Anton Du Beke is my guilty pleasure, says Katie Derham
Published 05/09/2015 | 20:24
Singer Daniel O'Donnell hopes his Strictly dance partner Kristina Rihanoff can turn his "one pack into a six pack".
Show bosses may be trying to avoid any rumours of romance by pairing Rihanoff with the 53-year-old entertainer, who is a devout Catholic and unlikely to fall victim to the "Curse of Strictly".
Rihanoff has previously been linked with two of her celebrity dance partners. She dated 2009 dance partner Joe Calzaghe after he left his girlfriend during the show, and she was also blamed for 2013 dance partner Ben Cohen's separation from his wife, amidst rumours of a romance.
The celebrities were paired with their professional dance partners on this evening's launch episode of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One.
BBC weather presenter Carol Kirkwood revealed her pleasure at being paired with Pasha Kovalev, calling him "gorgeous".
Kirkwood, 53, was "very, very, very happy" to be coupled with the 35-year-old dancer, who waltzed to victory last year with Caroline Flack.
BBC presenter Katie Derham will dance with Anton Du Beke, 49, who has been part of the Strictly line up since its inception 13 series ago. Derham, 45, said: "What a laugh! He has been my guilty pleasure for years, this man."
TV chef Ainsley Harriott, who was paired with Natalie Lowe, punned: "It's wonderful, I love it! This will be a recipe for success." They will be the tallest Strictly couple this series, with Harriott at 6ft 3in and Lowe at 5ft 10in.
Kellie Bright, who has revealed that her on-screen EastEnders husband Danny Dyer is "jealous" about her dancing with another man on the show, will partner Kevin Clifton. "My mum and dad are going to be over the moon. I am very surprised; everyone wants Kevin and he was at the top of my list," she admitted.
Meanwhile, his wife Karen Clifton will dance with journalist Jeremy Vine, who is the bookies' least favourite to win.
Sports commentator Iwan Thomas, who has called himself "the campest straight bloke you've ever had on Strictly", will dance with Ola Jordan. He joked: "This is the first sober dancing I will have ever done - and it is on national TV. I am looking forward to it."
Pop star Jamelia will dance with Tristan MacManus, while sports anchor Kirsty Gallacher said she was "shaking" with excitement after being paired with Brendan Cole.
The Wanted singer Jay McGuiness has been paired with Aliona Vilani, and pop singer Peter Andre is set to partner Janette Manrana.
Ex-Coronation Street star Georgia May Foote is set to dance with newcomer Giovanni Pernice, while TV presenter Anita Rani will be partnered by Gleb Savchenko for his Strictly debut. Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo will dance with another new member of the line up, Oti Mabuse.