BBC One has today officially announced the professional line-up for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
In a reversal to last year’s line-up there will be seven male and eight female professional dancers. After a number of rumours it has been confirmed that James Jordan will be leaving the series after eight years. Former champion Artem Chigvintsev will also not be returning but will continue to participate in the American equivalent of the programme, Dancing with the Stars.
After just one series on the programme, Anya Garnis will not be partnering a celebrity but will still be part of the backstage team.
Joining the show is Joanne Clifton, who is the sister of professional dancer Kevin who last year made the final alongside newsreader Susanna Reid. Irish-born Tristan MacManus is the other new recruit and is no stranger to the celebrity ballroom after previously being paired with Pamela Anderson and Gladys Knight on Dancing with the Stars.
Natalie Lowe is also returning to the show after missing last year’s series due to injury.
Female professionals Alionai Vilani, Iveta Lukosiute, Janette Manrara Karen Hauer, Kristina Rihanoff and Ola Jordan are all also returning to the show. Whilst Aljaž Skorjanec, Anton du Beke, Brendan Cole, Kevin Clifton, Pasha Kovalev, Robin Windsor join Tristain as the series’ male professionals.
Strictly’s Executive Producer Louise Rainbow said of the news, “we’re delighted that Joanne and Tristan will be joining our fantastic cast of professional dancers this year and look forward to them becoming part of the Strictly family. A huge thank you goes out to both Artem and James for being hardworking, dedicated dancers on the show, and we wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.”
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One this autumn