Strictly Come Dancing suffers crushing blow in dramatic ratings drop as couples announced

Strictly: Nina Wadia meets her partner Neil Jones

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Unfortunately the launch show failed to bring in a higher number of viewers than the 2020 series with ratings dropping by just under two million viewers. Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly were on hand to reveal the 2021 Strictly Come Dancing couples with plenty of surprises. However, overnight figures show a dramatic drop in ratings.

It was revealed the opening episode was watched by an average of seven million viewers.

This is a considerable drop to the previous year which saw an average of 8.6 million tune in.

The launch episode did however, received an audience share of 44.4 percent and had a peak audience of 7.3 million viewers.

Last year’s launch meanwhile had an audience share of 42.2 percent but a peak of nine million.

One of the most anticipated couple reveal of the series was the first all-male same sex pairing.

Great British Bake Off star John Whaite was surprised with a sparkling cake out of which Johannes Radebe jumped.

Meanwhile, reigning champion Oti Mabuse is hoping for her third consecutive win with rugby star Ugo Monye.

Other pairings included Adam Peaty and Katya Jones, EastEnders’ Rose Ayling-Ellis with Giovanni Pernice, and Sara Davies with Aljaz Skorjanec.

The launch also saw Anton Du Beke take his “rightful place” on the judging panel alongside Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood and head judge Shirley Ballas.

The episode was rounded off with a group performance from the 15 celebrities and their partners giving viewers a first-look at their dancing skills.

Already the odds of who will win have changed with soap star Rose now 7/2 to win with Ladbrokes.

She is followed closely by CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson, who is paired with Nancy Xu, with odds of 4/1.

Tom Fletcher, who is dancing with Amy Dowden, has slipped down the list with odds of 6/1.

Meanwhile, Judi Love who is dancing with Graziano Di Prima, has been picked as the favourite to leave first with odds of 7/2 for an early elimination.

She is followed closely by Dragons’ Den star Sara Davies with odds of 4/1 and Nina Wadia, paired with Neil Jones, at 5/1.

Jessica O’Reilly of Ladbrokes said: “Since Judi and Sara were announced as Strictly contestants they’ve received the least amount of bets to win, and now have the largest number of wagers to leave first unfortunately.”

Next Saturday’s show will see the celebrities showcase their dancing skills as they tackle their first individual routine.

Nina wasn’t too impressed to hear she would be dancing the Samba and threatened to walk off as she feared it was too difficult.

Will she be able to impress the judges with Neil or could she be out of the competition early?

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday on BBC One at 7pm.

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