Sequins and fake tan at the ready - Anton and co are back!

You know the end of summer is fast approaching when Strictly Come Dancing returns to our screens.
Strictly Come Dancing 2018 rehearsals professionals

With Love Island having just finished, the BBC decided to whet reality fans’ appetites with a sneak peek at rehearsals.

While the identity of the celebrity contestants is being kept firmly under wraps for now, the professionals reunited in a dance studio this week ahead of the 16th series.

Sharing a photo of the pros together on the official Strictly Twitter feed, it was simply captioned: ‘Getting ready for #Strictly 2018,’ along with some dancing emojis.

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Gone from the line-up is Strictly stalwart Brendan Cole, who admitted earlier this year he was ’emotional’ and ‘disappointed’ when TV bosses declined to renew his contract.

Showing his support for his former colleagues, Brendan posted a good luck message on his Instagram page this week and wished them a ‘fantastic series’.

Strictly Come Dancing 2018 professionals

Also missing from the pros is Chloe Hewitt, who danced on SCD for two years, although was never matched with a famous partner.

Aljaž Skorjanec is clearly excited about the return of SCD, as he shared a photo of the male professionals on his social media, captioned: ‘Boys 2018.’

The upcoming series will see some new additions in the form of professionals Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe and Luba Mushtuk.

Along with Aljaž, the remaining returning professionals are AJ Pritchard, Amy Dowden, Anton Du Beke, Dianne Buswell, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Janette Manrara, Karen Clifton, Katya Jones, Kevin Clifton, Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones, Oti Mabuse and Pasha Kovalev.

On Monday, the Beeb announced the Strictly red carpet launch event would take place on 27 August, with the launch show on 31 August.

Following the launch, the celebrities usually have a couple of weeks in rehearsals before the series kicks off properly in September.

Returning this year are judges Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli, Dame Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood, along with co-hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman.

Words by Emily Sheridan.