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Strictly Come Dancing 2021: Who are the judges this year?

The show is already shaping up for the new series (Picture: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 has tangoed its way back onto our TV screens – finally!

The main show kicks off live on Saturdays at the usual place (BBC One) – though you can watch the launch show on iPlayer now if you’ve yet to see the full star-studded line-up.

Presenter AJ Odudu, McFly musician Tom Fletcher and comedian Robert Webb were the first announced, with CBBC star Rhys Stephenson and Great British Bake Off’s John Whaite also in the mix.

After Nicola Adams and Katya Jones competed in the first ever same-sex partnership on Strictly in 2020, baking star John is joining the first ever all-male pair, together with Johannes Radebe.

We know the show was different last year, but this year it will almost be back to pre-pandemic normality – though Blackpool is still off the cards.

But there is another big change afoot: a switched-up judging panel. So, who is on the hot seat?

Who are the Strictly Come Dancing judges for 2021?

The Strictly judges line-up, as seen on Saturday, September 18’s launch show (Picture: Guy Levy/BBC)

Firstly, the good news: three Strictly icons are returning to the panel this year.

Head judge Shirley Ballas is back for series 19, as is South African dance star Motsi Mabuse, who originally appeared on Germany’s version of Strictly, called Let’s Dance.

Australia-born Craig Revel Horwood, a West End performer and ballroom dancer, will also return to the panel. He’s yet to miss a single episode of Strictly Come Dancing.

Sadly, fans will notice early on that Bruno Tonioli isn’t taking part this year.

The upside is that former Strictly pro Anton Du Beke will step into his place for this year’s run of shows.

Anton is appearing as a Strictly judge this year (Picture: BC)

Anton’s already had a taste of being on the panel, having subbed in for Motsi in 2020 – when she needed to make an urgent return to Germany, where she lives.

He said of his new role: ‘My loves I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be stepping into Bruno’s brogues for the next series of Strictly.

‘It’s a dream come true to be judging alongside the best of the best and I promise to be kinder to all the couples than any of them have ever been to me.’

Bruno, who lives in the US, previously revealed he was missing the new series due to uncertainty over coronavirus travel rules.

Credit: Original article published here.

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