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Strictly Come Dancing start date and time OFFICIALLY confirmed at last

Strictly Come Dancing pro dancers for the 2020 launch show
(Image credit: BBC)

Not long to wait for Strictly Come Dancing!

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 (opens in new tab) will officially start on Saturday 17th October, it’s been confirmed by the BBC.

The launch show will begin at 7.50pm on Saturday 17th October and will run until 9.15pm.

It’s been a huge battle to get the show on screen due to the pandemic and although the series is starting later than usual the BBC will be delighted to have it on air.

The launch show will be hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman. And it’s where we discover which professional dancers the celebrities will be paired up with.

The live shows will then begin on Saturday 24th October. The celebs taking part this year are Bill Bailey, Caroline Quentin, Clara Amfo, HRVY, Jacqui Smith, Jamie Laing, Jason Bell, JJ Chalmers, Maisie Smith, Max George, Nicola Adams and Ranvir Singh.

The professional line-up is… Aljaž Škorjanec, 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.

Maisie Smith

Maisie Smith is favourite to win

EastEnders star Maisie, who’s the big favourite to win the series, says she’s had some advice from the rest of the cast.

“A lot of them have said to enjoy it, that it’s going to be hard and will take a lot out of you but remember to have the best time and be yourself - which is the perfect advice.”

As to who her biggest rival might be for claiming the famous trophy, Masie says: “I’ve spoken to HRVY actually, and he said he feels like he’s got a bit of competition and I said 'Ditto!' So I feel he’s my biggest rival! I haven’t spoken to anyone yet but I’m looking forward to seeing them all soon.”

Strictly Come Dancing will start on BBC1 on Saturday 17th October at 7.50pm (see our TV Guide for more shows to enjoy).

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!