Strictly launch date confirmed as Johannes Radebe shares excitement for series

Strictly Come Dancing 's launch date for 2022 has finally been confirmed – and pro dancer Johannes Radebe cannot wait.

The professional dancer, 35, appeared on The Big Breakfast on Saturday (August 20) and spoke to his former co-star AJ Odudu.

AJ, 34, competed on the BBC show last year with her pro partner Kai Widdrington, but was forced out days before the finale due to a nasty injury.

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However it clearly hasn't dampened her love for the annual event, as she said to Johannes: "We do have the exclusive, that the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2022 is September 17… how exciting!"

And an ecstatic Johannes replied: "It is exciting – you would know! Everyone is waiting for it, I know.

"You can't face winter without Strictly, so I'm excited to have it back on our screens."

AJ replied: "Exactly, me too!"

Earlier this week, the male Strictly pros were spotted filming some promotional footage ahead of the series launch.

Johannes was pictured alongside Gorka Marquez, Nikita Kuzmin, Graziano Di Prima and Cameron Lombard as they filmed.

Noticeably absent was Strictly favourite Aljaz Skorjanec, as he announced he had quit the show after nine years in March.

Similarly, Oti Mabuse revealed she'd decided to step down from the show after seven years in a statement in February.

That left the returning pros Johannes, Gorka, Nikita, Graziano, Cameron, Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Amy Dowden, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Giovanni Pernice, Jowita Prsystał, Kai Widdrington and Nancy Xu.

But four new professionals were announced to be joining the show, meaning there would be a total of 20 pros for the 20th series.

They were confirmed to be European cup winner Vito Coppola, Chinese National Champion Carlos Gu, former Under 21 British National Champion Lauren Oakley and Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas.

Vito, who starred on the Italian version of Strictly too, hinted he was joining the UK show before it was announced, as he confirmed he was heading to the UK.

This year's celebrity cast includes: Ellie Simmonds, Ellie Taylor, Fleur East, Hamza Yassin, Helen Skelton, James Bye, Jayde Adams, Kaye Adams, Kym Marsh, Matt Goss, Molly Rainford, Richie Anderson, Tony Adams, Tyler West and Will Mellor.

The Big Breakfast, Saturdays at 10am on Channel 4 and All 4


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