Strictly Come Dancing is back on our screens – and viewers already think they’ve figured out the winner will be.
The popular BBC dance competition returned on Saturday (16 September) with a pre-recorded launch show in which this year’s batch of celebrities danced together for the first time.
During the episode, the public also learnt which professional dancer will be putting each celebrity through their paces in the competition. You can find all the couples here.
The youngest celebrity contestant on Strictly 2023 is 20-year-old EastEnders star Bobby Brazier. Brazier is an actor and model who recently joined the cast of the BBC soap as Freddie Slater.
Brazier is the son of presenter Jeff Brazier and the late Big Brother star Jade Goody.
During the launch episode, Brazier learnt that he would be dancing with Australian pro Dianne Buswell. The 34-year-old dancer has appeared on Strictly since 2017, and reached the final the following year with her celebrity partner and future boyfriend Joe Sugg.
Brazier said he was “so pleased” to be with Buswell, who added: “I am so happy! I have already adopted Bobby as my little brother, and I already care so much about him. I just want him to have the best time ever.”
On social media, fans praised the “perfect pairing”, with many placing bets that Brazier and Buswell could make it far in the competition.
One fan wrote: “Winners. My early prediction.”
“Oooh I reckon they could make the final!” commented University Challenge star Bobby Seagull.
“Anyone else think Dianne is gonna make it far this year with Bobby?” another comment read.
One fan predicted that the couple would be “this year’s Glitterball champions”.
“Omg Dianne is gonna finally possibly earn her first Glitterball. So happy for Bobby and Dianne. They’re gonna be one of the first frontrunners this season,” another commenter said.
Pairing Bobby and Dianne is a stroke of genius! Give them the glitterball already. It’s about time the Buswell won. #Strictly
— Lee Orchard-Collins (@LeeCollins24) September 16, 2023
“He’s absolutely going to win this year, already can see it,” another tweeted.
One viewer added: “Pairing Bobby and Dianne is a stroke of genius! Give them the Glitterball already. It’s about time the Buswell won.”
Brazier and Buswell will perform together for the first time during Saturday’s (23 September) first live show, in which all the couples will compete on the dancefloor.
Earlier this month, Brazier made headlines after giving an emotional speech at the National Television Awards that left his dad in tears.
Picking up the Rising Star award, Brazier, who had no previous acting experience when he landed his EastEnders role, paid tribute to his father. Jeff raised his son as a single parent following the death of Goody in 2009.
“I’ve been thinking about what I might say over the last couple of days, and it’s just become very, very, very obvious,” he said. “This actually has very, very, very little to do with me and everything to do with my Dad.”
TV presenter Jeff was then seen crying from the crowd, and was comforted by EastEnders actor Molly Rainford.
In a new interview with The Independent, Brazier admitted that his dad was “not nervous at all” for him to join Strictly and become more immersed in the world of celebrity.
“He’s really excited for me to go and do something that he knows I love,” he said. “He likes to try to advise me when it comes to dancing and stuff, but he lets me do my thing, he trusts that I can take whatever happens in my stride and do it with a smile on my face.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday 23 September at 6.15pm on BBC One.