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General: Strictly Come Dancing week one preview

The pairings have been decided for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC and this year's contestants will be seen in action for the first time on Saturday in the opening live show.

It's the 20th series of Strictly Come Dancing this year and viewers will be able to get a guide as to who may be able to challenge after the first live show on Saturday.

WhatStrictly Come Dancing 2022
WhereElstree Film and Television Studios, Borehamwood
WhenFriday 23rd September 2022
How to watchBBC One
OddsHelen Skelton 7/2, Fleur East 7/2, Will Mellor 11/2, Matt Goss 14/1, Ellie Simmonds 11/1 

Over the next few months, the field of 15 will be whittled down to three who will contest the final and we shall then find out who succeeds Rose Ayling-Ellis as the winning celebrity just before Christmas.

Nobody will be leaving the competition after the first live show as there will be no public vote until viewers have seen all the contestants dance for a second time. They will then get their opportunity to select their favourite couple and the two with the least number of votes will head into the first dance-off of the series on Sunday 2nd October.

Three new pro dancers

Each of the 15 celebrities have been paired with a professional partner to put them through their paces and there are three dancers who will be making their debuts in the competition this year.

Vito Coppola will be dancing with former X Factor competitor Fleur East and the pair are fancied to do well as they have been priced as 7/2 joint favourites.

Like the vast majority of the celebrities, East admits that her dancing experience is limited but she has been working hard on her fitness in preparation for what is renowned as a great physical challenge.

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Meanwhile, Chinese national champion Carlos Gu will dance with singer and presenter Molly Rainsford, who, like East, will be familiar with the glare of the national reality TV spotlight having been a finalist on Britain's Got Talent.

They are 20/1 for outright glory while the other newcomer, Jowita Przystal has teamed up with wildlife cameraman and CBBC star Hamza Yassin, and they are 40/1 to win the Glitterball.

With so much unknown at this stage regarding the abilities of the celebrity competitors, it looks a good idea to pay attention to the professionals.

Giovanni pairs up with Anderson

There are just two dancers who have gone all the way in the competition and they include last year's victor Giovanni Pernice, who has an excellent record.

Not only did he partner Rose Ayling-Ellis to glory in the last series, but he has been a finalist three times with Georgia May Foote, Debbie McGee and Faye Tozer from Steps.

He will dance with BBC Radio 2 presenter Richie Anderson this time and they are 25/1 to win the big prize.

Katya Jones partnered Joe McFadden to success in Series 15 and she will be in action alongside former Arsenal and England footballer Tony Adams, who is a 66/1 outsider.

Two finalists from last year are also back in action. Dianne Buswell helped comedian Robert Webb to the final three last year on her fifth appearance and she is 7/1 to win alongside Kiss FM DJ Tyler West.

Meanwhile, Kai Widdrington will be hoping to go one better than he did on his debut with TV presenter Odudu last year, but the market does not fancy his chances with Kaye Adams as they are 100/1 shots at this early stage.

Soap stars hoping to do well

There are the usual sprinkling of soap stars in this year's field with Coronation Street's Will Mellor 11/2 to win and former Weatherfield favourite Kym Marsh is 7/1, while James Bye, who plays Albert Square fruit-and-veg guru Martin Fowler in EastEnders, is 25/1.

Jayde Adams (20/1) has a youth of freestyle disco dancing experience behind her, which may give her an advantage over some of her competitors, while favourite Helen Skelton (7/2) could benefit from the 'have-a-go' attitude that was so key in her previous role as a Blue Peter presenter.

Former 80s heartthrob Matt Goss (14/1) could be a dark horse as he is bound to be popular with a key demographic of the Strictly audience, while the field is completed by comedian Ellie Taylor (40/1) and swimmer Ellie Simmonds (11/1).

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