Tonight’s pre-recorded episode of Strictly Come Dancing will reveal the dancers and their celebrity partners.
And just hours ahead of Saturday’s premiere, pro dancer Giovanni Pernice shared a video of his celebrity partner’s bruised and battered feet after a gruelling rehearsal.
With her face hidden, the 31-year-old captured the star barefoot on his Instagram Stories, drawing attention to cuts on her heels and bruises on her toes.
Strictly Come Dancing 2021: Pro dancer Giovanni Pernice shared a video to Instagram Stories on Friday of his celebrity partner’s bruised and battered feet ahead of Saturday’s premiere
‘Ouch! Welcome to Strictly partner,’ Giovanni captioned the footage that saw the star dressed in slinky black leggings and moving around in a circle on the spot.
The female celebrities on this year’s season of Strictly are TV presenter AJ Odudu, businesswoman Sara Davies, actress Katie McGlynn, Gordon Ramsay’s daughter Tilly, actresses Rose Ayling-Ellis and Nina Wadia, as well as comedienne Judi Love.
Also joining the ladies are rugby player Ugo Monye, athlete Adam Peaty, actor Greg Wise, journalist Dan Walker, presenter Rhys Stephenson, TV chef John Waite, comedian Robert Webb and musician Tom Fletcher.
Painful: ‘Ouch! Welcome to Strictly partner,’ Giovanni captioned the footage that saw the star dressed in slinky black leggings and moving around in a circle on the spot
The Strictly crew have been learning sign language as actress Rose, 26, who plays Frankie Lewis in BBC soap EastEnders, makes history as the show’s first deaf contestant.
Executive producer Sarah James also confirmed that Rose will be accompanied by an interpreter both in rehearsals and during the live episodes.
Speaking to the press, Sarah James said: ‘I think already myself and the team have learned a lot from Rose. She’s an amazing person, she is also very honest about what she needs and what we need to adapt, so it’s been an ongoing conversation.
‘All of the team are doing deaf awareness training, which has been brilliant, and we’re learning some sign language, and that’s been brilliant as well.’
Countdown: Giovanni (pictured), 31, is one of the pro dancers returning to the series. Saturday’s premiere will reveal the pro dancers and their celebrity partners
‘Obviously, Rose will need an interpreter with her at all times so she will always have an interpreter with her in training. And then on the show, you may see an interpreter occasionally on camera – obviously she’ll need somebody to interpret the judge’s comments and her chats with Claudia (Winkleman).
‘But other than that, I know that Rose is looking forward to the show just like everybody else and I can’t wait to see what she does.’
The actress previously said she hopes by taking part in Strictly she will ‘break down barriers’ for the deaf community.
Making history: Meanwhile, the Strictly crew have been learning sign language as EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis (pictured), 26, makes history as the show’s first deaf contestant
Breaking down barriers: ‘To be the first deaf contestant on Strictly Come Dancing is sooooo exciting… and a little bit scary,’ Rose said. ‘It is the hardest secret I have ever had to keep so it feels amazing to finally have this out in the open’
‘To be the first deaf contestant on Strictly Come Dancing is sooooo exciting… and a little bit scary,’ Rose said.
‘It is the hardest secret I have ever had to keep so it feels amazing to finally have this out in the open.
‘I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers. But I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill and even better I get to learn whilst wearing beautiful dresses made especially for me.’
Rose looks incredible in her eye-catching frock for her professional portrait, with her tresses transformed into glamorous tumbling curls, thanks to long hair extensions.
Strictly Come Dancing 2021: The celebrities turned up the glamour for their professional photos ahead of the brand new series
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2021: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?
Profession: McFly musician
Tom says: ‘I’m so pleased the news is out it’s been so hard keeping it secret. Equal parts excited and terrified.’
Fun fact: Tom’s McFly bandmate Harry Judd won Strictly Come Dancing in 2011. Tom’s wife Giovanna Fletcher is the reigning champion of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Profession: Actor and comedian
Robert says: ‘It’s very exciting but with a slight undertone of quivering terror.’
Fun Fact: Robert squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from ’80s film Flashdance, beating the likes of Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness to the title.
Profession: CBBC presenter
Rhys says: ‘I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation’
Fun fact: Rhys has been an actor since the age of ten, performing alongside Matt Smith and Hugh Bonneville.
Katie says: ‘I’m really not a dancer, but I’m so excited to learn a new skill on this crazy journey and cannot wait to slip into some sequins along the way.’
Fun fact: Katie, who played Sinead Tinker in Corrie, won a NTA for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020.
Profession: CBBC presenter
Tilly says: ’I’m going to put my heart and soul into this and can’t wait to get my dancing shoes on!’
Fun fact: Tilly’s father is celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and the pair often star in dancing TikTok videos.
Nina says: ‘I think I should do this before I’m too old and can’t walk anymore. I just want to grab life by the horns and just enjoy it.’
Fun fact: Nina is a JDRF Ambassador and was awarded an OBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List.
Adam says: ‘I’m really looking forward to doing something totally different and challenging myself away from the pool.’
Fun fact: Adam becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.
Profession: Rugby player and sports pundit
Ugo says: ‘What a dream come true! Strictly is the biggest entertainment show on TV and I can’t wait to show everyone I’ve got more than just dad dancing moves.
Fun fact: Beginning his rugby career at Harlequins in 2002, Ugo went on to make 241 appearances for the club where he scored 89 tries, won a Premiership and made his England debut in 2008.
Profession: TV presenter
AJ says: ‘I think it’s going to be really challenging. I can’t wait for the sequins, the wigs, the glitz and the glamour.’
Fun Fact: Apocalypse Wow hosts AJ has featured on a whopping 14 TV shows this year, competing in the likes oF Cooking With The Stars and Celebrity Karaoke Club. She has appeared as a panelist on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in the past, too.
Profession: Great British Bake Off Winner and TV chef
John says: ‘I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family… I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on earth’
Fun Fact: John is set tp be part of the first ever all-male partnering – the first in 17 years of the show.
Sara says: ‘I’m really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance… Truth be told – I haven’t got a clue! I’ve not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little.’
Fun fact: Sara was the youngest ever dragon on BBC show Dragons’ Den.
Dan says: ‘I’m enjoying the experience when it starts of learning to dance. I’ll be honest I’m not making room on any shelves in my house for the glitterball.’
Fun fact: Dan recently quit Football Focus after 12 years at the helm and has been covering Tokyo Olympics.
Greg says: ‘It’s about being out there and exposing yourself as someone who can’t dance, and learning.’
Fun fact: Greg is married to the actress Emma Thompson who he met while filming Sense and Sensibility.
Rose says: ‘I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers. I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill.’
Fun fact: Rose will make history as Strictly’s first deaf contestant.
Judi says: ‘I’m truly looking forward to pushing myself in something that I could have only dreamed of doing and now it’s actually coming true!’
Fun fact: Judi began comedy when she performed a set in front of her class for a degree module.