Strictly Come Dancing pros Johannes Radebe, Katya Jones and Giovanni Pernice will hope to be paired with celebs for the 2023 series

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 dream pairings as rehearsals begin!

Would you put these celebs with these pros?

Rehearsals for Strictly Come Dancing 2023 are believed to have begun… and here’s who we reckon should be paired up with who…

There are 15 celebrities taking part this year, and a pool of 18 pro dancers have been mooted. Amy Dowden, sadly, will not be included in that group of pros this year due to her cancer battle.

Additionally, an unnamed source recently hinted that dad-to-be Neil Jones’ status on the show hadn’t been confirmed to him as of earlier this month. That doesn’t mean Neil won’t be paired up with a famous face, of course. But it might suggest Neil is more likely to feature in group dances, or as a choreographer. And maybe he’s focused on becoming a dad, too?

Nonetheless, our dream pairings between celebrities and pro partners for Strictly Come Dancing 2023 follows…

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 ‘dream pairings’

In celebrity alphabetical order…

Amanda Abbington is a Strictly Come Dancing 2023 celebrity contestant
Amanda and Gorka together? (Credit: BBC)

Amanda Abbington and Gorka Márquez

Sherlock actress Amanda indicated she will be learning to dance as her involvement was announced. And the bookies have identified her as potentially the first female celebrity who could leave the show. So we reckon Gorka, with his seven years of Strictly experience, is ideally placed to train Amanda and give her every chance of success.

Bobby Brazier is a Strictly Come Dancing 2023 celebrity contestant
Bobby should team up with Michelle (Credit: BBC)

Bobby Brazier and Michelle Tsiakkas

Cyprus-born Michelle, 27, joined the Strictly pros last year. However, she wasn’t paired up with a celeb for the 2022 run. One bookmaker has Jade Goody’s son and EastEnders actor Bobby among the faves to win the whole series. Just like Jowita’s triumphant – and first-ever – pairing with Hamza Yassin in 2022, maybe a new pro could bag the Glitterball trophy on their first attempt?

Annabel Croft is a Strictly Come Dancing 2023 celebrity contestant
Annabel and Carlos would be a good (tennis) match (Credit: BBC)

Annabel Croft and Carlos Gu

Carlos was also a pro who made his debut in 2022 – and ended up as runner up alongside Molly Rainford. Unlike Molly, Annabel isn’t a trained performer. But her tennis pedigree ensures she’s very familiar with training and discipline. And so, a new challenge for both her and Carlos. Could they prove a smash hit better Carlos’ placing last year?

Jody Cundy is a Strictly Come Dancing 2023 celebrity contestant
How about Jody and Jowita? (Credit: BBC)

Jody Cundy and Jowita Przystał

Paralympian star Jody has admitted dancing is “way out” of his comfort zone, particularly because he’s “always last onto the dance floor”. Swimming legend Jody may have the drive to succeed in the water – but 2022 winner Jowita will be sure to push him in the ballroom as she looks to make it a consecutive two wins in two years.

Les Dennis is a Strictly Come Dancing 2023 celebrity contestant
Let’s have Les partnering Dianne (Credit: BBC)

Les Dennis and Dianne Buswell

Family Fortunes host Les is up for the “ultimate challenge”, even though the bookies don’t rate his chances of success. Dianne, meanwhile, hasn’t really troubled the final stages of the BBC One contest for a few years. She and her now real-life partner Joe Sugg came second in 2016. But since then, her highest finish was last year with Tyler West – and they came eighth. With Les looking to defy the odds, maybe this pairing could motivate each other to unprecedented success?

Krishnan Guru-Murthy Strictly image
Put Krishnan with Nancy (Credit: BBC)

Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Nancy Xu

Newsreader Krishnan has sounded a warning about his “general decrepitude” and even admitted he was “slightly confused” to be on the show. Nancy, after her stirring and dedicated partnership with Will Mellor last year, won’t make any concessions. Or accept any justification for anything else but premier performance. Krishnan, you’re about to get Nancied.

Nigel Harman is a Strictly Come Dancing 2023 celebrity contestant
Let’s see Nigel shaking it with Katya (Credit: BBC)

Nigel Harman and Katya Jones

Nigel’s roles in both EastEnders and Casualty have seen him play rather stiff, rather closed characters. He’s also suggested he needs some a “bit of lubrication” to get on the dance floor. “I think I’m a better dancer than my mind is telling me,” Nigel said. Is there any pro more suited to deliver up a ballroom’s worth of pizzazz than Katya? Make it so.

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Eddie Kadi and Karen Hauer

Radio star Eddie has made it clear “dance is so important and central to who I am”. He’s also been hailed by his followers on Insta for his moves which begin at his waist and shake through his entire body. However, the bookies don’t fancy Eddie’s chances. In order to stick it to them, let’s fix him up with Karen, the show’s longest-serving pro. She knows Strictly inside-out and every which way – and certainly won’t want to be part of the first couple eliminated.

Nikita Kanda is a Strictly Come Dancing 2023 celebrity contestant
The Two Nikitas should already be some kind of a spin-off concept (Credit: BBC)

Nikita Kanda and Nikita Kuzmin

Originally, we had Nikita dancing with Graziano but noticed a spot of Insta activity, as mentioned below, that made us change our minds. We also had pro Nikita paired with Ellie. So we’ve swapped those around as, quite frankly, who can resist the mild chaos that might ensue from having a couple dubbed ‘Nikita K and Nikita K’?

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Strictly Come Dancing 2023: Ellie Leach and Graziano Di Prima

When Ellie was announced from Strictly, Graziano was among those who welcomed her to the Strictly family on her Instagram account. Amy Dowden and Dianne Buswell did too, but we’re conveniently ignoring that and going with the idea Ellie and Graziano may be a done deal.

Zara McDermott is a Strictly Come Dancing 2023 celebrity contestant
How about pairing Zara up with Johannes? (Credit: BBC)

Zara McDermott and Johannes Radebe

Zara made her name on Love Island, and has subsequently appeared on Made In Chelsea and in her own documentaries. Sticking her with the dazzlingly charismatic Johannes should ensure viewers remember who she is during the first few weeks of the show.

Strictly 2023 will star Angela Rippon
Fingers crossed for Angela and Gio (Credit: BBC)

Angela Rippon and Giovanni Pernice

Giovanni is such a Strictly fan fave that bookies have been offering odds purely on who he could be partnered up with. However, fans have been calling for him to dance with Angela. Angela may be Strictly oldest-ever contestant, but some observers – including James Jordan – reckon she could be the ultimate dark horse of the series and make it to the final.

Fair to say, Gio crashed out last year alongside Richie Anderson following his 2021 win with Rose Ayling-Ellis. It also feels like he makes the headlines more because of rumours about his love life than his dancing. Time for him to remind everyone again he can get it done on the dance floor? Angela’s taking it seriously – could Gio be the pro to accompany her?

Angela Scanlon is a Strictly Come Dancing 2023 celebrity contestant
Angela could thrive alongside Vito (Credit: BBC)

Angela Scanlon and Vito Coppola

TV presenter Angela is among the favourites to win, given odds of 8/1. Vito will no doubt enjoy the pressure and rise to such expectations, having sprinted out of the blocks last year in his debut series and finishing as runner up with Fleur East.

Adam Thomas is a Strictly Come Dancing 2023 celebrity contestant
Adam could be matched up with Nadiya (Credit: BBC)

Adam Thomas and Nadiya Bychkova

Emmerdale fave Adam has recently opened up about a chronic illness he’s been suffering with that might affect his physicality. However, James and Ola Jordan reckon he’s going to be a hit with viewers. Nadiya, meanwhile, is arguably quite a hit with dads watching a show. Additionally, her welcoming comment on Adam’s Insta announcement accrued several Likes from fans, so already a hit with his fans, too!

Layton Williams Strictly headshot
How about Layton and Kai? (Credit: BBC)

Layton Williams and Kai Widdrington

West End star Layton has indicated he’d like to paired up with a male pro. Kai didn’t have a very eventful 2022 series after dropping out first, alongside Kaye Adams. With Layton fancied to go all the way to the finals, could shaking matters up with Layton help Kai prove last year’s disappointment was only a one-off?

Read more: The oldest Strictly Come Dancing contestants over the years

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Robert Leigh
Freelance writer