Strictly Come Dancing stars hit the red carpet

They may have hit the red carpet before the dance floor, but the stars of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing are ready to get started.

The first episode of the 10th series of the dance competition airs tonight, with the celebrities being paired up with their professional partners. For the launch show the 14 celebrities put their best foot forward on the red carpet, with fringing popular among the costumes of the female competitors and the men dressed largely in bright colours.

And it wasn’t just the famous faces showing off in their glittering costumes, the professional dancers strutted their stuff, even picking up host Tess Daly at one point.

Among the celebrities are Olympians Victoria Pendleton and Louis Smith. Pendleton, dressed in a short gold, one-shouldered fringe dress with a section cut out across the stomach area, brought her medals onto the carpet with her, and is looking to add to them with the Strictly glitterball trophy.

Smith wore black trousers with a short-sleeved off-white button up shirt with black detail, a black bow tie and braces, showing off the arm muscles that helped him win two medals in the gymnastics at this year’s Olympics.

Former cricketer Michael Vaughan, dressed in a bright red shirt and black tie, will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of other former crickets Mark Ramprakash and Darren Gough, who were both crowned champions in the years they appeared on the show.

Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh sparkled in a full-length gold gown, with plenty of cut outs and a fringed bustier style top.

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Westlife’s Nicky Byrne, who has confessed to being nervous about appearing on the show on his Twitter, wore a slate grey shirt and tie with glitter detail on the shoulders.

Oldest competitor Johnny Ball, at the age of 74, wore a waistcoat over a purple shirt and tie. He will hoping to at least emulate the success of his daughter Zoe Ball, who finished in third position when she took part in the show.

Denise Van Outen, who has previously been a judge on a BBC One talent show, wore a short silver fringed dress with her hair smoothed back into a side ponytail. Van Outen has some dance experience, having appeared in Chicago on the West End stage.

Actor Sid Owen, famous for playing Ricky Butcher in EastEnders, was slightly more casually dressed than the other male competitors, wearing a shiny purple shirt which was open at the collar.

Similarly Colin Salmon, who has been in three Bond films, also wore a shirt that was unbuttoned at the top, his in a royal blue.

American model and actress Jerry Hall, who had a long-term relationship with Mick Jagger, wore a slinky red dress, with some see-throuogh panelling across the stomach.

Daybreak’s Richard Palmer wore a bright pink shirt with beading on the arms.

One of the youngest contestants this year is Dani Harmer, famous for playing Tracey Beaker in the children’s television series based on the books by Jacqueline Wilson. She wore a dress with red, pink and cream fringing.

Former Emmerdale actress Lisa Riley sparkled in a royal blue dress with small blue jewels over it.

Television presenter Fern Britton will have an advantage over fellow contestants as she competed on the Christmas special of the show in 2010. She wore an above-the-knee purple fringed dress.

Also at the launch show were the professional dancers, who wore coordinated outfits - black for the men and white and shades of pink and purple for the women.

The three male judges Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman and Craig Revel-Horwood are back this year to offer criticism and advice to the contestants.

They are joined by new judge Darcey Bussell. The former prima ballerina replaces Alesha Dixon, who left the show to join the judging panel of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent.

Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC One tonight at 6.30pm.