Last minute rehearsals for Strictly stars as first dances and songs are revealed
27 SEPTEMBER 2013
Get your dancing shoes on Strictly fans - the big day is here. On Friday, celebrities will take to the dance floor to show off their fancy footwork in the first live show of the series.
Rehearsals have, understandably, stepped up a notch in preparation for the big night.
Among those who have put through their paces are Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Natalie Gumede. Both ladies have been photographed perfecting their dance moves this week, ahead of the live show.
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Despite the daunting task ahead of them, Sophie and Natalie both looked happy and relaxed as they put in the practice with their professional partners, Brendan Cole and Artem Chigvintsev.
Former Coronation Street actress Natalie currently stands as the bookies' favourite to waltz away with the famous glitter ball trophy.
The actress has previous dancing experience, and of course her partner Artem famously steered another soap star — girlfriend Kara Tointon — to victory in 2010.
Another star tipped to go all the way to the top is Hollyoaks actor Ashley Taylor Dawson. Having danced as a member of defunct band allSTARS, he also looks set to be a contender for the Strictly crown.
Ahead of Friday's premiere, BBC have revealed the all-important dance and song list for week one.