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Strictly Come Dancing shares latest update for 2021 series

Anton Du Beke (BBC/PA)
Anton Du Beke (BBC/PA)

Anton Du Beke will continue his reign as the longest-serving professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing after the BBC confirmed he is part of the 2021 line-up.

The ballroom pro, 54, will take to the dance floor of the BBC One series this year once again, marking his 19th stint on the show.

During the last series, Du Beke stood in as a guest judge when Motsi Mabuse had to self-isolate following an urgent trip to Germany.

Other returning professional dancers include last year’s winner Oti Mabuse, Aljaz Skorjanec, Gorka Marquez and Katya Jones.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020
Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse, winners the final of Strictly Come Dancing 2020 (BBC/PA)

Mabuse was crowned the 2020 winner alongside comedian Bill Bailey, who, then aged 55, became the series’ oldest winner after Joe McFadden, who triumphed in 2017 aged 42.

Jones made history as part of the show’s first same-sex dance pairing alongside boxer Nicola Adams last year, but their journey was cut short after Jones received a positive Covid-19 test result.

They later returned to the dancefloor during the finale.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020
Nicola Adams and Katya Jones took part in last year’s show (BBC/PA)

Professional dancers Janette Manrara and Karen Hauer will also return to Strictly in the autumn, as will Neil Jones, Amy Dowden and Giovanni Pernice.

Sarah James, executive producer at BBC Studios, said: “We are so thrilled to be welcoming back our incredible line-up of professional dancers for 2021.

“Their passion and dedication for Strictly shone through more than ever last year as they all sacrificed so much to deliver an unforgettable series during unprecedented and challenging times.

“With so much talent returning to the ballroom, the 2021 series promises more show-stopping choreography, memorable performances and world class dancing.”

The line-up of professionals also includes Dianne Buswell, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova and Nancy Xu.

More information, including which celebrity contestants the dancers will be paired with, will be announced in due course, the BBC said.

Ratings data from the audience research organisation Barb showed that the 2020 Strictly finale was a ratings hit, as some 12.4 million people tuned in to see who would lift the Glitterball trophy.

Last year also saw the show enjoy its highest average ratings for three years.

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