Strictly has returned and celebrities were tonight paired with professional dancers under the glitterball.

Judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas are joined this year by ex-professional dancer Anton Du Beke.

Acid-tongued Craig warned: “Anton’s judging style has yet to be determined, but he can no longer be that all-loving, all-embracing, nurturing Anton. He has to judge from his perspective and be honest and truthful.”

As a special treat for our readers, Craig agreed to give his opening verdicts on tonight’s pairings.

Judi Love and Graziano Di Prima (

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John Whaite and Johannes Radebe (

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Judi Love and Graziano Di Prima: I love her. She brings the most amount of fun to the dance floor, plus she is throwing that body about like no one’s business. She has no technical ability, but neither did Ann Widdecombe and she got to week 11.

John Waite and Johannes Ra Debe: I’ve been championing this for five years and finally it has come to fruition. They look like they’re going to be a couple to beat. I really want to see them do an Argentine tango together. I think it will be absolutely fierce.

Ugo Monye and Oti Mabuse (

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Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin (

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Ugo Monye and Oti Mabuse: He’s bigger than life itself. Ugo is a huge personality and a hulk of a body to be carting around a dancefloor. He needs to learn to be long, lean and light on his feet. He’s quite heavy on his feet right now, but Oti is such a brilliant choreographer, and I think she will do wonders with him. I think he will develop the most under Oti’s guidance.

Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin: Nikita is hot, hot, hot. Tilly might fall in love! They look great together. I would love to see Gordon Ramsay on here and having his daughter is the best, best thing. She looks keen and I can’t wait to see her personality

Rose Ayling-Ellis & Giovanni Pernice (

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Katie McGlynn and Gorka Marquez (

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Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice: There are lots of dance companies out there whose dancers are all deaf and they dance through the rhythms of the drum and bass lines. I don’t think it will disadvantage her in any way. She has great rhythm. She uses her body to tell stories.

Katie McGlynn and Gorka Marquez: I think she’ll find it a struggle because the personalities are huge this year. She’ll have to be careful not to fall into that pretty girl category and just rely on being gorgeous. She is going to have to fight her corner in the dancing.

Adam Peaty and Katya Jones (

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Greg Wise and Karen Hauer (

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Adam Peaty and Katya Jones: From what I’ve seen so far he is the most competitive person that we have ever, ever, ever had on Strictly. He’s in it to win it. He is not a natural mover so he has to work really hard. Katya will settle for nothing less than perfect.

Greg Wise and Karen Hauer: He’s classy and stylish. He’s up for it. He’s not just there as a trophy. He is very accomplished as an actor. Bill Bailey has set the gold standard of his age, so I don’t think being 55 has anything to do with how well he’ll do.

Sara Davies and Aljaž Škorjanec (

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Sara Davies and Aljaž Škorjanec: I think Sara has a really outgoing personality and she really wants to be there. She’s not a scary dragon. She loves the costumes and learning to dance. She’s not a dancer as such but she looks like she has a natural ability.

Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden: I love his striking look. He has a lot to live up to because Harry Judd was one of the best male celebs we’ve ever had doing a quickstep. If he even gets half of that swing and sway he’ll be lucky. I would not want to be following in Harry’s footsteps.

AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington (

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Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden (

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AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington: Her dancing is a little wooden and careful. She needs to loosen up just ever so slightly. She has a fantastic body. She just needs to get her hips going. They are a little stiff at the moment. Kai mustn’t be too soft with her.

Nina Wadia and Neil Jones: Nina has that mumsy thing going on. I think a lot of viewers will think: “Oh, that could be me dancing up there.” She is really throwing herself in. Technically there’s a lot to do, but she will just go with it. I think she’ll have a tough time.

Nina Wadia and Neil Jones (

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Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu (

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Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu: Oh my god, I totally love him. And his dancing. He is shining on that dancefloor. He has some moves that not even the pros can do. I LOVE his dancing. He’s got it all. Really incredible. He was the standout performance for me.

Robert Webb and Dianne Buswell: He has natural rhythm but doesn’t have a lot of finesse. That might come with more weeks of training. He comes across like the quiet, unassuming type but there’s an inner tiger in him desperate to get out.

Robert Webb and Dianne Buswell (

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Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova (

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Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova: Dan’s going to be very tired because he’s up at 3am (for work) and he has to do training directly after. In the ballroom I think he’ll be good because Nadiya is really amazing. But I think he will struggle with the Latin hip action.