Strictly Come Dancing: What time is Strictly on Saturday?

Strictly Come Dancing: Tess and Claudia launch 2021 series

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Strictly Come Dancing has returned to its slot on Saturday evenings, with fans of the BBC dance show expected to tune in every week to watch the 15 new contestants showcase their abilities. Last weekend, viewers watched as the famous face were paired up with their professional dancers in a special launch episode. With the competition starting on Saturday night, the timings for the broadcaster’s evening schedule have been moved around so what time does the show begin?

What time is Strictly on?

As it’s the first live show of the season, viewers will be on the edge of their seats to see if everything goes to plan.

The format is a little different this year as all 15 couples will be taking to the dance floor for the first time.

In the past, the line-up has usually been split into two, with the first dances airing over the course of a fortnight.

With all the celebrities performing, this means the show is expected to last a little longer than normal on the opening night.

Currently, the duration of the episode will be 2 hours and 20 minutes, meaning there is enough time for the contestants to perform their routines and for the judges to pass comments.

The proceedings will start sharpish at 7pm, with hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman overseeing the action on the dance floor.

Once all the contestants have performed, the show will come to a close at 9.20pm and the rest of the evening’s schedule will resume.

This week and this week only, there will be no results show on Sunday as all contestants will be given a chance to progress through to week two.

By the end of the fortnight, one of the celebrities will face elimination as the battle for the Glitterball Trophy gets well underway.

For the rest of the season, the start times will differ as the live event fits in between other shows which are on.

The show hits all sorts of emotions

Shirley Ballas

It seems fans will be watching in their millions as the show offers some light relief from the news of politics and the coronavirus pandemic.

Discussing why viewers still tune in, head judge Shirley Ballas said: “Audiences come back to Strictly every single year because they love all of the baubles, the bangles, the beads – I say that every year but it’s true.

“The lights, the camera, the action, the dresses, the different types of dances that they do, the comradery, the stories.

“I think the show hits all sorts of emotions, and it goes across every age – from two all the way up to grandpa and grandma. It’s got something for everybody.”

Fellow judge, Motsi Mabuse, added to why audiences love the show: “Because it’s just feel-good television!

“The sparkles, the glam, the glitz, the celebrities, the beautiful gowns… it’s a package,” she explained.

Craig Revel Horwood said: “I think dance is part of our blood. I think as human beings, people have danced around fires, they’ve danced for rain, they’ve danced for fertility.

“There’s always been dance in human nature and people love it. I think Strictly is one of those wonderful entertainment shows that audiences know as the build-up to Christmas.

“There’s always an excitement, a buzz, and you can talk about it with your friends and family and it’s something that from ages three to 93 can enjoy, which is just brilliant.”

Unfortunately, the launch show did not get the figures bosses were hoping to open a season with coronavirus restrictions still in place.

According to overnight figures from Saturday evening, an estimated seven million viewers on average tuned in.

The launch show the year before had acquired eight and a half million, meaning Saturday night’s programme was substantially low.

As the weeks go on, it is hoped more and more fans will return to the show to allow the BBC to obtain extraordinary viewership once more.

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday at 7pm on BBC One.

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