Strictly Come Dancing: Four new dancers join BBC series replacing Oti Mabuse and Aljaž Škorjanec

Four new professional dancers are joining BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing for its upcoming 2022 series.

Four new professional dancers will star in the next series of Strictly Come Dancing, creating the BBC show's biggest ever lineup.

European cup winner Vito Coppola, Chinese national champion Carlos Gu, former under 21 British national champion Lauren Oakley and Latin dance champion Michelle Tsiakkas will join the show.

The celebrity dancing competition will return this autumn for its 20th season, with judges Anton Du Beke, Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood and head judge Shirley Ballas.

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    “I’ve grown up watching Strictly," said Birmingham-born Oakley, who has been a leading lady to Giovanni Pernice and Anton Du Beke during their national tours, “Always hoping one day I could be part of the best show on television, doing what I love the most.

    "Now it's happening, it doesn't quite seem real. I can't wait to start this new sequined adventure and join this incredible family."

    Coppola, who won the Italian version of Strictly in 2021, said: "I am really excited to become part of this family. I cannot wait to start this new adventure and to challenge myself. Strictly sto arrivando!"

    Vito Coppola and Michelle Tsiakkas are among the four new dancers joining Strictly Come Dancing (BBC)

    "I'm thrilled to join Strictly and very excited to get started,” said Gu, “It's a new chapter of my life and a new challenge as well. I'm absolutely ready to take on this journey and to shine."

    While Tsiakkas said: "Being a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing has been my dream ever since I was a little girl.

    "I cannot believe my dream has come true. I'm so grateful to be joining this incredible family and I can't wait to step on that magical dance floor and give it my all!"

    The professional dancers already revealed as taking part are: Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima, Amy Dowden, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Cameron Lombard, Gorka Marquez, Luba Mushtuk, Giovanni Pernice, Jowita Przystal, Johannes Radebe, Kai Widdrington and Nancy Xu.

    Chinese national champion Carlos Gu and British national champion Lauren Oakley are among the new professional dancers on Strictly Come Dancing (BBC)

    It comes after two-time winner Oti Mabuse and Aljaž Škorjanec announced their departures.

    The last series of Strictly was won by Rose Ayling-Ellis with her professional partner Pernice.

    When does Strictly start in 2022?

    Strictly Come Dancing is due to return in September 2022 – but the BBC hasn’t announced an official start date yet.

    Additional reporting by PA.

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