The first seven contestants in Strictly Come Dancing 2010 have made their dancefloor debut as the eighth series of the show gets underway.

The celebrities and their professional partners kicked off the series performing either a cha cha cha or a waltz in Friday night’s live show.

The remaining seven will perform for the first time on Saturday night.

This year, the honour of kicking off the competition fell to actress Felicity Kendal, who performed a cha cha cha with partner Vincent Simone.

She received a mixed response from judges – Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood, Alesha Dixon and Bruno Tonioli.

Alesha described the actress as “beautiful” and added, “You had just the right amount of sex kitten,” while Len suggested that she should have put “more hip action” into the routine.

Craig, however, was less kind and told Felicity she was “flat-footed” – giving her a score of just four, although Alesha and Bruno each gave her seven.

EastEnders star Scott Maslen also fared well, although his waltz with partner Natalie Lowe raised eyebrows when the pair opted for raunch over romance – however they scored 29 out of 40, the second highest score of the night.

“It was strong, dramatic and romantic,” Bruno said. “God knows what you’re going to do with the rumba.”

Goldie, meanwhile, fell foul of Craig who gave him a score of only three despite his best efforts with an energetic cha cha cha.

“It was entertaining,” Alesha said, “but there was too much disco and not enough cha cha.”

“That ghastly 80s move has to go,” Craig added. “Two-year-olds do that, darling.”

And Craig was also critical of Holby City ‘s Patsy Kensit and her waltz with professional newcomer Robin Windsor, complaining that she stuck her bottom out and was heading for a “dance disaster”.

However Blue Peter presenter Matt Baker won warm praise from all the judges for his cha cha cha.

“You, sir, are one to watch!” Len Goodman declared before the quartet gave him 31 out of 40 – the joint highest score of the night.

Bruno was equally enthusiastic. “This year is going to be a classic,” he said. “What I’ve seen for the first night is amazing, well done.”

And comedienne turned psychologist Pamela Stephenson, who was next on the dancefloor, equalled Matt’s score with a waltz that wowed the judges.

“It was breathtaking,” Alesha said. “You have such a beautiful energy about you.”

Finally it was the turn of Paul Daniels – whose cha cha cha to the track Could It Be Magic began with dance partner Ola Jordan emerging from what looked like a magician’s trick box.

But such gimmicks failed to impress the panel. “It was more like Could It e Tragic?” snapped Bruno.

Len however wasn’t quite so disparaging. “It was as though you’d been sprinkled with fairy dust,” he said. “It was light, it was dainty.” Nonetheless Paul wound up with just 16 points – the lowest score of the night.

The remaining seven celebrities who will take to the floor on Saturday include Tina O’Brien, Jimi Mistry, Kara Tointon, Gavin Henson, Peter Shilton, Michelle Williams and Anne Widdecombe.

There is no elimination this week, with the first celebrity due to get the boot on next Sunday’s results show.