First Strictly stars confirmed as Amanda Abbington, Angela Rippon and Layton Williams

It’s nearly time to dust off those sequins as Strictly Come Dancing nears its return.

The hit BBC show has signed up a whole new cast of celebrities who are brave enough to take on the challenge in an attempt to walk away with the famous glitter ball trophy.

During Friday night’s episode of The One Show, the first celebrities for the 2023 series were confirmed as Sherlock star Amanda Abbington, broadcaster Angela Rippon and actor Layton Williams.

Amanda was the first name to be announced. She is best known for playing Josie Mardle in Mr Selfridge and Mary Morstan in Sherlock alongside her former partner Martin Freeman.

first strictly stars confirmed as amanda abbington, angela rippon and layton williams

Amanda Abbington and Angela Rippon will star on the new series of Strictly

Amanda and Martin share two children, a son Joe and a daughter Grace, and were together for 16 years before confirming their separation in 2016.

After the news was revealed on Friday evening’s The One Show, she said the main reason she wanted to do it was to embarrass her teenage children.

She also admitted she is “incredibly competitive” and is excited to get into the rehearsal room.

Angela Rippon was quickly announced as the second star who will be taking to the dancefloor.

first strictly stars confirmed as amanda abbington, angela rippon and layton williams

Amanda Abbington was the first celebrity contestant confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing 2023

The broadcaster, 78, became the first regular female news anchor on the BBC in 1975 and went on to host shows including Strictly predecessor Come Dancing.

Appearing on The One Show, Angela revealed the first thing she asked the BBC show when they approached her was “why didn’t they ask me 10 years ago”.

She added: “The serious reason behind doing it is because I’ve been advocating ever since I did a series called How To Stay Young with Chris van Tulleken where we demonstrated as part of the programme that dance is the complete full mind and body exercise for everybody, regardless of your age, but particularly for people as they get older.”

first strictly stars confirmed as amanda abbington, angela rippon and layton williams

Angela Rippon CBE is the second celebrity contestant confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing 2023

The third and final star revealed tonight was Layton Williams.

The 28-year-old is best known for playing the role of Stephen Carmichael in the sitcom Bad Education.

Williams rose to fame as a child playing the title role in Billy Elliot The Musical on London’s West End and from 2019 he played the title character in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie on the West End.

Speaking to The One Show on Friday, he said he is ready to go on a “rollercoaster journey with the cast” and “slay the ballroom floor”.

He added that he would like to be paired with a male professional dancer so he can be lifted up during the performances.

first strictly stars confirmed as amanda abbington, angela rippon and layton williams

Layton Williams is the third celebrity contestant confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing 2023

Before the big reveal of the stars, the dancing competition show tweeted: “It’s time to start revealing our #Strictly class of 2023. Tonight @BBCTheOneShow 7pm.”

English ballroom dancer Shirley Ballas, who has been dubbed the Queen of Latin, will be head judge again as Australian-born choreographer Craig Revel Horwood, South African dancer Motsi Mabuse, and ballroom and Latin dancer Anton Du Beke also return to the judging panel.

Tess Daly, who has presented the BBC One show since its first series in 2004, and Claudia Winkleman, who took over from Sir Bruce Forsyth as the main co-host in 2014, are also set to return.

Dave Arch and his band will once again provide the soundtrack to Strictly on Saturday and Sunday nights as competitors again head to the prestigious Tower Ballroom in Blackpool.

first strictly stars confirmed as amanda abbington, angela rippon and layton williams

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are set to return as hosts

In April, the BBC announced that current reigning champion Jowita Przystal, who last year lifted the glitterball trophy with wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin, is returning to the show along with 2022’s runner-ups Gorka Marquez, Carlos Gu and Vito Coppola.

Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones and Nikita Kuzmin were also confirmed to be among the professionals in the line-up.

Those taking to the dancefloor also include Luba Mushtuk, Giovanni Pernice, Johannes Radebe, Kai Widdrington, Nancy Xu, Lauren Oakley and Michelle Tsiakkas.

Meanwhile, South African professional dancer Cameron Lombard, who joined the show in 2021, will not be part of the line-up for Strictly Come Dancing 2023 as he pursues “exciting future projects”.

first strictly stars confirmed as amanda abbington, angela rippon and layton williams

Strictly Come Dancing’s Hamza Yassin was unveiled as the 2022 winner on Saturday night’s final

In April, the BBC revealed that Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two presenter Rylan Clark would step down from the spin-off after four years, with singer and former Strictly contestant Fleur East taking his place alongside Janette Manrara.

Meanwhile, Strictly star Amy Dowden will not feature as a professional dancer this year as she undergoes chemotherapy treatment after announcing in May that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and revealing she had undergone a mastectomy in June.

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