Professional dancer Neil Jones was partnered with Alex Scott during the BBC launch, which came as a pleasant surprise to Strictly fans as this is the first celebrity partner he’s been given. When the pair had finished their Quickstep, Shirley commented on Neil’s “amazing choreography” and adding it was good to see him finally dance on the show.
After their energetic performance, Shirley said: “First of all what a way to open our show with snap crackle and pop and that’s certainly what you brought today.
“It was amazing choreography really good to see you on the show Neil really appreciate your work.”
Shirley went on to praise Alex’s first dance and offer advice on how to improve.
“You were on fire,” she continued. “You did a great job, you lost your footing but it’s week one.
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“You had a decent frame, you’ve got to work a little on your core and holding your own frame up so you can look lovely for your partner.
“But otherwise a great start to our show, thank you.”
When Alex and Neil spoke to Claudia Winkleman as they waited for their scores, the Strictly pro addressed his past snub.
Claudia remarked: “Four years you had to wait but look who you got.”
“I know,” Neil said. “It was worth the wait finally I’m off the bench.”
The first couple to take to the dance floor this series received an impressive 21 in total from the four judges.
Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley all scored the pair five and Bruno Tonioli gave the pair a six.
Alex and Neil performed a Quickstep to I Get a Kick Out of You by Frank Sinatra.
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Meanwhile, David James may have been revealed as the first contestant to leave this year’s competition.
Even though no one will leave the BBC tonight, bookmakers have already predicted who will be voted out next week.
Ladbrokes have placed the former goalkeeper the most likely to be eliminated at 3/1.
Fellow sportsman James Cracknell is close behind at 4/1.
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Ladbrokes spokesperson Jessica O’Reilly said: “Unfortunately for David punters reckon his time on the show will be over before it’s really begun, and fellow former athlete James could be out of the door shortly afterwards as well.”
On the other hand, CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual is expected to walk away with the Glitterball Trophy.
The bookmakers have placed him top of the betting at 7/2 with Emma Barton close behind at 4/1.
Strictly Come Dancing airs tonight on BBC One at 7pm.
STRICTLY COME DANCING WINNERS: A TIMELINE
2004 winner: Natasha Kaplinsky
Newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky was the first celebrity to win the BBC dancing series, which originally aired in July of 2004. She was partnered with Brendan Cole. They finished 39 points ahead of competitor Christopher Parker.
2004 winner: Jill Halfpenny
Jill Halfpenny was the second star to impress the judges with her dancing skills. Partnered with Darren Bennett, the pair beat off competition from Julian Clary and Denise Lewis in December of 2004.
2005 winner: Darren Gough
Cricketer Darren Gough won the third series of Strictly. He and partner Lilia Kopylova wowed audiences but never once finished at the top of the leaderboard.
2006 winner: Mark Ramprakash
Mark Ramprakash was the fourth star to lift the Glitterball Trophy. He was partnered with Karen Hardy and they were the first couple to restart a routine after their initial attempt saw Mark’s mic get caught in Karen’s dress.
2007 winner: Alesha Dixon
Before becoming a Strictly judge, Alesha Dixon won the nation’s hearts and the Glitterball Trophy during the fifth series. She was partnered with professional dancer Matthew Cutler.
2008 winner: Tom Chambers
Holby City star Tom Chambers was partnered with Camilla Dallerup when he won the sixth series. He performed the Foxtrot and Salsa in the final week.
2009 winner: Chris Hollins
BBC Breakfast presenter Chris Hollins and his professional partner Ola Jordan surprised viewers when they beat Ricky Whittle and his partner Natalie Lowe in the final. They wowed with the Foxtrot, Charleston, Lindy Hop and Showdance.
2010 winner: Kara Tointon
Kara Tointon was the eighth celebrity to win Strictly. She danced with Artem Chigvintsev and failed to receive 40 points throughout her time on the show.
2011 winner: Harry Judd
Former McFly star Harry Judd was the ninth star to lift the Glitterball Trophy. He didn’t top the leaderboard until week seven but then scored 40 points twice in the final.
2012 winner: Louis Smith
The tenth series of the BBC show was won by Olympian Louis Smith. He danced his way to victory with professional partner Flavia Cacace. He faced competition from Kimberley Walsh, Denise Van Outen and Danni Harmer in the series finale.
2013 winner: Abbey Clancy
Model Abbey Clancy won series eleven of Strictly alongside partner Alijaz Skorjanec. She was called a “spectacular dancer” with “wonderful posture” by former head judge Len Goodman.
2014 winner: Caroline Flack
Love Island host Caroline Flack took to the dance floor in series 12 where she scooped the Glitterball Trophy with Pasha Kovalev.
2015 winner: Jay McGuiness
Jay McGuiness surprised viewers when he won the thirteenth series of the BBC dancing competition with Aliona Vilani. When he learned he’d won, he told host Tess Daly: “I feel spaced out – it’s really weird.”
2016 winner: Ore Oduba
Ore Oduba won the thirteenth series of the BBC dancing competition with Joanne Clifton.
The sports presenter broke down in tears after beating Danny Mac and Louise Redknapp.
2017 winner: Joe McFadden
Joe McFadden was victorious with professional dance partner Katya Jones. The Holby City star beat off competition from fan favourite Debbie McGee, Gemma Atkinson and Alexandra Burke.
2018 winner: Stacey Dooley
Documentary-maker Stacey fought off competition to make it to the Grand Final of Strictly Come Dancing with professional dance partner Kevin Clifton last year. When they won, Kevin described her as “the most wonderful person”.
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