Excitement builds for Strictly return

Strictly dancers in Blackpool last year for the filming
Strictly dancers in Blackpool last year for the filming
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Get ready for showtime!

Strictly Come Dancing fever has returned – and Blackpool is ready to throw a ballroom party.

TV bosses have announced the new dancers who will be partnering celebrities in the top rated Saturday night show.

No details on when or where it will be filming have yet been released but the team at Blackpool Tower are said to be ready to welcome the show back to the magnificent ballroom, which is often praised by stars of the show as the highlight of the Strictly calendar.

Last year’s winning professional Joanne Clifton, who waltzed in the Tower Ballroom to Frank Sinatra’s That’s Life with Ore Oduba, has said she is stepping down to concentrate on her stage career. Also leaving is Oksana Platero who danced with Judge Rinder last year. Natalie Lowe announced her departure earlier this year. The new women will be Dianne Buswell, from Australia, Nadiya Bychkova, from Ukraine, and Amy Dowden from Wales.

Louise Rainbow, executive producer, thanked the three departing dancers adding: “We’re delighted with our line-up of pros for this year’s series. They are all brilliant dancers and wonderful teachers and we are so lucky to have them.”

One fan who will be delighted if the show films at Blackpool once more is Christine Howe from Lytham who had a dream come true when she got to dance with winner Ore Oduba in the Tower thanks to pal Bev Sykes from the Just Good Friends group.

Christine said: “I go ballroom dancing at the Tower anyway so it will be wonderful for it to come back here.

“The dancers love coming her because the rest of the shows are filmed in a studio not a proper ballroom so it is a real treat. The ballroom is so beautiful with all the art deco, it is the highlight of the show.”

Bev Sykes said: “Everyone loves Strictly. It just has to be in Blackpool at the Tower – it wouldn’t be the same. It is definitely good for the town too.”

Hayley Dancy, from Blackpool’s CATS with Red Shoes dance school, is also a fan.

She said: “It is fantastic and it’s great to see dance on the TV. They love it when it is on and is the main topic of conversation. Strictly often uses the same music as we do and the dancers here love that.”