Strictly stars getting ready to rock in Blackpool

Ruth Langsford and Anton Du Beke in Saturday's Strictly Come Dancing
Ruth Langsford and Anton Du Beke in Saturday's Strictly Come Dancing
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The stars of Strictly Come Dancing will this morning be shining their shoes and practising their best moves ahead of the show’s annual exodus to the home of ballroom dancing.

Preparations begin at Blackpool Tower ready to welcome this year’s celebrity dancers - although TV presenter Ruth Langsford will not be joining the trip north,

Dancer Oti Mabuse and Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock

Dancer Oti Mabuse and Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock

With her professional partner Anton Du Beke, Ruth dropped into the dance off and faced Paralympic gold medallist Jonnie Peacock and partner Oti Mabuse to fight for their place at the Tower, both pairs having danced the foxtrot on Saturday night.

Judges Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli all chose to save Jonnie, based on improvements to his performance and for a cleaner, more difficult and ‘emotionally moving’ routine.

Although the decision was made, head judge Shirley Ballas agreed with them.

Ruth said: “I’m disappointed for Anton because he should be going to Blackpool. He’s made this whole thing so much fun, I’ve absolutely loved it.

“All those wonderful people up there, they all deserve to be going to Blackpool.”

The Blackpool round of the show is always a series highlight, with the celebrity dancers and their professional partners using it as a benchmark en route to the final.

Extra dancers, props, staging and special effects all add to the glitter and glamour of the world-famous Tower Ballroom.

Follow the build-up to Saturday’s show with The Gazette.