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Strictly Come Dancing

Who will win: Ricky Whittle or Chris Hollins (August 2009)

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A former member
from the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8220020.stm

The star contestants for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing include boxer Joe Calzaghe, the BBC has revealed.

Actress Lynda Bellingham, Crimewatch host Rav Wilding, ex-cricketer Phil Tufnell and tennis champion Martina Hingis will also take part.

Hollyoaks' Ricky Whittle and The Bill's Ali Bastian, EastEnder Ricky Groves and Natalie Cassidy will compete with BBC Breakfast's Chris Hollins.

Ex-Footballers Wives star Zoe Lucker is also among the competitors.

Lucker will take to the dancefloor against her co-star from the ITV melodrama, actress Laila Rouass.

Contest changes

Athlete Jade Johnson and jockey Richard Dunwoody will also represent the world of sport in the series, which begins on BBC One on Friday 18 September.

Jo Wood, the estranged wife of Rolling Stone Ronnie and actor Craig Kelly - who plays factory manager Luke Strong in Coronation Street - complete the line-up.

Kelly is also well-known for playing Vince in 1990s drama Queer As Folk.

Actress Bellingham, who is a regular on ITV1's Loose Women, is the oldest celebrity dancer in the competition at 61.
Natalie Cassidy and Vincent Simone
Actress Natalie Cassidy will team up with Vincent Simone

Bastian previously played Becca in teen soap opera Hollyoaks.

The makers of the Saturday night show have also revealed some changes to the way the competition is run for the seventh series.

The first two weeks will see the 16 competitors split into two groups, but not into men and women as in previous outings.

There will be shows on Friday and Saturday for the opening two weeks, but the Sunday results show has been shelved in favour of an extended edition on Saturday night.

The rules have been changed so that in the event of the judges' scores resulting in a tie, any couple can be saved from the dance-off, while no pair is safe.

It was previously announced that former winner Alesha Dixon is to replace Arlene Phillips on the judging panel in the new series.

Head judge Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli will return as judges.

Former Royal Ballet star Darcey Bussel will appear as a guest judge in the last three shows of the run.

Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly will return to present the programme
DA
davidmcg
Not a good line up, no-one really that well known to the average punter.
NG
noggin Founding member
I wonder if the end of the results show is for HD reasons as much as anything. The live shows were simulcast on the HD channel on saturday, but the results show was pre-recorded on Saturday, edited and then played out on Sunday. AIUI there were issues with doing the edited show in HD (both too much researcher-cam Z1 stuff, and the difficulty of doing a 5.1 sound mix in post in the time available)

By simply getting rid of the separate results show you solve those problems. (The amount of wobbly cam as a percentage is massively reduced, and you do the 5.1 mix live!)

Not sure I agree that nobody has heard of the line-up. Quite a soap-heavy line-up with former or current cast from EastEnders, Hollyoaks, Corrie, Footballers' Wives etc. Lynda Bellingham is still pretty well known from her Oxo ad and "Faith in the..." sitcom days, and there's a couple of sporting stars. Certainly my Mum will have heard of some of them, I've heard of all of them, and there will be a couple that younger people know of. Quite a good range of family-wide appeal - as usual.

Two members of The One Show team this year - Phil and Rav...

21 days later

:-(
A former member
Is it this week it starts?
CH
chris Granada North West Today
Is it this week it starts?


This Friday, yes.
BP
bpmikey Wales Wales Today
Strictly returned better than ever last night. I really enjoyed the show.
Alesha Dixon was amazing, her bubbly character and her naturalness on camera was obvious. She also has an amazing funny chemistry with Bruno, one that makes the whole judging panel work, unlike the x factor where the judges always seem to be in competition with eachother, even in the audition stages.
Well done BBC, apart fom tonights clash with the X factor, the show is going to be brilliant. A great return for a great show! I didn't even miss Arlene!
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
Strictly returned better than ever last night. I really enjoyed the show.


Technically quite poor. The 5.1 Audio as heard via BBC HD was a mess. There was someone breathing into an open mic at one point. Len Goodman wasn't lit properly.

Not the Beeb's best effort of their (apparently) top show.
NG
noggin Founding member
There was someone breathing into an open mic at one point. Len Goodman wasn't lit properly.


To me it looked like Craig and Bruno weren't lit that well. Huge amounts of white uplight hitting them from the desk (people think it makes you look younger - but it was very obvious and has a slight "horror movie" effect if done excessively). If anything Len looked more natural to me.

Wasn't listening in 5.1 - Strictly used to have separate areas balancing the 5.1 and 2.0 - not sure if the 2.0 is now a straight downmix from the 5.1.

Some of the pre-dance set-up bits looked to be pretty badly shot and lit (some VERY soft), and the keying of the backgrounds was pretty poor on most of them.

On the other hand - at least it was in HD - unlike most of ITV's efforts...
DE
deejay Oxford
Friday's show had some very rough edges IMO. At one point they cut to an incorrect camera and showed a Floor Manager (or AFM) standing in for Tess on the balcony to aid setting the shot!!! I know, live show, these things happen etc...

Agree with noggin about the dreadful uplighting on the judges, FAR too bright. I wasn't able to listen in 5.1 but I'll be interested to see if they improve things as the series goes on. I suppose live entertainment programmes are still relatively new things to produce in 5.1, so maybe techniques and ways of working are still evolving?!

The worst thing for me though was, sadly, Alesha. I'm sorry, but she added very little in her criticism of the dancers. She'd say things like, "Well done for the first night, I'm sure you were nervous" - yeah fine, but what was the dancing like? At least Arlene used to give sound advice on what the dancers need to work on (pushing down through your heels, tightning up your core, whatever). It left only Bruno being Mr Nasty (Arlene could be pretty cutting too). IMO, two "Nastys" and two "See the Positives" was a great balance on the panel.
Two minutes regions...
WE
Westy2
I think Claudia Winkleman's It Takes Two is the best thing on TV. Seriously hilarious. Don't get rid of our Clauders'!!!


She's nutty as a fruitcake, the times I've seen her on the box!
BP
bpmikey Wales Wales Today
Friday's show had some very rough edges IMO. At one point they cut to an incorrect camera and showed a Floor Manager (or AFM) standing in for Tess on the balcony to aid setting the shot!!! I know, live show, these things happen etc...

Agree with noggin about the dreadful uplighting on the judges, FAR too bright. I wasn't able to listen in 5.1 but I'll be interested to see if they improve things as the series goes on. I suppose live entertainment programmes are still relatively new things to produce in 5.1, so maybe techniques and ways of working are still evolving?!

The worst thing for me though was, sadly, Alesha. I'm sorry, but she added very little in her criticism of the dancers. She'd say things like, "Well done for the first night, I'm sure you were nervous" - yeah fine, but what was the dancing like? At least Arlene used to give sound advice on what the dancers need to work on (pushing down through your heels, tightning up your core, whatever). It left only Bruno being Mr Nasty (Arlene could be pretty cutting too). IMO, two "Nastys" and two "See the Positives" was a great balance on the panel.


I saw that floor man standing in the shot!! Made me chuckle.
I have so disagree with you where Alesha is concerned, for her first night, I though she did a sterling job. Very Happy
CH
chris Granada North West Today
Alesha Dixon was by far the worst thing on the programme last night - at least the in the bits I saw. It's not her fault though; she can't comment technically on the dances because, let's face it, she's not a professional dancer! Their biggest mistake was to get rid of Arlene.

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