Every year, there's one solid reason not to mourn the end of summer: the beginning of Strictly Come Dancing. It's the glorious show that encourages hundreds of us to sign up for salsa classes with great enthusiasm, only to quit three lessons in. But never mind. Currently, we're only a month or so out from when the new series starts, so naturally, gossip is already swirling about the Strictly Come Dancing 2018 line-up.
But it seems this year's been a turbulent one when it comes to locking down celebrities. Rumours that Great British Bake Off star Nadiya Hussain would take part were dashed when the star told radio station Heart: "If I was a part of it, I wouldn't be able to sit on the couch with my husband and my daughter and be a part of that, and I couldn't take that away because it's our thing." (To be fair, that's an extremely cute reason.) And Coleen Rooney shut down media speculation about a potential appearance pretty bluntly, saying, as Metro reports, "I’m not a dancer and I won’t be doing the show."
Still, there's a host of other celebrities all but confirmed for this year's series, probably getting measured for their shiny gold ballroom shoes as we speak. Presenters Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly have already been told who's taking part this year, according to Winkleman's Instagram. However, Daly said that she couldn't give anything away just yet as the BBC is going to start releasing the names one-by-one from August 13, as the Express reports.
If, like me, you can't wait until then, here are rumoured celebs taking part in Strictly 2018.
1. Vick Hope
The Capital FM host was reportedly the first celebrity to sign up for this year's Strictly, according to Metro. As well as co-hosting the Capital FM Breakfast Show with Roman Kemp, Vick's the backstage reporter on The Voice UK, the digital reporter for The Voice Kids UK, and she hosts 4Music's Trending Live. She's a documentarian too, and recently made a film for Channel 5 on digital folklore. Plus, she co-hosts Sky's Carnage, which has been described by the Guardian as "a glorious mashup of Top Gear and Robot Wars," with Lethal Bizzle and Freddie Flintoff. Quick q, Vick — how on earth are you going to find time for rehearsals? I've reached out to Hope's representatives for comment.
2. Faye Tozer
The Sun has claimed that Tozer, one-fifth of legendary '90s band Steps, was the second celebrity to officially sign up for this year's Strictly; as of yet, her management haven't responded to a request for comment. She'll be performing to high expectations from fans as Tozer's had extensive dance experience, appearing in "several stage shows including Singin’ in the Rain, Over the Rainbow and Tell Me on a Sunday." Please, Strictly, grant this one wish: let there be a group dance to 'Tragedy'.
3. Ashley Roberts
Strictly's apparently landed themselves a Pussycat Doll! The Sun reports that Ashley Roberts, another seasoned performer, is allegedly "the third contestant to be formally contracted" for the show. She's got a considerable background in British reality TV: as the Radio Times recaps, she came second in I'm A Celebrity in 2012, appeared as a Dancing on Ice judge from 2013 to 2014, took part in The Jump in 2015, and joined the panel for Gary Barlow's Let It Shine in 2017. Roberts also co-hosted Saturday Night Takeaway with Ant and Dec between 2013 and 2016, so she's already a familiar Saturday night TV face. I've contacted Roberts' management for comment.
4. Maya Jama
Presenter Maya Jama's been rumoured to appear on this year's Strictly since way back in March, according to Metro; however, her representatives haven't yet responded to my request for comment. As the Guardian reports, if you haven't spotted her Pretty Little Thing adverts all over public transport, you'll know her from her multiple Radio 1 hosting duties, her stint as a MOBOs host, her podcast When Life Gives You Melons, her appearances on daytime TV, her documentary When Dads Kill for Channel 5, or the promos for her new reality show, True Love or True Lies? Phew — yet another contestant who'll be changing into her Strictly costumes in the back of a last minute taxi.
5. Scarlett Moffatt
According to Hello! magazine, Moffatt might have let a giant hint slip during an Instagram Q&A earlier this year. When a fan asked about her upcoming TV appearances, Gogglebox's Moffatt said, "I can't announce anything yet but let's just say the end of the year is going to be great fun" — she then deleted the answer before the story even expired. If you didn't catch her on Gogglebox, you might recognise Moffatt from her victorious I'm A Celebrity run in 2016, her appearances on Saturday Night Takeaway, or from one of her several books. Moffatt's management has been contacted for comment.
6. Joey Essex
Like Maya Jama, there've been whispers surrounding Joey Essex's appearance on the show for quite some time now. Back in March, Metro reported: "Industry bosses are said to be hellbent on securing Joey Essex for the forthcoming season of Strictly." The TOWIE star would be following co-star Mark Wright from Essex to (if things go to plan) the ballrooms of Blackpool. Wright, as Metro notes, made it to the final in 2014 — no pressure then, Joey! Essex's representatives haven't responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.
7. Lizzy Yarnold
The Daily Mail claimed in April that Winter Olympics gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold was in talks to appear on Strictly. If the rumours are true, the Winter Olympian will be following in the footsteps of fellow Olympic medal-winner, gymnast Louis Smith, as well as Paralympic sprinter Jonnie Peacock. (Yarnold's representatives haven't responded to a request for comment.) She became the most successful British Winter Olympian of all time after winning gold in skeleton in PyeongChang 2018, defending her title from Sochi 2014. Will she be similarly successful in the ballroom?
8. Les Dennis
When Les Dennis was a regular on Coronation Street, show rules mandated he turn down an offer to appear on Strictly, as Digital Spy reports. But on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch in March, host Tim Lovejoy asked about a possible future turn on the stage — and Dennis replied, "I wouldn't mind doing it, I always like a challenge." It's not quite a confirmation from the telly legend, but it's certainly not a denial. I've contacted Dennis' management for comment.
9. Anneka Rice
In April, Metro reported that presenter Anneka Rice would appear on the show, after attending a meeting with Strictly producers at the BBC studios; Rice's management hasn't yet responded to my request for comment. In the '80s, she presented TV show Challenge Anneka, and she's also hosted numerous shows for BBC Radio 2. How much of a challenge (sorry) will Strictly Come Dancing prove?
10. Josh Cuthbert
The Sun reported on the rumoured signing of Union J singer Josh Cuthbert back in March, suggesting he could follow 2012 contestant Harry Judd's trajectory from boyband to Strictly champion. Union J came fourth in The X Factor in 2012. Since then, Cuthbert's also developed a modelling career with Select Model Management, and according to the Sun, has walked for names as big as Dolce & Gabbana. I've contacted Cuthbert's representatives for comment.
There you have it, then: a host of famous faces soon to be bedecked in Lycra and sequins, if the rumour mill is proven correct. Though there's no official launch date for the series as of yet, Radio Times reports that the launch show will be pre-recorded on August 31st, after which the contestants take a "two-week break for the couples to rehearse before the first live show". That's at least three weeks to go, then; start stretching now, and no doubt you'll have your splits sorted by the premiere.