So who is go­ing to dance with who?

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Television -

The X Fac­tor be­gan last week, and this week­end sees the re­turn of its Satur­day night rival, Strictly Come Danc­ing (Satur­day, BBC1, 6.50pm).

Ad­mit­tedly, the pro-celebrity ball­room con­test won’t start in earnest for a cou­ple of weeks, but this launch show, hosted by Tess Daly and Clau­dia Win­kle­man, gives us a chance to get a good look at the Class of 2016 in all their newly se­quinned, fake-tanned-glory. Even more im­por­tantly, we will also find out which pro­fes­sional will be paired with which fa­mous face.

Quite a few of the male dancers will be hop­ing to get Olympic gym­nast Clau­dia Fra­ga­pane, who has emerged as the book­ies’ early favourite to win the glit­ter­ball tro­phy It’s not hard to see why- not only do gym­nasts have a good track record on the show (Peter­bor­ough’s Louis Smith won in 2012), she’s also fit, flex­i­ble and used to per­form­ing un­der pres­sure while wear­ing sparkles and re­veal­ing out­fits. But at just 4 foot 7 inches, Clau­dia ad­mits that she’s hop­ing to get one of the more pe­tite pros: “I don’t have a favourite, but just some­one of a sim­i­lar height so it is eas­ier to dance with them.”

She’s not the only per­son to go straight from Rio into the ball­room as Greg Ruther­ford is also tak­ing up the Strictly ba­ton, clearly un­de­terred by the in­jury his fel­low long jumper Jade John­son picked up when she did the show back in 2009.

He says: “I love be­ing chal­lenged and tak­ing to the Strictly ball­room is like noth­ing I have ever done be­fore - do­ing this is definitely a long jump from my day job for sure!”

We’ll have to wait and see whether the ath­letes ab­sorbed any Brazil­ian rhythms dur­ing their time at the Games, but they will both face some stiff com- pe­ti­tion from the rest of this year’s in­take - es­pe­cially pop per­form­ers Will Young, Anasta­cia and Louise Red­knapp, who as a for­mer judge on So You Think You Can Dance should have a good idea what the panel are look­ing for.

That hasn’t set­tled her nerves though, as Louise says: “I’ve sung in front of crowds of thou­sands be­fore, but the idea of step­ping out onto that fa­mous dance floor with a world-class pro­fes­sional dancer gives me but­ter­flies just think­ing about it!”

And we wouldn’t bet against there be­ing one or two lovely lit­tle movers among the rest of the celebri­ties, namely fash­ion model Daisy Lowe, TV pre­sen­ters Laura Whit­more, Na ga Munch et ty and Ore O duba, ac­tors Tameka Emps on, Danny Mac and Les ley Joseph, DJ Melvin Odoom, TV legalea-gle Robert Rin­der and for­mer politi­cian Ed Balls.

We’ll get the chance to as­sess ev­ery­one’s form as they take to the floor for a group number, which will be closely ob­served by judges Darcey Bus­sell, Bruno To­nioli, Craig Revel Hor­wood and Len Good­man, who has an­nounced that this will be his fi­nal se­ries. ( So get those shouts of ‘sev-un!’ in while you can).

And as an ad­di­tional treat, the mu­sic comes from old X Fac­tor mates Re­becca Fer­gu­son and Olly Murs.

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