REHEARSALS have commenced for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing contestants ahead of the launch show this weekend.

Blackburn's representiative, AJ Odudu, has hit the studio to practise but joked that she is already "in agony" after just one day.

In an Instagram post, the 33-year-old is seen wearing active wear and some dance heels while standing in a studio.

She posted the video along with the caption: “My first ever dance lesson is in the bag. Sore feet. Good vibes."

In the post she said: "Day one in the dance studios darlings- and I’ve got a plaster on my feet already.

“I’m in agony – but it’s really fun,” she explained with a thumbs up.

Recently, AJ hosted a one off episode of The Big Breakfast last week and spoke briefly about her upcoming stint on Strictly Come Dancing while on the air.

AJ was also joined on the show by Loose Women presenter, Judi Love.

The pair will be starring in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing together.

AJ and Judi talked about the upcoming show in a Big Breakfast segment.

AJ said: “Honestly I am so excited.

“I’m glad we get to share the experience together.”

She also explained that she is not worried about the so called ‘Strictly curse’ and said she is “focused”.


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When does Strictly Come Dancing start?

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One on Saturday 18 September at 7:45pm.

However, this is a pre-recorded launch show.

The live shows and real competition will kick off next week (25 September) when the couples will dance together for the first time.

Who is AJ Odudu partnered with?

Lancashire Telegraph: Strictly's professional dancers (Guy Levy/BBC)Strictly's professional dancers (Guy Levy/BBC)

This will be kept as a closely guarded secret until the launch this Saturday.

In a teaser trailer for the launch celebrities can be seen looking shocked as their professional partners are revealed to them off camera.

AJ could be partnered with any of the male professional dancers, which include: Aljaž Skorjanec, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin.

Which other celebrities have been announced for the show?

The 15 contestants taking part in the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing have been confirmed.

Here is a full list:

  • Ugo Monye
  • Judi Love
  • Adam Peaty
  • Rose Ayling-Ellis
  • Nina Wadia
  • Greg Wise
  • Matilda ‘Tilly’ Ramsay
  • Dan Walker
  • Katie McGlynn 
  • Sara Davies
  • Tom Fletcher
  • Robert Webb
  • John Whaite
  • Rhys Stephenson
  • AJ Odudu

What are AJ’s odds of winning right now?


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At the time of writing, AJ’s odds of winning are a reasonable 10/1 putting her fifth in Betfair’s list.

At 9/2, Tom Fletcher is currently the bookies’ favourite with Judi Love trailing at the back with 25/1 odds.

Betfair spokesman, Sam Rosbottom, said this series of Strictly “is set to be one of the most fiercely competitive series in years."

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