As couples are revealed on Strictly Come Dancing, two same-sex pairings are confirmed

As couples are revealed on Strictly Come Dancing, two same-sex pairings are confirmed ...

Strictly Come Dancing has confirmed the pairings for this year, with two same-sex couples competing for the first time.

Tonight's (September 23) delayed launch concert kicked off the Strictly season in style, with an impressive opening ballroom dance from this year's pros.

Nevertheless, the series' all-important pairings ruled, including two same-sex couples, Richie Anderson and Giovanni Pernice, and Jayde Adams and Karen Hauer.

"Could you get anyone better than Mr Giovanni?" Richie admitted when he discovered his partner. "I feel like I'm the envy of the British public right now!"

Giovanni was equally enthused, declaring: "He's got a lot of energy, and I'm extremely happy!"

"Karen IS Strictly," said Comedian Jayde of her partner, while the dancer continued: "I'm absolutely thrilled, I've got so many ideas, too many ideas, this is going to be a golden moment for me."

Here are the rest of the new pairings this year:

  • Ellie Simmonds and Nikita Kuzmin
  • Tyler West and Dianne Buswell
  • Kym Marsh and Graziano Di Prima
  • Will Mellor and Nancy Xu
  • Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez
  • James Bye and Amy Dowden
  • Fleur East and Vito Coppola
  • Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal
  • Matt Goss and Nadiya Bychkova
  • Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe
  • Molly Rainford and Carlos Gu
  • Tony Adams and Katya Jones
  • Kaye Adams and Kai Widdrington

Richie, who had been previously confirmed to be part of a same-sex couple, was brushed off trolls before the launch show.

"I don't pay much attention to trolls online," he told The Huffington Post UK. "At the end of the day, I'm doing something that I've always wanted to do and enjoying myself. I'm having fun, I'm on Strictly Come Dancing!" and I'm so grateful to be here.

"So people can say what they want, really."

The first live show, which was pre-recorded, was originally scheduled to air last weekend, although it was postponed due to Queen Elizabeth II's passing. Tomorrow night, the first live show is still going ahead as planned.

Strictly Come Dancing will continue on Saturday, September 24 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 6.45pm.

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