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“Strictly” pairings announced

Posted on September 12, 2011


The pairings for this year’s series of “Strictly Come Dancing” were announced as the flagship BBC show hit our screens in all its glittering glory this weekend. The 14 celebrities were partnered up with their professional dancers in front of the cameras allowing viewers to see their uncensored reactions.

Sparks flew as Lulu was paired up with “Strictly” bad boy Brendan Cole – she jokingly backed away from him, before he threw her over his shoulder in a fireman’s lift and marched with her off stage. Rory Bremner on the other hand was clearly delighted to be paired up with “Strictly” stalwart Erin Boag.

Erin’s popular dancing partner, Anton Du Beke, was paired up with Italian temptress Nancy Dell’Olio, whilst Robbie Savage hit the jackpot with his partner Ola Jordan, who joked: “My husband is going to be so jealous!” James Jordan, meanwhile, was partnered with “The One Show” host Alex Jones.

Former MP Edwina Currie is paired with Vincent Simone and Jason Donovan will be taking to the floor with Kristina Rihanoff, who was clearly delighted by the partnership.

Australian actress and singer Holly Valance will be competing for the title with last year’s winner Artem Chigvintsev. Bruce Forsyth joked: “Holly – if you feel two holes burning in the back of your head, it’s Kara Tointon’s eyes. So be careful! Be very, very careful.”

Russell Grant’s partnership with Flavia Cacace was clearly written in the stars as was the pairing of towering boxer Audley Harrison and statuesque dancer Natalie Lowe.

McFly drummer Harry Judd will be dancing with Aliona Vilani, Dan Lobb has won the hand of Katya Virshilas while Anita Dobson will be waltzing with Robin Windsor.

Completing this year’s line-up is the “single and ready to mingle” “Waterloo Road” actor Chelsee Healey with this year’s only new professional dancer Pasha Kovalev.

The couples will now have three weeks to practise before their first live performance on either September 30 or October 1. Half the couples will take to the floor on the Friday with the remaining seven dancing on the Saturday. The couples will perform either a waltz or the cha cha cha.

For Marianka Swain’s witty take on the “Strictly” line-up, see Dance Today‘s blog, “Strictly speaking”.


Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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