This year’s Strictly Come Dancing contestants will be revealed in a special launch show ahead of the new series, the BBC has confirmed.

The one hour show, which will air on September 11, will also feature the celebrities, judges and professional dancers meeting for the first time.

It is the first time in the show’s history that viewers will be able to see the stars meeting their professional partners in front of a live studio audience.

In previous series, first meets have been filmed in advance either in training rooms or workplaces and shown on the first show of the series.

The programme, which will feature stars and dancers arriving at BBC TV Centre on a red carpet, will be filmed on September 8. The actual series will begin on October 4.

It is thought stars will be paid on a per-show basis this year instead of given a flat fee for the series, while Bruce Forsyth has revealed he will be taking a pay cut this year.

And the Sunday results show will return after viewers complained that last year’s Saturday night show – which featured routines and results in one programme – was too long.

“In a series that features more excitement and glamour than ever before, a red carpet event is the ideal way to launch this year’s Strictly,” said the BBC’s Controller of Entertainment Commissioning Mark Linsey.

“This, along with a fantastic line-up of celebrities, even more professional dancers and a revamped set, will see this series getting off to a great launch.”

Actress Felicity Kendal, former MP Anne Widdecombe, ex-Coronation Street star Tina O’Brien, Holby City‘s Patsy Kensit and Charlotte Church’s ex Gavin Henson are among those rumoured to be taking part this year.