Craig Revel Horwood

Strictly is back! Well, it soon will be. The 17th series of Britain’s most popular TV show will start on BBC 1 in September, and we’re all getting very excited.

After much speculation over new contestants, this series’s batch of familiar (and familiar-ish) celebrities has been announced and we can’t stop ourselves from trying to guess who will take over from Stacey Dooley as the new Strictly champion.

According to William Hill, broadcaster and former professional footballer Alex Scott is the current favourite at 9/2, with Coronation Street’s Catherine Tyldesley and businessman and podcaster Jamie Laing both at 7/1.

The bookmaker has also introduced a series of special bets around the potential winner. That Alex Scott reaches the final of the competition appears near nailed-on at 5/4, while in a particularly strong year for female contestants, the chances of any woman winning is given at 8/13. The odds of a football sweep at the top, the “It’s Coming Home” scenario, with David James as top male and Alex Scott top female, is given at 33/1.

All Change at Strictly

Along with the new contestants, this year the programme will welcome a new judge to replace the departing Darcy Bussell. Motsi Mabuse already has considerable experience with the format, having danced, and judged, on Let’s Dance, the German version of the show. Her sister Oti is also well known to Strictly fans: she has been one of the programme’s professional dance partners since series 13.

This family connection is also noted by William Hill, recognised in a set of cheeky bets they are offering for the first week of competition. The odds of new judge Motsi Mabuse awarding her sister Oti the highest score are given at 5/1.

There is also particular attention on judge Craig Revel Horwood’s drawn-out one word catchphrases. That he describes a dance as “Fab…u… lous” is given at 6/1. That he labels something a “dis…as…ter” is seen as rather more likely, at 9/4.