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Strictly Come Dancing’s imminent return has got BBC viewers all across the country excited as tonight finally sees the show make its highly-anticipated comeback. With the rumour mill swirling over which famous face will be partnered with which professional dance partner, this evening’s launch will see all those questions answered. But ahead of tonight’s launch show, Olympic gold-medallist boxer Nicola Adams has warned her partner they “need to be ready” for her dedication to dancing.
Last month, the 12 celebrities who would be competing in the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing were finally unveiled.
As well as this, one of the upcoming contestants made another landmark announcement after she was confirmed to be taking part.
Nicola Adams – who won gold in the 2012 Olympics – will be the first celebrity to compete in a same-sex pairing.
And Nicola has teased her partner will have a challenge on their hands after reminding fans of her fitness levels.
She said: “My dance partner, whoever it is, needs to be ready to train 24/7 because I’ll be putting in the hours.
“I have the fitness to keep up with them. I’ve been thinking about what will happen if I’m in the bottom two [and survive the dance-off].”
And the star could prove tough competition as she also revealed the level of analysis she will be prepared to carry out to make sure she comes out stronger each week.
“I know I’ll go back, watch the tapes, work out where I went wrong, correct those faults and come back stronger like I did in boxing,” Nicola said.
She also touched on how she feels about the possibility of any negative criticism from viewers after last year’s same-sex routine from Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima prompted over 200 complaints.
Nicola noted: “I’m expecting the same sort of thing I got with women’s boxing in the beginning – there will always be some resisters, but once they know you’re here to stay, they get used to it. Women dance together all the time in nightclubs.
“Traditionally I guess men and women would dance together when they were courting, so the older generation has that in their heads. They see it as a sexual thing rather than a sport,” she added to Radio Times.
The sportswoman’s partner is widely rumoured to be Katya Jones after the pair were snapped appearing to leave rehearsals together.
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But viewers will get to find out exactly who she will be dancing alongside in tonight’s series opener.
Elsewhere, other stars of the show have dropped clues over who they will be paired with this year.
Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s partner was nearly revealed by fellow guest Iain Dale on Friday’s instalment of Good Morning Britain.
He said live on-air: “Well, I think I know who it is because you have to look at who keeps liking Jacqui’s tweets – that’s the clue.
“She hasn’t told me, she won’t tell me… I don’t know his name but there is someone who keeps liking her tweets,” he teased.
And in terms of who could be lifting the Glitterball Trophy this year, EastEnders star Maisie Smith remains the current favourite.
She is currently at 2/1 odds while The Wanted star Max George is just behind at 4/1, according to bookmakers Ladbrokes.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “Maisie’s attracting a lot of interest from punters and could well be the third Eastender to go all the way and win the show.”
Strictly Come Dancing begins tonight at 7:50pm on BBC One.
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