'Strictly Come Dancing' Season 18: Release date, contestants, judges and all you need to know about BBC dance show

The show is positively set to return later this year in fall and the professional dancers will start remotely rehearsing at the end of July


                            'Strictly Come Dancing' Season 18: Release date, contestants, judges and all you need to know about BBC dance show
(BBC)

Sixteen years on air and 17 seasons down, the British dance-based reality show 'Strictly Come Dancing' was expected to make a return to BBC this year with Season 18. With the coronavirus pandemic pushing towards coming under control and businesses going back to normal including the television industry, BBC bosses are hoping that their show could make a return in fall this year and are doing everything they can to ensure the same. 

The Sun reported that a BBC spokesperson has confirmed that the 'Strictly' family and The BBC are working hard to "ensure everyone can enjoy some much needed Strictly sparkle later this year."

The source also added that professional dancers and their crew will begin rehearsing remotely starting at the end of July. "Our professional dancers are set to start rehearsing remotely at the end of July. As we continue to follow the latest guidance from Public Health England and industry guidelines, we are considering isolating the dancers and key production members to enable our much-loved group numbers to continue."

"We’re incredibly proud of our professional dancers for their dedication to the show and their commitment to showcasing their love of dance to the nation. The safety of our cast and crew is of the utmost importance to us and further updates will be made in due course," added the source. The Sun also said that the pro dancers could also isolate with their celebrity partners before the show kicks-off. Here's everything you need to know about Season 18.

Release date

'Strictly Come Dancing' Season 18 is most likely to hit TV screens in September 2020. Bookmark this article and return in a few days to check for recent updates. 

Plot

Each season has seen a star-studded lineup of notable celebrities pairing up with professional dancers who battle it out on the dance floor with ballroom and Latin style of dancing. The format of the show has been adapted in at least 40 countries around the world and The Guinness Book of World Records has named it the world's most successful reality television format. 

Cast 

Season 17 saw participation by 'RuPaul's Drag Race' judge and mentor Michelle Visage, socialite Emma Weymouth, sports presenter Mike Bushell and former England footballer Alex Scott among other celebrities. For Season 18, rumors are rife that TV personality Jaime Laing will be a part of Season 18. Laing was supposed to participate in the 2019 season but couldn't after sustaining a foot injury during rehearsals, post which he was forced to quit.   

According to Good Housekeeping, other celebrity contestant predictions so far include Paralympic table tennis player Will Bayley. He had to pull out of the show following a knee injury he sustained in week 6.

It was also reported (via Heart), that model and media personality, Vogue Williams was in talks to take part in the show on Season 17 after befriending the show's new booker Stefania Aleksander. She was also a contestant on 'Dancing with the Stars' in 2012.

Vogue Williams attends The Global Awards 2020 at Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on March 05, 2020, in London, England (Getty Images)

It was also reported (via Radio Times), that BBC news anchorman Huw Edwards too had considered taking part in Season 17 of 'Strictly' but had to back out because of the December General Election. Whether Huw will feature on Season 18, we will let you know. 

Other potential names to participate in Season 18 include former BBC Radio 1 DJ, Maja Jama, former 'Coronation Street' actress Michelle Keegan, Olympian and member of the Royal Family Zara Tindall, reality TV star Katie Price, 'Made In Chelsea' cast member Miles Nazaire, 'Loose Women' star Stacey Solomon, musician Toyah Wilcox, 'Coronation Street' actor Jack P Shepherd, ITV Presenter Lorraine Kelley, 'Dancing On Ice' 2020 star Radzi Chinyanganya, singer Jane McDonald, former 'Doctor Who' star Alex Kingston and comedy actress Sarah Hadland. 

Pro Dancers Lineup

The pro dancer line-up for Season 18 has been revealed and it features Aljaž Škorjaanec, Amy Dowden, Anton Du Beke, Dianne Buswell, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Janette Manrara, Johannes Radebe, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Nancy Xu, Neil Jones and Oti Mabuse.

Amy Dowden attends the "Strictly Come Dancing" launch show red carpet at Television Centre on August 26, 2019, in London, England (Getty Images)

Dancer Kevin Clifton announced his exit from the show after a seven-year run. He won the season last year with celebrity partner Stacey Dooley. Dancer AJ Pritchard will also not be returning to the show and his team announced that he's decided to explore opportunities in the presenting world alongside his brother Curtis. 

Judges 

Head Judge Shirley Ballas along with Craig Revel-Horwood and Bruno Tonioli have judged the show since its pilot season. Motsi Mabuse joined the panel last year and is also set to return with the other three judges. Alfonso Ribeiro steps in as Bruno's replacement a couple of times each season while the latter fulfills other duties in the United States. However, with travel being affected due to the pandemic, it'll not be a surprise if Alfonso becomes a permanent fixture for this entire season.

Judge Shirley Ballas attends the "Strictly Come Dancing" launch show red carpet at Television Centre on August 26, 2019, in London, England (Getty Images)

Reports have emerged to back this claim as well. The 64-year-old dance star Bruno has said to have prioritized the US series 'Dancing With The Stars' over 'Strictly'.  A TV source told the Daily Star, "Travelling back and forth to the US isn't likely to be possible this year. The primary concern is that regular flights would put Bruno at risk of catching the virus. And on a logistical level, he may need to quarantine every time he arrives back in Britain, which obviously isn't viable if he needs to be back in the US just a few days later."

Hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly attend the "Strictly Come Dancing" launch show red carpet at Television Centre on August 26, 2019, in London, England (Getty Images)

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will likely return as the hosts of the show. 

Trailer

There is no trailer for Season 18 yet. Return to this space for more in the near future for fresh updates. 

Where to Watch 

Season 18 of 'Strictly Come Dancing' will premiere on BBC.

If you like this, you will love these:

'So You Think You Can Dance'

'Baby Ballroom'

'Dancing with the Stars'

'America's Ballroom Challenge'

'America's Got Talent'

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