Strictly Come Dancing – BBC1

Strictly Come Dancing's 15 celebrities 
have begun 
to master fleckerls, heel 
leads and samba rolls as they take to the Strictly dance floor 
for the first time

We’ve been talking about this year’s contestants for weeks, but we’ve barely seen them actually dance.

Tonight, it’s showtime, and the newly introduced couples put their best foot forward in a bid to impress the judges in the first live episode.

Luckily, nobody goes home this weekend, but first impressions count, as scores will be carried over to next week, and fans will already be deciding who to vote for.

Spare a thought for poor Lauren Steadman, who spent most of the training period 
in Australia at the World Triathlon Championships 
– fingers crossed her dance partner AJ

has worked his magic with an easy but impressive routine!

TV Times caught up with news anchor Kate Silverton, partnered with Aljaž Škorjanec, and Steps singer Faye Tozer, paired with Giovanni Pernice. Here the ladies share their hopes and fears for their big Strictly adventure…

News anchor Kate Silverton with her dance partner Aljaž

News anchor Kate Silverton with her dance partner Aljaž

What made you sign up?
Faye: It’s the most fabulous show on telly! I’ve had my eye on it for years and I’m over the moon they’ve finally let me do it. I was on holiday when I got the call. I was walking down the street with my husband and I literally bawled my eyes out!
Kate: I’ve always loved it but when they’ve asked me before I’ve either been reporting from the frontline in Iraq or Afghanistan, or raising my babies at home. Now it’s finally the right time – although physically I should have done it 12 years ago!

We only got a brief glimpse 
at the launch show – have you 
got the moves?
Faye: I’d say I’m a pretty good dancer. I’m very well known for throwing a few shapes with Steps anyway, but I’ve never done any ballroom or Latin. I’m ready to give it my all and I’m really excited for the tango. Giovanni says I’m not very good at being led, though!
Kate: It’ll be a challenge – I haven’t worn skirts that short since playing netball in school and the only time I have ever danced is in front of my kids in my kitchen, so I am going into a steep learning curve. I’ve had emails from Naga Munchetty and Katie Derham, who have offered tips on knee support and blisters – 
I thought it was supposed to be fun!

Steps singer Faye Tozer with her dancer partner Giovanni

Steps singer Faye Tozer with her dancer partner Giovanni

What worries you most, going into your first live performance?
Faye: Falling down the stairs or tripping over. Also blanking in the middle of a routine – I won’t have the audience doing the moves back to me like in Steps! I can get very nervous and I’ve never been on my own out there – I usually have four other people to calm me down!

Are you excited for your families to see you on the dance floor?
Kate: Yes, I’ve been bonding with my daughter over the sparkles and I’ve told my boy mummy is going 
to be moving her bottom, which is hilarious for a four-year-old! I’ll be taking Aljaž to do the school run with me after training, so the mums will have fun with him!

TV Times rating: *****