|Natalie Lowe and Greg Rutherford. Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA|
Telephost - Great leap forward for Olympic long jumper Greg Rutherford, who scored top marks – matched by BBC star Ore Oduba. The new series of Strictly Come Dancing began on Friday night, with the Olympic long jumper Greg Rutherford and the TV presenters Laura Whitmore and Ore Oduba among the stars to put on their dancing shoes.
They were joined by the TV personality Judge (Robert) Rinder, the Birds of a Feather actor Lesley Joseph and the BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty on Friday’s opener – the first half of a double-header weekend.
Among those who had to wait until Saturday were the former chancellor Ed Balls, the American singer Anastacia and the model Daisy Lowe.
The actors Tameka Empson and Danny Mac, singers Will Young and Louise Redknapp, TV presenter Melvin Odoom and Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane will also appear in the second show.
On Friday, two couples achieved scores of 27 – joint highs for the night. Oduba and his partner Joanne Clifton danced the tango to Geronimo by Sheppard, while Rutherford and Natalie Lowe danced the jive to the Temptations’ Get Ready.
Two cha-chas got scores of 25 each: Whitmore and her partner Giovanni Pernice opened the night dancing to Shocking Blue’s Venus; and Rinder and Oksana Platero danced to Duffy’s Mercy.
The night’s lowest scores went to Joseph and Munchetty, who both got 23 for their waltzes. Joseph and her partner Anton du Beke danced to the theme tune to Birds of a Feather, while Munchetty and Pasha Kovalev danced to Whitney Houston’s Run to You.
Saturday’s show will feature Young paying tribute to David Bowie, who died earlier this year, with a tango to Let’s Dance. Balls and Katya Jones and Lowe and Aljaz Skorjanec will perform waltzes.
Four couples – Anastacia and Brendan Cole, Fragapane and AJ Pritchard, Odoom and Janette Manrara and Mac and Oti Mabuse – will take on the cha-cha. Redknapp and Kevin Clifton will dance the jive, while Empson and Gorka Maquez will dance the paso doble.
The contestants’ marks are being carried forward to week two, when the public can vote for the first time. The first couple will be eliminated from the BBC show on 2 October.