Strictly Saturdays | 2018 Launch Show

It’s September, which can only mean one thing: Strictly Saturdays are back. We love our Saturday nights full of sequins, sparkles and Spray tans, and tonight is the night we find out who is partnered with who. I love how over the top and ridiculous the launch show, and Strictly as a whole is, and although I’d be more than happy to have a shorter show, the launch is always a great night.

I love watching the pro-dancers together. Their pro-numbers are always absolutely insane, they’re all so talented, and they really show off one another to the max. I could do with a bit more clothing on some of the female dancers, but they’re pretty awesome. And we got to see a little more of new guy Graziano!!

I really love how they have the new guys walking Tess and Claudia down the stairs too, that’s very clever. Claudia looks stunning, that tux-suit is working for her, I like it. Shame I can’t say the same for Tess, her dress looks like it’s made out of bacofoil! I like the pair of them, but I wish they would shorten their segments together, and stop with the judges flourish at the beginning. For a group of very good professional dancers, and accomplished judges, they have no sense of timing, and the whole Dame Darcey bit is going to get old quickly if they persist with it.


To make things a little more exciting this time round, Emma and I predicted which celebrity we thought would be paired with which pro-dancer. We both have our favourite dancers and contestants we think we’ll like or find amusing, so we decided to make a list of who we thought would get who, and them compare to the actual list after.

I don’t think we did too badly. OK, so we made quite a few wrong predictions, but we got a few correct, and most importantly for me, there were no pairings that I considered to be a disaster.

Let’s meet them, shall we?


Kate Silverton & Aljaz Skorjanec

And the team that are first out of the trap are…well…a little boring and disappointing. I really quite like Aljaz but have absolutely no thoughts (positive or negative) about Kate, so I think they’ll go a bit under the radar and won’t be a team I’m too invested in really.

I really should have called this pairing, she’s tall and he’s one of the taller pro dancers, and he is lovely.

Vick Hope & Graziano Di Prima

I really quite like new man Graziano thanks to the Insta stories of my favourite on strictly Neil, and Oti, and Katya, which will probably be his saving grace because I think I could easily have disliked him, especially with her. There’s nothing too wrong with her, I just had no clue who she was and it would seem like she has a bit of a dancey background. That’s a tad unfair, no?

I’m going to try really hard to quite like these as I think they’ll be around for a while, but I have a feeling I will just find them a tad irritating!

Susannah Constatine & Anton Du Beke ✔

I don’t care about Anton, he irritates me and could do without him. I really never liked her in her show with Trinny, and I still really don’t like her so this works well. I can dislike them as a pairing and know they won’t change how I feel about anyone else.

Faye Tozer & Giovanni Pernici

She was always the favourite one from Steps for me (a favourite pop group of mine from my childhood). We share a birthday, and she is just lovely. I used to really dislike him but he really changed last year with Debbie, he became funny, and other people I like are really good friends with him and have him on their stories all the time.

I am really quite OK with this. I was hopeful she would be with Aljaz, but this could work. They may become one of my favourite couples.

Lee Ryan & Nadiya Bychkova ✔

He’s tall. She’s leggy. He’s a knob. She’s a bit of a bitch. This is a match made in Liz doesn’t like either of them so pair them off together heaven.

He dances badly already, this could be so hilarious.

Ranj Singh & Janette Manrara ✔

I am pretty sure that this was one of the most obvious and guessable pairings, Dr. Ranj isn’t the tallest chap (pocket-sized in his words) so it was quite obvious that he would be paired with the teeny tiny Janette.

I think I might quite like the Pocket Rockets. I knew nothing about him coming into this, but I like what I see so far. They could be quite good.

Danny John-Jules & Amy Dowden

I don’t want to sound racist or cruel towards her, but I don’t really like her and I quite often struggle to understand her between her Welsh accent and high voice. I know precisely nothing about Danny, I could like or loathe him!

I think I will probably forget about these two pretty quickly, and even though I think they may end up being quite good, I think others will forget them too – I can’t imagine that Red Dwarf fans are habitual Strictly viewers.

Joe Sugg & Dianne Buswell

He’s not danced sober? He’s old enough to have been drunk? Joe Sugg is older than me, sorry what now? I am struggling to believe that he is 27. I really thought I would hate him but the more I find out the more I actually don’t hate him at all. I love watching Dianne on Kevin and Neil’s Insta stories, so I think these will get on well. I may even like them, which is a pleasantly unexpected curveball.

Katie Piper & Gorka Marquez ✔

Awww this makes me happy, they look so happy and cute and relieved to have each other. He is so nice and thoughtful, which will be perfect for her.

These are undoubtedly going to be one of my favourite pairings of the year.

Lauren Steadman & AJ Pritchard ✔

Again, I think we called this pretty early on because it was logical to put a young hard working girl with AJ, both to avoid him looking like he is dancing with his Mum at a wedding, but also because she’s a hardworking sportswoman so they need a young and bright dancer.

I am really fascinated to see where they go with this pairing and how she copes with the dancing. I get her arm is not a huge disability in comparison to some disabilities people face, but I’m intrigued as to how they will construct her frame etc.

Stacey Dooley & Kevin Clifton ✔

They’re just too cute. She wanted him, he wanted her, and they were by far the most excited couple at hearing the name announcement. It’s kind of sweet, and they’re adorable.

I’ve been going through an uncertain patch with liking Kevin of late, so I think this will help and put them as a favourite of mine.

Ashley Roberts & Pasha Kovalev

SHE IS A DANCER. HER ACTUAL JOB WAS TO SING AND DANCE IN THE PUSSYCAT DOLLS. I think it’s so unfair that she is allowed to be in the show, and I am a little relieved she has got a dancer I don’t love because I would be super annoyed if she was with one of my favourites.

I am not going to want to back her in anyway because I think she has an unfair advantage and yeah, I don’t want her to do well even though I think she will.

Seann Walsh & Katya Jones ✔

I adore this couple. She is hilarious and weird and wonderful, and he is funny and odd and they just go so well together. I think he is going to be hilariously rubbish and sometimes that is exactly what you need.

I know what I have said about other couples, but right now these two are my favourite, and I don’t think that will change. I don’t know how far they’ll go, but they’re my favourites.

Charles Venn & Karen Clifton

I really don’t think I like these as a pairing very much, and I actually find Charles leering over Karen and Tess quite creepy. He might turn out to be good, but they are going to make me feel sick.

I don’t really love her either, so that should make these that much more forgettable.

Graeme Swann & Oti Mabuse ✔

I love Oti. She is stunning and hilarious and a spectacular dancer, so I had high hopes that she would get someone who I liked. Graeme is funny and is an ex-sportsman, so he will work hard and cricketers have a strong history on Strictly.

I am very please with this combo, again, one of my favourites.

So….that was the launch show. It could have been better, it could have been worse, but the most important thing is that Strictly is back and I am excited. Saturday nights are going to get interesting again!!

What did you think of the launch show? Who is your favourite? 

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