Belfast Telegraph

Strictly 2019: Which star should dance with which pro?

Which celebrity should be paired up with which professional for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.

File photos of (top row) Mike Bushell, Jamie Laing, Karim Zeroual, Alex Scott, Emma Barton, (middle) Dev Griffin, Emma Thynn Viscountess Weymouth, Michelle Visage, James Cracknell, Saffron Barker, Chris Ramsey, Will Bayley, Catherine Tyldesley, Anneka Rice and David James, who are this year’s contestants on Strictly Come Dancing (PA/BBC)
File photos of (top row) Mike Bushell, Jamie Laing, Karim Zeroual, Alex Scott, Emma Barton, (middle) Dev Griffin, Emma Thynn Viscountess Weymouth, Michelle Visage, James Cracknell, Saffron Barker, Chris Ramsey, Will Bayley, Catherine Tyldesley, Anneka Rice and David James, who are this year’s contestants on Strictly Come Dancing (PA/BBC)

James Cracknell – Luba Mushtuk

The Olympic rower is in great shape and Mushtuk, who has not had a celebrity partner before, would put him through his paces. The duo are both tall so likely to size up well together.

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Luba Mushtuk (Ian West/PA)

Saffron Barker – AJ Pritchard

These two are both bursting with energy. YouTube star Barker loves a challenge and is game for a laugh while Pritchard has proven he loves to have fun too. Barker is just 19 and Pritchard is 24 so this would be the youngest pairing on the show.

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AJ Pritchard (Ian West/PA)

Cath Tyldesley – Aljaz Skorjanec

Tyldesley has revealed she is a Strictly super-fan but nervous about her lack of experience with dancing and would a good match with seasoned pro Skorjanec, who has proven to be a calming and supportive presence.

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Aljaz Skorjanec (Matt Crossick/PA)

Anneka Rice – Kevin Clifton

Rice is famously up for a challenge and Clifton is the reigning champion, after his win last year with Stacey Dooley. The TV star has admitted she was sacked from ballet classes as a child but if there is anyone who can teach her a love of dance it will be Clifton.

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Kevin Clifton (Ian West/PA)

Chris Ramsey – Oti Mabuse

The Greatest dancer judge Mabuse would not put up with any nonsense from funnyman Ramsey. This will be her first series with her sister Motsi on the judging panel and the highly skilled choreographer will be looking to impress.

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Oti Mabuse (Ian West/PA)

Mike Bushell – Karen Clifton

The sports presenter has not always been sure on his feet, as the viral video of his fall into the swimming pool has shown, but Clifton could be the pro to keep him steady.

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Karen Clifton (Ian West/PA)

Alex Scott – Neil Jones

Footballer Scott is already a master of footwork on the field and will be looking to transfer her skills to dancefloor. This would be Jones’s first series with a celebrity partner and could be the man to help her score the glitterball.

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Neil Jones (Ian West/PA)

Will Bayley – Dianne Buswell

The table tennis champion is used to winning and Buswell came within snatching distance of the title last year with partner Joe Sugg so this potential pairing could prove competitive.

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Dianne Buswell (Ian West/PA)

Emma Barton – Gorka Marquez

Soap star Barton has said she is more used to dancing round her handbag than a dancefloor but Marquez has proven to be a patient teacher of newbies before, with partners such as Katie Piper and Tameka Empson.

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Gorka Marquez (Ian West/PA)

David James – Amy Dowden

Goalkeeper James might be famous for his safe hands but will need a safe pair of hands to guide him through his Strictly journey. Dowden could be the smiley presence to help him do it.

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Amy Dowden (Ian West/PA)

Dev Griffin – Nadiya Bychkova

The radio DJ knows a thing or two about music but Bychkova could be the right dancer to find out if knows a thing or two about rhythm.

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Nadiya Bychkova (Ian West/PA)

Jamie Laing – Nancy Xu

Laing is one of the best-loved stars of Made In Chelsea and would provide the perfect friendly face to welcome the new professional and Latin specialist Xu to the Strictly team.

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Nancy Xu (BBC)

Michelle Visage – Giovanni Pernice

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Visage needs a partner just as outrageous as she is as flamboyant Pernice could just the right match.

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Giovanni Pernice (Ian West/PA)

Emma Weymouth – Anton Du Beke

Socialite Weymouth would feel right at home with Strictly royalty Du Beke, who is the show’s longest serving professional.

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Anton du Beke (Matt Crossick/PA)

Karim Zeroual – Janette Manrara

The CBBC star cannot wait to be “Strictlified” and wants to be bathed in glitter and sequins. Petite former salsa dancer Manrara would be just the right person to make those dreams come true.

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Janette Manrara (Ian West/PA)

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