Anne Diamond set to break Strictly tradition as Angela Rippon prepares to make debut

Anne Diamond and the Strictly trophy

Anne Diamond will be tuning in for the series opener

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 16/09/2023

- 11:11

The 21st series of the hit show will commence today

Anne Diamond is set to break with tradition and watch Strictly Come Dancing for the first time.

The legendary presenter said she is planning to tune in for the opening episode of the new series as she assessed the chances of her GB News colleague, Angela Rippon, who is among the 15 celebrities vying to win the glitter ball.

The launch show for the 2023 series is stacked with a star-studded cast of celebrities, including Annabel Croft, Les Dennis and Zara McDermott.

The cast of celebrities has been met with with a mixed response with fans, with former pros defending the show as a result.

Viewers will find out who each celebrity will be paired up with for their Strictly journey.


Diamond, who has previously admitted to avoiding the show at all costs, will break with tradition and tune in as Rippon takes to the dance floor.

“I have never watched Strictly, but I think I will tonight”, she said on GB News.


Diamond’s co-presenter, Martin Daubney, added that Rippon will be “worth a bet” as she guns for the glitter ball trophy.

Diamond concurred with the statement, saying: “We know she was an incredibly good dancer back in the day.”

Rippon, 78, will be the oldest contestant to ever compete on the BBC hit show, but has devised a way to see off younger competitors, according to ex-Strictly pro Ian Waite.

Speaking on Rippon’s age, showbiz journalist Stephanie Takyi said the presenter is cursing the BBC’s move to not approach her much earlier.

This year's Strictly line-upThis year's Strictly line-upBBC

“She is going to be 79 years old next month”, she said on GB News.

“She says ‘why didn’t producers ask 10 years ago?’

“She says dancing is a way to keep fit, especially as you get older.

“I think she will surprise quite a few people.”

Once the pairings have been announced, the celebrities and professionals will perform a special group routine.

Tess Daly, who has presented the BBC One show since its first series in 2004, and Claudia Winkleman, who took over from Sir Bruce Forsyth as the main co-host in 2014, will also return.

The launch show will open with a group number featuring the judges and professionals dressed in striking black and white outfits.

In April, the BBC announced that reigning champion Jowita Przystal, who last year lifted the glitterball trophy with wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin, is returning to the show along with 2022’s runners-up Gorka Marquez, Carlos Gu and Vito Coppola.

Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones and Nikita Kuzmin are among the other professionals in the line-up.

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