Countdown Rachel Strictly favourite
Countdown boffin Rachel Riley led this year's troupe of stars dancing their way up the red carpet on their first steps towards claiming the Strictly Come Dancing glitterball.
The glamorous maths guru is one of the firm favourites to win this year's Strictly, along with ex-Coronation Street bad girl Natalie Gumede, who played Kirsty Soames in the ITV soap.
Riley said of her favourite status: "I think that's because my name was released early - no one's seen me dance yet. My 21st birthday party, the fancy dress theme was Strictly, so this is absolutely living the dream."
Following closely behind them are model, and wife of Peter Crouch, Abbey Clancy, and Murder On The Dancefloor singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Clancy said of her robot-dance-loving spouse: "I think he's too big to be my dance partner. As you know, Peter loves a dance and I think he's more excited than I am about it."
Also donning the sequins this year is designer Julien McDonald, usually a regular costume commentator on Strictly's spin-off It Takes Two.
Actor Ashley Taylor-Dawson will be cranking the fake tan up a notch from the set of Hollyoaks to the BBC ballroom, while slimmed-down Hairy Biker Dave Myers will continue his weight loss on the famed Strictly training regime.
Ramping up the glamour factor is former Bond Girl Fiona Fullerton, while DJ and presenter Vanessa Feltz sizzled in sparkles at her Strictly debut at Elstree Studios.
BBC newsreader Susanna Reid and Dragons' Den star Deborah Meaden swapped their serious day jobs for the glitzy world of waltzing in their first public dance up the red carpet, joined by ballroom newbies Mark Benton (Waterloo Road) and Patrick Robinson (Casualty).
Sports stars are back again this series - rugby player Ben Cohen and golfer Tony Jacklin swapped sportswear for sequins in their first appearance.
The celebrities were joined on the red carpet by the Strictly professionals who showed off their moves in glittering gold outfits. Judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Darcey Bussell were back for the launch, as were presenters Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly.
- Gary Rowett backs Matty Palmer to return in style for Burton Albion
- Steve McClaren says Derby County's style of football will bring back crowds to iPro Stadium
- SLIDESHOW: Burton Junior Football League Under-10s, Under-11s and Under-12s round-up
- Burton Junior Football League Under-16s and Under-18s round-up
- Council chiefs call for safety talks with taxi drivers
- Shopping centre bosses apologise over new car park system chaos
- Woman left to foot bill for driving over bollard
- Mother 'gobsmacked' at having to pay for lost property
- Head speaks out on school's fine system
- Taxi bosses talk about industry 'difficulties'