Strictly Come Dancing Preview 2023: Who Wins SCD?

Angela ScanlonWho wins Strictly Come Dancing 2023? There’s some competitive SCD betting with the UK’s top bookies. Read on for our full preview of the country’s most popular televised dance show.

The musical theatre star and actor Layton Williams is one of the Strictly betting odds favourites with obvious credentials. He is an extremely talented live performer with established dance skills and musicality. The 28-year-old’s first big job was playing the unlikely ballet dancer Billy Elliott when he was just 12 years old. His mum is a massive Strictly fan and would never have spoken to him again if he had refused.

He will be the fourth celebrity to compete in a same sex partnership. Boxer Nicola Adams was the first in 2020. She was paired with Katya Jones who caught Covid and forced their retirement. It was mid series and they had already been in the dance-off. In 2022 the BBC radio presenter Richie Anderson did not last long despite the best efforts of Giovanni Pernice who lifted the Glitterball in 2021 with Rose Ayling-Ellis.

In the same year the immensely likeable Bake Off winner John Whaite got to the final with the ultra-talented pro Johannes Radebe. Whaite was shy and had no dance experience but improved dramatically. Viewers definitely appreciate contestants who make significant progress. Unfortunately Williams is likely to be a stand-out performer from day one. He has been paired with the capable Nikita Kuzmin who said he is going to ‘Laytonise’ every dance – with a strained smile. Kuzmin looked a lot happier after Williams smashed the group routine to a Bee Gees medley which played to his strengths. He will have to work harder to master the waltz.

The favourite in the opening 2023 Strictly betting is the 20-year-old actor and model Bobby Brazier. He has won a NTA Award for his role as Freddie Slater in EastEnders, the show that yielded the 2021 winner, Rose Ayling-Ellis. Three years ago Brazier was a model at Milan Fashion Week but he can do more than walk elegantly. He has never watched Strictly but the vivacious Australian pro, Dianne Buswell, should enjoy teaching him. He loves to dance and his moves on the opening show were extremely impressive. She will have a much longer stay than she experienced in Celebrity MasterChef. Not only can he dance but he came across as a likeable character and first impressions suggest he is a worthy Strictly favourite with the bookies.

Actor Nigel Harman has form in EastEnders too, he played Dennis Rickman from 2003 to 2005. He is currently playing an abrasive senior consultant in Casualty and seems much more likeable than his character. Now 50 years-old, he admits he had daily dance training when he was at college but was in the bottom set. His wife Lucy laughed when he told her he was appearing on the show. He admits his fitness preparation has not gone to plan as the wine and baguettes were too tempting on his recent holiday in France. He is confident he can adopt the appropriate facial expression for dances but is worried about the rest of his body, especially his legs. He has the immense advantage of being paired with extremely talented Katya Jones and is the fourth favourite in the initial 2023 Strictly betting odds.

Another soap star is Coronation Street’s Ellie Leach who played the miserable Faye Windass for 12 years. She quit in May and is already enjoying being able to smile on TV. She believes she has some rhythm and can do ‘the worm’. That may be of limited help but she did well in the group routine and will have plenty of time to train. Paired with Vito Coppola who made the final last year, her double figure opening SCD odds look likely shorten.

Eddie Kadi, the comedian and radio presenter claims that the judges will be his ‘maintenance engineers and friends’ who will help him advance. He is from Congo and loves dancing but has had no formal training. Partnered with Karen Hauer, Kadi has natural talent and should provide entertaining viewing on and off the dance floor. His SCD odds shortened after the launch show.

The BBC and RTE television presenter from Ireland, Angela Scanlon, is very popular in the early SCD odds. Aged 39, Angela has done Irish dancing but doesn’t think moving with a body that is supposed to be as stiff as a board is going to be much help. She has two young children and wants to be as unselfconscious as they are when dancing. She can’t wait to get ‘stuck in’ and Carlos Gu has quickly learned how to be an effective Strictly pro. He says they will be going for the Glitterball – one step at a time. She made a great start on the launch show and was propelled to the position of second favourite in the Strictly betting immediately after it.

Former tennis star and now TV presenter and pundit Annabel Croft recently lost her husband to cancer. He was a passionate Strictly fan and she is taking part for him. Now 57 years-old she has the physical advantage of having been an athlete of sorts and was quite serious about ballet before she had to give it up to concentrate on tennis. Tess Daly’s smile looked slightly forced when Croft claimed she was not competitive on the launch show. She is paired with Johannes Radebe who is not only a great choreographer but has a following of his own.

The actor Adam Thomas has appeared on Emmerdale and Waterloo Road. He came across well in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, finishing third. His wife is a dance teacher and his young children are extremely excited that he is doing Strictly. He has never danced but does a pretty good ‘robot’. He is looking forward to the slow dances as he is a romantic. He has rheumatoid arthritis which may be another reason that they appeal. He must be dreading the jive. If his body can cope, his personality could get him a long way. Luba Mushtuk partners him.

BBC newsreader and presenter Angela Rippon wanted to be a ballerina as a child. She surprised and delighted with her dance routine on Morecambe and Wise in 1976 and performed in a chorus line for them the following year. She subsequently became one of the hosts on the original BBC ballroom show, Come Dancing. Rippon is more physically fit than most 78-year-olds and likely to do well in ballroom dances but the more energetic Latin numbers could pose a challenge. She has the perfect partner to exploit her potential in ballroom specialist Kai Widdrington but the oldest Strictly winner to date was the 55-year-old Bill Bailey in 2020.

Actress Amanda Abbington from Sherlock and Mr Selfridge claims that she is very shy when not playing a role but seemed pretty confident on the launch show. Her plan is to adopt an appropriate character each week. She says she wants to embarrass her two teenage sons and is looking forward to the glamour but whinged about how uncomfortable her shoes were on the opening show – not the best of starts. Her partner Giovanni Pernice lifted the glitterball in 2021 but looks unlikely to do so this season.

Zara McDermott has the distinction of being the first Love Islander to appear on Strictly. She used her post Love Island fame to start making documentaries and is understandably proud that her first one resulted in a law change. McDermott says she cannot dance and her friends agree. She is looking forward to getting more than a three from Craig Revel-Horwood and was horribly nervous on the opening show. Graziano di Prima has work to do to instil her with confidence and the notorious Cha Cha Cha is a nightmare first dance.

Multiple Paralympian gold medal winner Jody Cundy can cycle and swim but can he dance? He says he has no natural rhythm but wants to be something other than a wall-flower when music is being played. Having a prosthetic lower leg has not stopped him succeeding before and his attitude is very positive. He said he was going ‘to shoot for the stars’ causing an awkward pause on the launch show. Using the royal ‘we’ sounded wrong when he was describing how he would combine dance training with preparing for the Paris 2024 Paralympics. He has been paired with Jowita Przystal who guided the lion-hearted Hamza Yassin to victory on her first try last year. This is going to be a huge challenge for her if his performance on the couch and in the group routine is any indicator.

Famously once married to Amanda Holden, Les Dennis is another outsider in the Strictly betting. The veteran presenter, comedian and actor will hit 70 in October. He appeared in Coronation Street and presented Family Fortunes for more than a decade. The 2005 self-mocking episode of Ricky Gervais’ ‘Extras’ that he appeared in was one of the best 30 minutes of TV comedy ever aired. He has a host of stage and musical theatre appearances on his CV including Hairspray, Chicago and Me and My Girl. He is used to performing live but did not look a natural dancer on the opening show. When he said that Strictly was his biggest challenge, he might have been telling the truth. His pro partner Nancy Xu is impressed with his progress but plenty more will be needed.

The Birmingham-born broadcaster and radio presenter Nikita Kanda hosts the BBC’s Asian Network Breakfast show. She has also appeared on stage in Bugsy Malone, Annie, The Wiz and Pocahontas. She is an enthusiastic raver, not lacking in confidence on an untelevised dance floor but needs to learn technique. She seemed genuinely delighted to be paired with the Spanish professional, Gorka Marquez, but screamed in horror when he told her that their first dance was going to be the waltz. He has reached the final a number of times but the opening SCD odds suggest he is unlikely to do so this year.

The Channel 4 News anchorman Krishnan Guru-Murthy, 53, is the long shot of the opening 2023 Strictly Come Dancing betting odds. He has turned down previous invitations but has recently lost a bit of weight and his wife thinks it is a good idea for the first time. It helps that he no longer has to work over the weekends. Guru-Murthy has not danced since he was 15 but admitted that if he had not got his first job in television he might have ended up in the performing arts.

He is not the healthiest contestant, suffering from Crohn’s disease and an inherited heart condition that has claimed two of his cousins. He consulted his cardiologist and has been advised not to let his heart rate get into the danger zone. He thinks it is now or never, before he becomes too decrepit. His son is appalled that there will be evidence of his father dancing badly forever and refuses to be part of the audience. Guru-Murthy’s quick-witted, self-deprecating humour went down well on the launch show and he was trusted with a front line position in the group dance. Being partnered with the sole debutante pro, Lauren Oakley, is not ideal. Only Jowita Przystal and Aljaz Skorjanec have won with their first partner. Guru-Murthy looks very likely to stay on the show much longer than his opening SCD odds of 80/1 suggest.

Our Preview’s Strictly Come Dancing Betting Odds Conclusions

Favourites have often delivered in SCD but Hamza Yassin and Bill Bailey (in 2020) were both successful outsiders. This preview believes that Brazier looks a feasible winner but the initial 2023 Strictly Elimination betting looks wrong as Guru-Murthy should not be the first to go.