Who is doing Strictly Come Dancing 2023? Line-up and judges confirmed

The hit BBC dance show is back for its 21st season and it's a glitzy one....

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman split with Strictly Come Dancing 2023 logo
(Image credit: BBC)

As Strictly prepares to step back onto screens later this week, fans are already asking who is doing Strictly Come Dancing 2023?

The hit BBC One show, which is in its 21st year, will return this Autumn, hosted by returning presenters Tess Daly and Traitors host Claudia Winkleman. With Janette Manrara and Fleur East hosting It Takes Two on Tuesday evenings chatting to who went out of Strictly after the weekend's show.

Having scooped three BAFTA TV Award nominations for its Strictly 2022 series, a brand new set of celebrities and their professional dance partners will take to the dance floor in the hope of winning over this season's judges. Up for grabs is the Glitterball trophy which is currently with reigning champion Hamza Yassin.

As we look at who's doing Strictly 2023...

Who is doing Strictly Come Dancing 2023?

Doing Strictly Come Dancing 2023 is judges Craig Revel Horwood, Let’s Dance Germany judge Motsi Mabuse, NTA Award winning judge Anton Du Beke and the Queen of Latin Shirley Ballas who will return as head judge. Dancers taking to the floor once more, promising viewers an abundance of spectacular routines are as follows; Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima, Amy Dowden, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Gorka Marquez, Luba Mushtuk, Giovanni Pernice, Jowita Przystal, Johannes Radebe, Kai Widdrington, Nancy Xu, Carlos Gu, Lauren Oakley, Michelle Tsiakkas and Vita Coppola

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 professionals

  • Dianne Buswell - Australian Open Champion and four-time Amateur Australian Open Finalist. Having joined in 2017 Dianne reached the Strictly final with her dance partner Joe Sugg in 2018. Since then, she has danced with Radio DJ Dev Griffin, Max George from the Wanted and last series made it all the way to Blackpool with DJ Tyler West.
  • Nadiya Bychkova - She is a two-time World Champion and European Champion in Ballroom and Latin ‘10’ Dance. Originally from Ukraine, Nadiya joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 and has danced with celebrity partners including Davood Ghadami, Lee Ryan, David James and Dan Walker. Last series, she danced with Matt Goss.
  • Graziano Di Prima - This Italian Latin champion joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2018. His celebrity partners have included Vick Hope and Judi Love and in 2021, Graziano was crowned Strictly Christmas Champion with celebrity partner Anne-Marie. Most recently, Graziano made it all to way to the Quarter Finals with his partner Kym Marsh. Before Strictly, as well as competing for his home country, Graziano also represented Belgium at the World Championships and made the top 24 at the Under 21 Latin World Championships.
  • Amy Dowden - Began dancing at the age of eight, is a four-time British National Finalist and went on to become British National Champion, making her one of the highest-ranking Ballroom and Latin dancers in the UK. Amy grew up watching Strictly Come Dancing from her hometown of Caerphilly, South Wales and in 2017 joined the series as a professional dancer. In 2019 she danced all the way to the final with CBBC’s Karim Zeroual and most recently she partnered EastEnders star James Bye.
  • Karen Hauer - Originally from Venezuela, Karen moved to the US when she was eight years old and there became American Rhythm Rising Star Champion, Professional World Mambo Champion and appeared in the television series So You Think You Can Dance. Karen is the longest serving Strictly dancer of the current pro line up, returning for her twelfth series. Over the years she has enjoyed many memorable partnerships including with Jeremy Vine, Mark Wright, Chris Ramsey, Jamie Laing, Greg Wise and most recently comedian Jayde Adams.
  • Katya Jones - World Champion Latin dancer Katya Jones was born in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Competing for England, she became World Professional Latin Showdance Champion, three-time World Amateur Latin Champion, and four-time undefeated British National Professional Champion. Katya is also a Strictly Come Dancing champion, having won the series with Joe McFadden in her second year on the show. Some of her other Strictly students include Ed Balls, Nicola Adams, Adam Peaty and most recently footballing legend Tony Adams.
  • Neil Jones - A four-time undefeated British National Professional Champion and three-time winner of the World Amateur Latin Championships. In 2015, he was crowned World Professional Latin Showdance Champion and has won over 45 titles around the world during his competitive career. Neil has been a Strictly professional since 2016 and his celebrity partners include professional footballer Alex Scott and actress and comedian Nina Wadia.
  • Nikita Kuzmin - Nikita moved to Italy aged 9 from his home country of Ukraine and there became a six-time Italian Champion. In 2020 he competed on Let’s Dance, Germany’s version of Strictly Come Dancing before joining the UK series in 2021. His first celebrity partner in the UK was Tilly Ramsay and they made it to week 10 of the competition. His most recent partner was Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds.
  • Gorka Marquez - He began dancing at the age of 12. He represented Spain in the World Latin Championships in 2010 and reached the semi-finals of the 2012 WDSF World Cup. After touring the world with dance show Burn the Floor, Gorka joined Strictly in 2016 and has danced in three finals, with Alexandra Burke in 2017, Maisie Smith in 2020 and most recently with Helen Skelton in 2022.
  • Luba Mushtuk - Originally from Russia, Luba is a four-time winner of the Italian Dance Championship and is also an Italian Open Latin Show Dance champion and Latin European Championship finalist. Luba was part of the Strictly Come Dancing family for several years as an assistant choreographer, before becoming a professional dancer on the programme in 2018. She has danced with two celebrity partners in the main series: James Cracknell in 2019 and Jason Bell in 2020.
  • Giovanni Pernice - Italian Champion Giovanni is the longest-serving male professional amongst the current line-up of Strictly dancers, having joined the show in 2015. His celebrity partners have included Georgia May Foote, Debbie McGee, Faye Tozer and Michelle Visage. In 2021, he was partnered with actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and together they lifted the Strictly Glitterball trophy giving Giovanni his first Strictly win. His most recent partner was Radio 2’s Richie Anderson.
  • Jowita Przystal - Polish Open Latin Champion Jowita ended her competitive career in 2015 to join the cast of touring dance company, ‘Burn the Floor’ where she stayed for four years before moving to the UK in 2019 to pursue her dancing dreams. Jowita won the BBC’s ‘The Greatest Dancer’ in 2020, which gave her the prize of performing in the Strictly ballroom, and in 2021 she officially joined the Strictly professional line-up. Last series, she was given her first celebrity partner Hamza Yassin and they both went on to lift the trophy, making Jowita the current reigning Strictly champion.
  • Johannes Radebe - A two-time Professional South African Latin Champion and a three-time South African Amateur Latin Champion. He competed on Strictly Come Dancing South Africa twice, reaching the final both times. He joined the UK show in 2018 and in 2021 was partnered with celebrity baker John Whaite in the show’s first all-male partnership. Together they reached the final and became the series’ runners-up. His most recent partner was actress and comedian Ellie Taylor.
  • Kai Widdrington - Southampton born Kai was set to follow in his dad’s footsteps by becoming a professional footballer but aged 9 he decided to take up dancing instead. By the age of 14, he became World Junior Latin champion. Kai joined the professional dancer line-up of Strictly in 2021 and his first celebrity partner was TV presenter AJ Odudu. The pair danced all the way to the Strictly final, but sadly had to pull out due to an injury. Last series, Kai was partnered with Kaye Adams and also went on to be crowned Strictly Christmas champion alongside his Christmas partner actress Alexandra Mardell.
  • Nancy Xu - A world-class Latin dancer who was a finalist in the Under 21 World Championships in 2010. She was also a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance in her home country of China. Nancy joined Strictly in 2019, performing in the show’s group routines and music acts. Nancy has reached the semi-final of the competition with both of her celebrity partners, CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson in 2021 and actor Will Mellor in 2022.
  • Carlos Gu - Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu is a multiple world semi-finalist, placed 3rd at the German Open Championship and was Amateur Latin Rising Star Runner Up at the 2017 UK Open. He joined the Strictly Come Dancing pro line up in 2022 and was partnered with CBBC star Molly Rainford. Together they reached the final and were runners up alongside Fleur East and Helen Skelton.
  • Lauren Oakley - Birmingham-born Lauren started dancing at just 2 years old and began competing soon after. Early successes include becoming Juvenile Champion at the prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival, winning across both Ballroom and Latin disciplines. Lauren was also crowned Under 21 British National Champion before exploring a career on stage. She has toured all over the world and joined the Strictly Come Dancing family in 2022.
  • Michelle Tsiakkas - Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas first started dancing at the age of 6 in her home country of Cyprus.  There she became an undefeated champion, winning national titles consecutively from 2001-2011 before moving to London to study. Whilst in the UK she continued to compete, representing England at major international championships. Michelle joined the pro line up of Strictly Come Dancing in 2022 dancing in the show’s group numbers and music acts.
  • Vita Coppola - 11-time Italian Latin American Champion Vito began dancing at the age of 6 and by the age of 10 was winning national championships. His career highlights include being a 3-time World Championship finalist and European Cup Winner. In 2021 he left the competition world and joined the Italian version of Strictly Come Dancing, where he won in his very first year. He came to Strictly Come Dancing in 2022 and was partnered with Fleur East making it all the way to the Strictly final. Vito and Fleur were runners up alongside Helen Skelton and Molly Rainford.

What date does Strictly Come Dancing start again?

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 starts again in the autumn, on September 16 as this is when the Strictly launch show 2023 returns. Last year the 20th season of Strictly started with the launch show on 23rd September on BBC One followed by live shows beginning the following day on 24th September. So this year fans are getting their Strictly fix a little earlier than expected.

Sarah James, Executive Producer, BBC Studios said, “Excitement is already building for the 21st series of Strictly and we are so lucky to have the best team in the business both on and off camera.  Our amazing presenters, incredible panel of judges and world class professional dancers are ready to bring the sparkle back to your screens this Autumn. We can’t wait!”

And if you've already got your eye on a winner, you might want to see who is favourite to win Strictly 2023?

Split screen of Shirley Ballas and Craig Revel Horwood

(Image credit: Getty / Getty)

Who are the celebrities on Strictly 2023?

The celebrities joining the Class of Strictly Come Dancing 2023 have been confirmed and are as follows; Amanda Abbington, Angela Rippon, Layton Williams, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Eddie Kadi, Angela Scanlon, Zara McDermott, Adam Thomas, Nikita Kanda, Ellie Leach, Bobby Brazier, Nigel Harman, and Les Dennis. 

If you can't wait until the launch show, why not re-watch last years' final...

Amanda Abbington

Amanda Abbington Strictly 2023 contestant

(Image credit: BBC)

You might recognise Amanda as a star of some of the UK’s top drama TV series, including Sherlock, Mr Selfridge, Wolfe, and Desperate Measures, she also had a lead role in the series The Net and feature film The Lost King. 

With three decades acting under her belt, she has also performed in various plays in well renowned theatres across the country, she has recently starred in the West End transfer of Steven Moffat’s The Unfriend.

But her standout role as Mary Morstan in Sherlock won her the Best Supporting Actress gong at the Crime Thriller Awards, alongside nominations for this role at the Critic’s Choice Television Awards. 

Speaking about joining the Strictly line up, Amanda said, “I’m thrilled to have been asked to do Strictly. I’m actually really shy and self-conscious so this will be a great opportunity for me to overcome those things! Plus, I get to learn to dance which I am incredibly excited about. I’m really looking forward to the training too, I’m quite competitive as my family and friends will tell you. I can’t wait to start!”

Angela Rippon CBE

Angela Ripon Strictly 2023 contestant

(Image credit: BBC)

Angela Rippon CBE is an award-winning journalist, TV presenter, newsreader, and author. Her career spans over 50 years, having presented a wide variety of programmes from hard news and current affairs, to quiz shows and magazine programmes for broadcasters across the world.

She currently presents BBC's Rip-Off Britain and is a regular on Morning Live and The One Show, she presented the original Come Dancing between 1988 – 1991 and has fronted shows such as Top Gear, Antiques Roadshow, The Holiday Programme, Crufts, How to Stay Young and The Truth About Dementia to name a few.

Angela Rippon CBE said, “Having been a fan of Strictly since day one, and as a former presenter of Come Dancing, this will be quite an adventure for me.  A scary one, considering I’m about to be 79.  But I’m really looking forward to the challenge, and perhaps being able to learn to dance the Argentinian Tango!!”

Layton Williams

Layton Williams Strictly 2023 contestant

(Image credit: bbc)

Layton is best known as a stage and screen actor and has performed in London’s West End, giving performances as the title role in Billy Elliot and Everyone’s Talking About Jamie.

Layton said: "Absolutely buzzing to confirm that I will be taking part in THE most iconic dance competition in the UK! It's time to bring it to the Ballroom. So excited to learn new skills from the best. Bring on the sequins… ALL the sequins!"

His stage shows credits also include Thriller Live, Rent, Hairspray and New Adventures. He is best known on TV for playing Stephen Carmichael in the Bad Education movie and recently rebooted series. Other TV features include Beautiful People, Benidorm, The Cleaner, and I Hate Suzie. Layton is the voice over artist for the U.K's first gay dating show, I Kissed a Boy on BBC.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Krishnan Guru-Murthy Strictly 2023 contestant

(Image credit: BBC)

Krishnan is best known as the main anchor of Channel 4 News, as well as reporting for the foreign affairs series Unreported World and hosting live debates for Channel 4 during elections, referendums and major crises, he also won the Royal Television Society Journalism Award for best Network Presenter in 2022.

Krishnan said, “I’m surprised, delighted and slightly confused to find myself taking part in Strictly on the basis of ‘you only live once!’ and I can’t wait to start learning to dance, but I am slightly worried about my general decrepitude. I know I’m going to love it and have a brilliant time and just hope I’m not the only one enjoying my participation.”

Eddie Kadi

Eddie Kadi Strictly 2023 contestant

(Image credit: BBC)

Eddie Kadi is a multi-award winning stand-up comedian and radio presenter. 

Eddie said, “WOW. Anyone who knows me, understands that music and dance is so important and central to who I am. I’m so unbelievably proud and honoured that Strictly and the BBC have asked me to join the 2023 Team. I promise you, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. This is going to be a VIBE."

Angela Scanlon

Angela Scanlon, Strictly 2023 contestant

(Image credit: BBC)

Angela Scanlon hosts the hugely-successful interior design show Your Home Made Perfect on BBC Two. Angela is the only woman in the UK and Ireland to have their own Saturday night chat show with Ask Me Anything on RTÉ One. 

Last year, Angela published her first book Joyrider, part empowering guide and part memoir, all about the importance of bringing gratitude into everyday life. Starting off as a stylist, she worked in fashion TV in Ireland, before beginning her UK career as the new presenter of Robot Wars along with documentaries for the BBC.

Ahead of the show, Angela said: “I’m terrified, I’m excited and I have so many questions. Will they make me tan? How itchy are sequins?! Do they do flesh coloured sports bras? Well - there’s only one way to find out, right!? Now I’m panicking a bit… but also secretly thrilled about the prospect of all that glitter. Let’s go!”

Zara McDermott

Zara McDermott Strictly 2023 Contestant

(Image credit: BBC)

Zara was a government policy advisor, working for the Department of Energy and Climate Change and Department of Education before appearing on Love Island in 2018.

Since leaving the reality dating show she has fronted five successful BBC films so far: Revenge PornUncovering Rape CultureDisordered Eatingand Gaia: A Death on Dancing Ledge. Her other broadcasting work includes presenting  the entertainment show Love In The Flesh on BBC Three. 

Zara said: “I am so excited to be joining the world of Strictly! I grew up watching it every year with my nan and she was the biggest Strictly fan. We would dance around the house and I have such fond memories of that time in my life. I even remember the first ever series, and being mesmerised by all the beautiful dresses! I can’t wait to throw myself into this experience and start training. It’s going to be incredible.”

Adam Thomas

Actor Adam is best-known for his roles on Waterloo Road and Emmerdale, and for appearing on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in 2016. 

Speaking about his lack of dancing, Adam confessed, “No, I can’t dance to save my life! I don’t know what I’ve got myself into! Everyone says that I can dance, but the only time that they’ve ever seen me dance is when I’m drunk, and sober dancing and drunk dancing are completely two different things!”

Nikita Kanda

Nikita Kanda Strictly 2023 contestant

(Image credit: BBC)

Nikita is best known for being the current host of the BBC Asian Network’s Breakfast show, previously having presented the Saturday afternoon show. Nikita has also fronted regular reports on BBC One’s The One Show on a range of topics from the rise of cashless businesses to government support for female sport.

Nikita said: “I can’t believe I’m going to be on Strictly. This is a dream come true. I’m still pinching myself. I don’t think it will properly sink in until I step onto the dancefloor. I can’t wait to get glammed up and get out there. Throw the glitter on me!”

Ellie Leach

Ellie Leach Strictly 2023 contestant

(Image credit: BBC)

Ellie is best known for portraying Faye Windass for 12 years on Coronation Street, nominated for multiple British Soap Awards and Inside Soap Awards for her role, hard hitting storylines included being pregnant at 13, discovering she was going through the menopause and reconnecting with the child she gave up - which led to her departing the cobbles earlier this year. 

Prior to Coronation Street Ellie appeared in independent movie A Boy Called Dad and drama Moving On.

Ellie said: “It still doesn’t feel real that I’m going to be doing Strictly!! It’s always been a dream of mine so I guess dreams really do come true!!!!” 

Bobby Brazier

Bobby Brazier, Strictly 2023 contestant

(Image credit: BBC)

Bobby is a 20-year-old British Model, and Actor, best known for his role as Freddie Slater in UK Soap Opera, EastEnders. Full of energy and sparkle, with boyish good looks and cheeky Essex charm; he has graced the runway for world renowned fashion house, Dolce & Gabbana at Milan Fashion Week, sat front row alongside Lewis Hamilton at London Fashion Week and starred on the cover of acclaimed style magazine, ‘Man About Town’. 

Bobby said: “I’m so excited to be part of the Strictly line up, I can’t wait to start training like a professional dancer and adding a few moves to my locker. I'm looking forward to performing in-front of everyone, it's going to be so much fun!”

Nigel Harman

Nigel Harman, Strictly 2023 contestant

(Image credit: BBC)

Nigel’s acting career started when he was eight – working on multiple TV series, theatre shows, and the odd movie. Most recently joining BBC’s Casualty as Max Cristie, Holby ED's new Clinical Lead. Nigel was also in EastEnders playing Dennis Rickman and appeared in Downton Abbey.

Nigel said: "I'm amazed, excited, and terrified to be doing Strictly. As an armchair fan of the show I have watched  in awe as people have twirled and gyrated across the screen. And now it's my turn.....gulp!"

Les Dennis

Les Dennis Strictly 2023 contestant

(Image credit: BBC)

Les Dennis has been in showbiz for over 50 years, including famously hosting Family Fortunes for 16 years. His TV career includes roles in ExtrasBrooksideDeath in Paradise and Midsomer Murders and two years in Coronation Street.  

On stage he’s starred with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the English National Opera, and in hit plays and musicals such as Hairspray, Legally Blonde The Musical and 42nd Street.  

Les Dennis said: “I’m thrilled to be doing this iconic wonderful show as I approach my 70th birthday! In my career I’ve always gone for challenges outside my comfort zone and this is the ultimate one! Can’t wait.”

Strictly Come Dancing launch show starts 16th September on BBC One at 6.35pm

If you like reality shows why not check out Anton and Giovanni Adventures In Sicily or tune in to Australian Traitors to see who can keep their cool.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)