Strictly Come Dancing 2014 celebrity and dance partner pairings revealed tonight

PUBLISHED: 15:53 07 September 2014 | UPDATED: 17:09 08 September 2014

BBC's Strictly Come Dancing [(C) BBC  - Photographer: Ray Burmiston]

BBC's Strictly Come Dancing [(C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston]

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Get ready to rumba! Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One tonight (Sunday), with TV viewers discovering who will partner this year’s 15 sparkling new celebrities.

Strictly Come Dancing contestant Jake Wood [(C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston]Strictly Come Dancing contestant Jake Wood [(C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston]

The 12th series of the nation’s favourite dancing show kicks off at 8pm with the red carpet The Launch Show.

Co-hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman present an exclusive premiere from the Strictly studios, introducing this year’s dancing wannabes, including EastEnders favourite Jake Wood from Tewin, to their professional partners.

The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 line-up includes MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace, Mrs Brown’s Boys star Jennifer Gibney, Bargain Hunt’s antiques expert Tim Wonnacott, TV presenter Caroline Flack and pop princess Pixie Lott.

Others set to pull on sequinned tops this autumn are Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, wildlife expert Steve Backshall, former TOWIE Mark Wright, Blue pop star Simon Webbe and ex-rugby player Thom Evans.

Completing the celebs are Casualty actress Sunetra Sarker, This Morning reporter Alison Hammond, tennis coach and Andy Murray’s mum Judy Murray, and The Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge.

In tonight’s opening episode, the celebrities will face the flashbulbs and fans before heading to the shiniest floor in showbiz where they will discover who they will be partnered with. Viewers at home will be party to the first exclusive glimpse of their initial meeting.

Three new pro dancers join the Strictly family this season – Joanne Clifton, the sister of Kevin Clifton, Trent Whiddon and Tristan MacManus.

Returning this year are the ever-popular Aliona Vilani, Aljaž Skorjanec, Anton du Beke, Brendan Cole, Iveta Lukosiute, Janette Manrara, Karen Hauer, Kevin Clifton, Kristina Rihanoff, Natalie Lowe, Ola Jordan and Pasha Kovalev.

The duos will then have three weeks to train before returning to the Strictly ballroom to perform live to the nation in a bid to impress judges Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Darcey Bussell.

Snake-hipped EastEnders actor Jake Wood, best know for playing Max Branning in the BBC One soap, is looking forward to strutting his stuff in front of the four judges on Saturday nights.

He said: “No, I’m not nervous at all. They’re always positive and any criticism is usually constructive and it’s all for our benefit. I’ll take any criticism on board and work with it.”

Tess and Claudia return on Sunday evenings to present the results show from week two of the competition.

Each couple with the lowest combined scores, from the judges and public vote, will face each other in the dance off, with one couple leaving the competition for good.

But no celebrity leaves until all of them have done two live shows first.

Following last year’s successful visit to the international home of ballroom dancing, Strictly Come Dancing will once again return to the world famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom when the competition reaches its halfway stage.

As always, Strictly fans can catch up with Zoe Ball and all the latest backstage gossip on Strictly’s weekday sister show, It Takes Two on BBC Two.

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