enthüllung! Während Gorka enthüllte, dass ihr erster Tanz nächste Woche ein Samba sein wird

Große Enthüllung! Während Gorka enthüllte, dass ihr erster Tanz nächste Woche ein Samba sein wird

Als er davon sprach, zurück zu sein, sagte er: „Es ist ein bisschen peinlich, ich bin hier, super aufgeregt, hier zu sein und einfach so froh, dass ich eine weitere Chance dazu bekommen habe. Ich habe Burpees gemacht, weniger Kuchen gegessen, ich fühle mich bereit, es zu tun. Ich nehme diesen Wettbewerb ernst. & # 39;

In dem Moment, als Jamie seine Pro-Partnerin Karen in Chelsea traf, traf der Reality-Star auf seinem Vespa-Roller ein, als er vor Aufregung sein Horn hupte.

Er rief aus: "Das ist ehrlich gesagt das Größte auf der Welt, davon habe ich ein ganzes Jahr lang geträumt."

Jamie konnte sich nicht mit dem professionellen Tänzer Oti Mabuse vereinen. Das Duo war ursprünglich in der Serie 2019 gepaart, bevor er gezwungen war, sich wegen seiner Verletzung zurückzuziehen. Oti gewann die Show mit dem Ersatzkandidaten Kelvin Fletcher.

Spaß: Als nächstes kam Jacqui, 57, die mit Anton, 54, zusammen war. Sie gab zu, dass der ehemalige Kandidat Ed Balls ihr einige Ratschläge gegeben hatte

Fun: Next up was Jacqui, 57, who was paired with Anton, 54, she admitted that former contestant Ed Balls had given her some advice

Funny: The politician joked: 'I would never attempt the Gangnam Style (Ed's iconic routine on the show). He's told me to really have fun and go for it!'

Überraschung! Jacqui was surprised outside the Houses of Parliament by Anton who wore a fun disguise, she said: 'I was really delighted it was Anton. If anyone can get me to be a dancer, Anton can do it and I'm really looking forward to it!'

Funny: The politician joked: 'I would never attempt the Gangnam Style (Ed's iconic routine on the show). He's told me to really have fun and go for it!'

Family: Talking in the studio, she said she had only just introduced her mother to Strictly in 2019 and couldn't believe she was now a contestant on the 2020 season

Family: Talking in the studio, she said she had only just introduced her mother to Strictly in 2019 and couldn't believe she was now a contestant on the 2020 season

Disguise: Jacqui was surprised by Anton outside the Houses of Parliament by Anton who wore a fun disguise

Disguise: Jacqui was surprised by Anton outside the Houses of Parliament by Anton who wore a fun disguise

The Made In Chelsea star, who recently admitted he has felt under 'pressure' to do well after Oti and Kelvin scooped the coveted Glitterball Trophy, said back in the studio: 'I am going to be super careful!' as he poked fun at his past injury.

Next up was Jacqui, 57, who was paired with Anton, 54, she admitted that former contestant Ed Balls had given her some advice.

The politician joked: 'I would never attempt the Gangnam Style (Ed's iconic routine on the show). He's told me to really have fun and go for it!'

Jacqui was surprised outside the Houses of Parliament by Anton who wore a fun disguise, she said: 'I was really delighted it was Anton. If anyone can get me to be a dancer, Anton can do it and I'm really looking forward to it!'

Hooray: Next up was JJ, 33, who was paired with pro Amy, 30, after he was surprised at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London

Hooray: Next up was JJ, 33, who was paired with pro Amy, 30, after he was surprised at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London

Emotional: Emotionally sharing his past career in the Royal Marines, he said: 'Getting blown up is the simplest way to realise life could be a lot worse.'

Emotional: Emotionally sharing his past career in the Royal Marines, he said: 'Getting blown up is the simplest way to realise life could be a lot worse.'

Sweet: Talking back at the studio, the presenter said: 'I was speechless, I secretly wanted Amy. All the dancers seem lovely, but she seems like the nicest person in the world.'

Sweet: Talking back at the studio, the presenter said: 'I was speechless, I secretly wanted Amy. All the dancers seem lovely, but she seems like the nicest person in the world.'

Talking in the studio, she said she had only just introduced her mother to Strictly in 2019 and couldn't believe she was now a contestant on the 2020 season.

Next up to be paired was Maisie, 19, and Gorka, 30, as she admitted she hadn't stopped smiling and had taken photos of all the costumes she has tried on so far.

The EastEnders star headed to the Strictly studio where she was surprised by Gorka, she said: 'I have been wanting to go on Strictly since forever about to meet partner, it's all very exciting, I cant wait, worked in Elstree my entire life literally across the road here, but this, this is my dream.'

Talking about the pairing, Gorka said: 'It feels like Christmas has arrived early this time for me,' to which Maisie said: 'I am so happy, such a weight off my shoulders and Gorka is so lovely! As much as I'm excited, I am so nervous. It's a whole new experience for me.'

Back in the studio, Maisie admitted she has had to move out of her house with her mother to be in a bubble and is living alone. She admitted it is the first time she is having to do all the cooking and cleaning by herself. While Gorka revealed that their first dance next week will be a samba.

Fun: Next up was Bill, 55, who was paired with Oti, 30, after he joked his fitness was chasing a chicken around the garden and he could outrun a badger

Fun: Next up was Bill, 55, who was paired with Oti, 30, after he joked his fitness was chasing a chicken around the garden and he could outrun a badger

Überraschung! The comedian was surprised at the London Wetland Centre with Oti wearing a fun pink feathered collar as she pretended to be a bird

Lovely: He said: 'Well, I am absolutely over the moon to be paired with Oti. I am so looking forward to this!'

Überraschung! The comedian was surprised at the London Wetland Centre with Oti wearing a fun pink feathered collar as she pretended to be a bird

Reveal! Back in the studio, Oti revealed that their first dance will be the cha cha on next week's show

Reveal! Back in the studio, Oti revealed that their first dance will be the cha cha on next week's show

Next up was JJ, 33, who was paired with pro Amy, 30, after he was surprised at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.

Emotionally sharing his past career in the Royal Marines, he said: 'Getting blown up is the simplest way to realise life could be a lot worse.'

After he was surprised, JJ said: 'This is incredible!' to which Amy joked: 'A Scott and a Welsh together, this is amazing.'

Talking back at the studio, the presenter said: 'I was speechless, I secretly wanted Amy. All the dancers seem lovely, but she seems like the nicest person in the world.'

Next up was Bill, 55, who was paired with Oti, 30, after he joked his fitness was chasing a chicken around the garden and he could outrun a badger.

Last but not least! The final contestant to be partnered was Max, 32, and he was teamed with Dianne, 31. He admitted that there was pressure to perform as his former The Wanted bandmate, Jay McGuiness, had won the 2015 series

Last but not least! The final contestant to be partnered was Max, 32, and he was teamed with Dianne, 31. He admitted that there was pressure to perform as his former The Wanted bandmate, Jay McGuiness, had won the 2015 series

Hilarious: The singer, who is dating Stacey Giggs, joked: 'The Wanted were the worst dancing boyband ever, other than Jay, he set the bar pretty high. Nice one.'

Hilarious: The singer, who is dating Stacey Giggs, joked: 'The Wanted were the worst dancing boyband ever, other than Jay, he set the bar pretty high. Nice one.'

Überraschung! Max was surprised by Dianne at the Abbey Road studios after she spoke over the microphone, he said: 'I'm so happy it's Dianne, she seems so nice and is full of energy. Apparently, she's got a bit of a stern side which I need!'

Überraschung! Max was surprised by Dianne at the Abbey Road studios after she spoke over the microphone, he said: 'I'm so happy it's Dianne, she seems so nice and is full of energy. Apparently, she's got a bit of a stern side which I need!'

The comedian was surprised at the London Wetland Centre with Oti wearing a fun pink feathered collar as she pretended to be a bird.

He said: 'Well, I am absolutely over the moon to be paired with Oti. I am so looking forward to this!'

Back in the studio, Oti revealed that their first dance will be the cha cha on next week's show.

The final contestant to be partnered was Max, 32, and he was teamed with Dianne, 31. He admitted that there was pressure to perform as his former The Wanted bandmate, Jay McGuiness, had won the 2015 series.

The singer, who is dating Stacey Giggs, joked: 'The Wanted were the worst dancing boyband ever, other than Jay, he set the bar pretty high. Nice one.'

Max was surprised by Dianne at the Abbey Road studios after she spoke over the microphone, he said: 'I'm so happy it's Dianne, she seems so nice and is full of energy. Apparently, she's got a bit of a stern side which I need!'

Speaking back in the studio, he joked he has 'tiny legs' but 'really long arms' which help in the competition. He also said it's a win-win situation for his mother's birthday as she will either be watching the final or he will be eliminated and at home with her.

This year's Strictly has been expected more than ever as the country is hit by the coronavirus crisis, and drastic changes have been made to ensure the series can continue, albeit with a shortened duration.

During the show, Tess and Claudia were separated from the orchestra by a clear perspex screen in order to adhere to Covid-19 regulations.

The launch consisted of the celebrities discovering their professional partners for the first time, though in a post-COVID change, they were instead revealed via. Video link.

This allows couples to create their own "bubbles" for training and performances, meaning the stars keep their distance from one another while filming.

The professional dancers took to the stage to showcase their dance moves with a sensation opener, and were also accompanied by a stunning performance by Joel Corry and MNEK.

Judges Craig, Shirley and Motsi also took their place on the panel, though this year saw them sat on separate desks to maintain social distancing.

Fourth judge Bruno has been unable to appear in the studio due to travel restrictions introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, but will make guest appearances from his home in Los Angeles.

Strictly was already having a lot of anxiety before the start on Saturday after Hrvy tested positive for coronavirus just days before the scheduled filming for the start.

It has been questioned whether he could attend, but has since been declared COVID-free and can continue training for the show.

It has been reported that Stars and their professional partners may be forced to check for coronavirus daily after a former crew member tested positive days before the new series.

The Sun has also claimed that bosses have a list of "standby" stars for the show in case a star falls ill with relatives who are likely to be excluded from rehearsals.

How's Strictly 2020 going during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Strictly Come Dancing has put in place a number of strict measures to ensure the new series can continue during the COVID-19 crisis.

Celebrity participants and their professional partners are tested regularly, with the cast and crew being instructed to isolate themselves in case they contract the virus.

The bosses have already confirmed that celebrities who tested positive at the beginning of the series will be banned from the show. According to reports, celebrities are on standby.

The professional dancers have already recorded their group performances after isolating themselves together in a hotel.

It has also been claimed that celebrities and professionals will be banned from the show if they are caught kissing while filming.

Strictly in 2020, the series was also shortened to just nine weeks, with 12 instead of the usual 15 celebrities taking part.

The show's annual trip to Blackpool has been canceled, along with this year's Halloween and Christmas specials.

Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio with separate podiums after Bruno Tonioli was unable to show up due to travel concerns.

Senior judge Bruno has announced that he will be "remotely involved" and hopes to return to full-time work towards the end of the show while filming the US version of the show in Los Angeles.

With a limited studio crew, you may not be able to build large sets. Hence, producers use augmented reality which adds computer generated elements.

To ensure that the participants can work closely with their partners, they are "gushed" for training and tested regularly.

Strictly speaking, there will still be a live audience, but fans will sit in groups at separate tables and only participate if they come from the same household or bubble.

This year, the pros have already recorded all of the group performances while isolated together in a hotel, and the couples have formed separate bubbles to train and perform together.

The series will continue to have a live audience, but fans will be seated in small groups and only allowed to attend if they come from the same household or bubble.

In a recent Q&A, executive producer Sarah James shed light on the show's contingency plans in the face of the pandemic and insisted she was "confident" that the competitive series will continue even if current coronavirus restrictions change.

While the nation waits to see what the stars will do, Strictly bosses have drawn up strict plans to deal with anyone who gets sick.

Sarah said, "If you get a positive test, government guidelines require you to isolate for two weeks, which, unfortunately, would remove them from the show."

This year's streak will be a scaled-down nine-week run with an entirely different look. The 12 partnerships – three less than usual – will not be revealed in the studio but via video link, and the annual trip to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom is also planned.

Explaining the use of the bladder system to ensure couples can exercise and perform, she added, “Close contact cohorts (CCC) are for people who need to work closely together and violate social distancing rules to get their jobs done. It just has to be with one person and you will be tested regularly.

"We ask the celebrities to be part of an exclusive support bubble with their dancers, which means that half of the group has to live alone."

The pros spent two weeks in September isolating themselves at a Buckinghamshire hotel to rehearse the group numbers.

Sarah also discussed how hairdressers and makeup artists had to adapt to the new guidelines, adding, “Hair, makeup and costumes are all allowed under government guidelines.

“After hairdressers and other facilities reopened, we were able to have our hair and make-up team work with full PPE and disinfection.

"Hair and makeup could work with as many different performers as they wanted or had to, but this year we're going to have specific makeup teams for specific couples to make sure people don't mix as much."

Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones and Graziano Di Prima have been removed from the main cast and will not be paired with celebrities for this year's edition, but instead form their own CCCs to jointly support the guest singers on the show.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7:25pm on BBC One.

Strictly Come Dancing Contestants 2020

CAROLINE QUENTIN

Age: 60

Job: Actress known for roles in Men Behaving Badly and Jonathan Creek

Caroline says: "I hope my knees won't let me down and I hope the basics will meet expectations when I start jumping around!"

Fun fact: She met her husband, Sam Farmer, on the set of Men Behaving Badly in 1998 when he was one of the studio runners.

MAX GEORGE

Age: 31

Job: Singer – from the former boy band The Wanted

Max says: "Nan – I'm doing it strictly this year!" when he vowed to make his superfan grandmother proud

Fun fact: Max & # 39; colleague The Wanted bandmate Jay McGuiness was at Strictlby Come Dancing in 2015 – and won it!

CLARA AMFO

Age: 36

Job: Radio 1 presenter

Clara says: "As we know, this year has been a real challenge and I know we all enjoy escaping by dancing."

Fun fact: Clara has some experience with celebrity game shows after attending Celebrity Masterchef in 2018

BILL BAILEY

Age: 55

Job: Comedian and TV personality

Clara says: "I am not the master of the dance, but rather a kind of caretaker of the dance."

Fun fact: Bill is a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist

MAISIE SMITH

Age: 19th

Job: EastEnders actress

Maisie says: "Get me into those sequins, I can't wait to dive into the Strictly Fancy Dress Box this winter!"

Fun fact: Maisie won the Strictly Children In Need Special with Kevin Clifton in 2019

HRVY

Age: 21

Job: YouTube star

HRVY says: "Being strict is going to be an amazing experience and I'm so grateful to be able to participate this year."

Fun fact: HRVY follows in the footsteps of former internet star contestants Joe Sugg and Saffron Barker, the latter of whom he is close friends

JASON BELL

Age: 42

Job: Retired American Football Player – Now an Expert

Jason says: & # 39; I'm thrilled. I'm a huge fan of the show, I've seen it since I came to this country so it's time for me to do something cool to impress my daughter now that she can watch me perform! & # 39;

Fun fact: Jason is the father of Nadine Coyle's daughter. The couple dated for 11 years and only recently split in 2019

RANVIR SINGH

Age: 43

Job: ITV broadcaster, political editor for GMB

Ranvir says: "It feels like I'm on a roller coaster … Hopefully after the first dance I'll feel more excited than sick!"

Fun fact: Ranvir is the fourth GMB star after Susanna Reid, Richard Arnold and Charlotte Hawkins.

NICOLA ADAMS

Age: 37

Job: Double Olympic gold medalist boxer

Nicola says: "I'm a huge fan of the show and I'm excited to be part of something that holds such a special place in the hearts of so many people."

Fun fact: Nicola will form the series' first same-sex pairing as she works with a professional woman.

JJ CHALMERS

Age: 55 Occupation: Comedian and TV personality Clara says: "I am not the master of the dance, but rather a kind of manager of the dance." Fun fact: Bill is a classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist

Age: 33

Job: Ex Royal Marine and Invictus Games medalist

JJ says: "Strictly speaking, it's a completely different ball game in terms of the challenges I face, but I'm ready for an adventure."

Fun fact: JJ is close friends with Prince Harry after working together on the Invictus Games

JAMIE LAING

Age: 31

Job: Made In Chelsea Star

Jamie says: “I'm over the moon that I can actually come back and dance again. It will be incredibly amazing! & # 39;

Fun fact: Jamie was forced to retire from the 2019 Strictly series after suffering a foot injury

RT HON ​​JACQUI SMITH

Age: 57

Job: Politician

Jacqui says: "I was speechless with excitement when I was asked to join Strictly – and that's very rare for me …!"

Fun fact: Fifty years ago she received a bronze medal for Scottish Highland Dancing

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