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Sneak peek reveals Strictly judges ‘going up against each other’ on launch show

The BBC has offered a sneak peek at the Strictly Come Dancing launch show as the judges go up “against each other” to do a big dance number alongside the professionals.

Dressed in black, judges Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse show the contestants what they are looking for as the celebrity dancing show returns to BBC One at 6.35pm on Saturday.

Anton Du Beke and the Strictly Come Dancing 2023 professional dancers (BBC/Guy Levy/PA)
Anton Du Beke and the Strictly Come Dancing 2023 professional dancers (BBC/Guy Levy/PA)

Du Beke is seen looking serious with a black hat, patterned top and dark trousers while Revel Horwood opts for more of a French mime look including a black and white striped top, red scarf and suspenders.

Revel Horwood, 58, said: “Well, it’s very exciting. So I’m doing an assisted backward walk-over darling, which I’ve never done before, it’s when you drop into two boys’ arms, flip over and land hopefully on your feet, so that’ll be good fun.

Craig Revel Horwood also takes to the dancefloor (BBC/Guy Levy/PA)
Craig Revel Horwood also takes to the dancefloor (BBC/Guy Levy/PA)

“It’s really stylised, I really love the music and it’s a compilation and it’s all four judges going up against each other.”

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Images also show 63-year-old “Queen of Latin” Ballas lunge in a black dress with a pink rosette as she is surrounded by fan-wielding Strictly professionals.

Shirley Ballas lunging at the launch show (BBC/Guy Levy/PA)
Shirley Ballas lunging at the launch show (BBC/Guy Levy/PA)

She said: “The audience is in for a real treat, my dance shoes are back out and it feels amazing.

“I’ve been put through my paces but to be dancing with my fellow judges and the professional dancers is a feeling like no other.”

Du Beke said the number is “amazingly brilliant” and the judges are “on great form as well”.

Motsi Mabuse showing emotion in a black dress (BBC/Guy Levy/PA)
Motsi Mabuse showing emotion in a black dress (BBC/Guy Levy/PA)

The 57-year-old was the longest-serving professional dancer on Strictly, having been a fixture on the BBC One series since it began, until he swapped the dancefloor for the judging panel to take over from Bruno Tonioli permanently in 2021.

Du Beke said: “Everyone is in great shape and everyone is dancing well and it’s just a really fantastic number, it genuinely is. It felt a bit like being back in a pro number. I am on a podium, it’s exciting.”

Mabuse, who used to be a professional on German dance show Let’s Dance before becoming a judge and moving to Strictly, said: “You think you’ve retired and you’re never going to dance again and you’ve done it all, but then Strictly calls and then the shoes are back on.

“I think that the audience loves to see the judges dancing and it’s going to be a big celebration.”

The judges will be scrutinising 15 contestants for the 21st series, including broadcaster Angela Rippon, Channel 4 news presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy, former Family Fortunes presenter Les Dennis, EastEnders actor Bobby Brazier and reality star Zara McDermott.