Strictly Come Dancing 2023: confirmed cast, start date and judges

These are the celebs taking to the Strictly ballroom this year so far

Shirley Ballas

by Emily Vierke |
Updated on

Summer is still going, just about, and there is ALREADY talk of the foxtrot on Strictly, Craig Revel Horwood's suits and who will be coupled up with Gemma Collins if her disco ball dreams comes true.

With the latest series of Love Island just finished, we've got a hole in our hearts that only the BBC can fill and it turns out the Strictly producers heard our call for help as they have started to announce which celebs will be vying for the Glitterball trophy.

Which celebrities will be taking part in Strictly 2023?

The official Strictly Instagram account started sharing promo pics this weekend to let us know who will be donning their dancing shoes for this year's series of Strictly.

Les Dennis

TV legend and all round entertainer Les Dennis is the final celebrity to be confirmed as a contestant on this years series of Strictly.

“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.”

Nigel Harman

It has been confirmed that Nigel Harman, who is most famous for his role as Dennis Rickman on EastEnders, will be joining the Strictly 2023 line-up in a bid to win the coveted Glitterball trophy.

"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!"

Anabel Croft

Former Tennis pro turned TV presenter, Anabel Croft is another superstar excited to take to the ballroom.

“I have always loved watching Strictly and can’t quite believe I’m going to be part of this magical show – swapping tennis balls for glitter balls and looking forward to finding some joyfulness in the process.”

Jody Cundy

Jody Cindy CBE is a World and Paralympic Champion, the gold medal winner is ready to step out of his comfort zone and take on a new challenge.

"Excited to be welcomed into the Strictly family and throw myself head first into the world of ballroom dancing. So far away from what I’m used to, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and pushing myself way out of my comfort zone."

Ellie Leach

Former Coronation Street star Ellie Leach has signed up for Strictly 2023 just months after quitting the soap. She also split from her long-term boyfriend Reagan Pettman in May, so it's claimed Ellie is looking for a new venture to focus on - and what better than one of the biggest shows on the telly?

"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!!!!”

Nikita Kanda

Best known for hosting BBC Asian Network’s Breakfast show, Nikita "can’t believe" she will be taking part in the dancing competition.

"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!”

Bobby Brazier

British model and actor Bobby Brazier, best known for playing Freddie Slater on Eastenders is another soap star joining this years line up.

“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.

Adam Thomas

Emmerdale and Waterloo Road actor Adam Thomas will be joining reality TV stars, journalists and DJs this autumn on the latest series of Strictly.

"I am so excited to be joining the cast of this years' Strictly Come Dancing. I've been such a big fan of the show for years, I can't believe I'm actually doing it! I can't dance to save my life but I'm buzzing to learn and have a good laugh with my pro."

Zara McDermott

Zara McDermott smiling against the Strictly backdrop

Love Island 2018 star turned broadcaster and documentary maker Zara McDermott is the first Islander to take to the Strictly ballroom and we absolutely can't wait to see her Made in Chelsea boyfriend Sam Thompson in the audience cheering her on every week.

“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.”

Layton Wiliams

Theatre star Layton has starred in Billy Elliot and Everybody's Talking About Jamie and also runs his own performing arts company ‘Pros from the Shows.’

"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."

Angela Rippon

National treasure, Angela Rippon CBE is the oldest contestant to take part in the show and the award-winning journalist, author and TV presenter has a history with the dancing show...

“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."

Eddie Kadi

British-Congolese Eddie Kadi, a DJ and award-winning stand up comic, is ready for the challenge.

"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."

Amanda Abbington

British actress Amanda who is best known for her roles in Sherlock and Mr Selfridge was the first celebrity confirmed for Strictly.

“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!"

Krishnan Guru-Murthy

krishnan guru murthy

Channel 4 newsreader and broadcaster, Krishnan is another star who will be taking part in Strictly. Although excited, the anchor has some concerns...

“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."

Angela Scanlon

Irish TV presenter and author, Angela, may be excited to take part in the dancing competition but she has lots of questions about Strictly.

“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?"

When does Strictly 2023 start?

According to reports, Strictly 2023 kicks off on Saturday 23 September. The first episode of the series is usually pre-recorded as opposed to a live show and features the celebs finding out who their professional dance partners will be.

Who are the Strictly 2023 judges?

Strictly has been on our telly for nearly twenty years and in that time the judging panel has seen some changes. Besides Craig Revel Horwood, who is practically part of the furniture at this point.

It looks as though we will be heading into 2023 with the same judges as 2022 which can only be a good thing.

Craig, Motsi, Shirley and Anton are the current judges

Shirley Ballas is the head judge with Craig, Motsi Mabuse and ex-Strictly professional Anton Du Beke completing the line up.

What has Shirley Ballas said about Strictly 2023?

Closer recently caught up with head judge Shirley Ballas at our offices (honestly, it was like Miranda Priestly herself had entered the building) ahead of her huge challenge for suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably.

Shirley Ballas

During the candid chat, the conversation naturally veered in a Strictly direction, leading the head judge to spill some serious tea about the 'surprises' in store for the start of series 21 this autumn/winter.

Shirley revealed, "I always think to myself, ‘How is Sarah James [executive producer of Strictly] going to do something different?’, but she always does. She always pulls something out of the bag. I know she’s got surprises on the first week and some new things that make your eyes pop a bit."

If our eyes were ever going to physically pop at the hand of reality television – and somehow, we feel they will one day – we want Strictly to be the cause of it.

She did also admit, "The cast is phenomenal." Sadly, we can't read celebrity minds – yet.

This year will mark Shirley’s seventh series on the Strictly judging panel, where she will be joined by Craig Revel Horwood, Anton Du Beke and Motsi Mabuse to offer expertise to a fresh group of celebs hoping to make the ballroom big time.

But before Strictly’s 21st series later this year, Shirley will be facing her fears during a CALM skyathlon. It involves the world’s fastest zip line, a wing walk and a skydive, with all proceeds going to the charity – which is close to Shirley’s heart after her brother died by suicide two decades ago.

You can donate to Shirley’s Skyathlon, go to And if you’re struggling, talk to CALM on 0800 58 58 58 (UK) or through their webchat.

WATCH: Love Island's Kady and Ouzy on Casa Amor rows, getting in trouble and banned villa items

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us