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8 June 2017, 10:33
It's FINALLY been revealed who will be replacing Len Goodman on the judges panel! From rumours to the latest news, here's all you need to know about Strictly Come Dancing 2017
The nation's favourite Saturday night dance show will return to our screens for a fifteenth series later this year, and with veteran judging legend Len Goodman leaving the show at the end of the last series, the rumour mill is turning with speculation over his replacement.
Here's what we know so far, from rumours to the facts.
It was announced that Len Goodman would be stepping down as head judge on the panel and he waved goodbye to the show in December 2016.
Since then, there's been a lot of speculation about who will replace him, with names like Anton du Beke, Brendan Cole and Arlene Philips all throwing their hats into the game.
But it's now been confirmed that Shirley Ballas will be the new face joining the panel!
She said: "I am so excited and over the moon to have been given this wonderful opportunity. I can't wait to get in to the ballroom and be part of the incredible and respected judging panel. 'Strictly Come Dancing' is so loved by the British public, I have always been a massive fan. I just can't wait!"
the 56-year-old star - who is nicknamed the 'Queen of Latin' - will certainly give the other judges Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood a run for their money as she's one of the most decorated professional dancers in the world.
She is three-time British Open to the World Latin American Champion, 10-time United States Latin American Champion, and multiple-times British National Champion.
The official date is yet to be confirmed but so far each new series has started at the end of September.
Each series is generally kicked off with a 'coming out' show in the last Friday in September so we're thinking around the 22nd or 29th September.
There's been no official statement from producers, who are yet to confirm that Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will be returning to continue their three year reign as Strictly presenters.
The duo took over from host Bruce Forsyth in 2014 who gave up his presenting position on the dance floor due to health issues.
Let us be clear, there has been no official statement on who will be competing on the dance floor but that hasn't stopped us speculating.
Apparently, BBC bosses really wanted Tim Peake for the 2016 series but apparently he wasn’t able to participate as he is on a two year rehabilitation programme to ensure he can walk properly after the effects of the space travel. By the time the next series is kicking off he will have had a year and half of rehab so maybe he’ll be ready for the 2017’s line-up.
Ex-Eastenders and Corrie star Michelle Collins has been rumoured to join the line up since 2014 so maybe 2017 is going to be her year?
After she announced that she will be leaving Emmerdale, Gemma Atkinson is free to do the show and she's been saying how much she would love it.
According to sources, Jessica Ennis-Hill was approached to join the show as soon as she announced her retirement from athletics.
Since their characters were killed off at Christmas, could Eastenders' Samantha Womack or Rita Simons be taking on the challenge?
TOWIE's Billie Faiers has also expressed an interest in the show.
Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard is the latest celebrity set to dance his way to glory, after impressing strictly bosses with his appearance on 'Play To The Whistle'.
Bosses are apparently "desperate" to bag record-breaking marathon runner, Paula Radcliffe. An insider told the Sun: "Paula is a massive fan of the show, but has not yet made a decision about their offer either way."
A source told The Sun Online: "It's the time of the year when the wish list is being drawn up and Frank Lampard is one of the names that ticks all the boxes.
"They would love to have him on board so we will see how things progress in the coming weeks.
"He has impressed people with his hilarious appearances on 'Play To The Whistle' and comes across as a natural for a big TV series like 'Strictly'."
And if he does sign up to compete in the show, Frank - who has daughters Luna, 11, and Isla, nine, with former partner Elen Rivas - can turn to his wife Christine Lampard for help, as the 38-year-old presenter took part in 2008 and finished fifth alongside professional partner Matthew Cutler.
A late addition in the rumour mill is The Body Coach, Joe Wicks, who is rumoured to be swapping the gym for the dance studio and heading to the ballroom! Apparently bosses are keen to get him on the show to send hearts fluttering and a source said: “Joe would be perfect on Strictly. The bosses have been eager to make sure he signs the deal as soon as possible."
'Strictly Come Dancing' will launch a new live event in three months' time that will allow fans to get up close to their favourite professionals, the judging panel and the hosts.
Viewers will be given the opportunity to experience a unique day out as part of the project 'Strictly Come Dancing : The Spectacular' at ExCeL London from June 22 until June 25 where they will be treated to an exclusive 90-minute theatre show, dance lessons with the professionals, celebrity interviews, a catwalk fashion show, and a costume exhibition.
Craig Revel Horwood said: "'Strictly Come Dancing : The Spectacular' is a dream come true - a fun-filled day that gets you as close as possible to some of the biggest names in 'Strictly...' Plus, I'll be there to reveal a few never-before-mentioned secrets and chatting about my favourite moments of the show. I can't wait to see you there, darling!"
Those hoping to brush up on their ballroom skills will have the chance to be taught some fancy footwork by Anton du Beke, Giovanni Pernice and Aljaz Skorjanec, while a segment called 'My Strictly Journey' will see past and present winners and contestants, including Jake Wood, Nancy Dell'Olio and Anita Rani talk about their experiences.
The show's hair and make-up team will also be on hand to share some tips and tricks with fans on how they can get the dazzling 'Strictly Come Dancing' glamour.
Fans can also pose for a photo with favourite stars for the ultimate 'Strictly...' souvenir and browse a shopping showcase featuring a range of lifestyle and fashion brands.
Tess Daly said: "I'm so thrilled to be involved with 'Strictly Come Dancing : The Spectacular'. We'll be at ExCeL London in 'Strictly Spectacular' style."
Tickets go on sale at 9am on March 1, 2017 priced at £70 for adults and £35 for children. A family group ticket, plus a limited-release Glitter ticket offering exclusive benefits, will also be available. Tickets are for sale online at www.strictlyspectacular.com or by telephoning 0844 858 6755.