Home World UNITED KINGDOM Jamie Laing opens the series with a tight-trousered disco cha cha

Jamie Laing opens the series with a tight-trousered disco cha cha

The trousers have been tightened. The gowns have been glitter-spangled. The spraytans have dried.

Tonight the Class of Strictly 2020 will make their heavily sequinned live dancefloor debuts and face the judging panel’s critiques for the first time. It’s a month later than usual but even more eagerly anticipated for it. 

We were introduced to this year’s dancing dozen during last Saturday’s launch show, saw them paired up with their professional partners and got a fleeting glimpse of their hoofing potential during that climactic, chaotic group number. 

The newly formed pro-celebrity couples have since disappeared into their “support bubbles” for a week’s intensive training. So who will rise to the occasion and who will wilt under the sparkly spotlight?

We’ll see Strictly history made with the first ever same-sex dance from Olympic boxer Nicola Adams and her pro partner Katya Jones. We’ll also get our first clues about whether prancing politician Jacqui Smith is likely to be an Ann Widdecombe/Ed Balls (ie. surprise quarter-finalist) or an Edwina Currie (booted out first).

I’m Michael, your virtual dance partner for tonight’s live opener. It’s showtime at 7.25pm on BBC One. I’ll be liveblogging from 6.45pm, providing build-up, rolling coverage, social media reaction and sardonic backchat. 

Please join me – and join in, too. You can email me on michael.hogan@telegraph.co.uk,  tweet me on @michaelhogan or leave comments at the bottom of this blog. I’ll keep an eye on them all and report the highlights here. 

Forget lockdowns. Tiers be damned for two hours. Saturday nights are about to sparkle again. Nearly time to staaaaaaart covid-safe dancing!

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