Strictly Come Dancing class of 2019 seen on stage together for the first time ahead of tonight’s launch – The Sun

STRICTLY Come Dancing class of 2019 have assembled for the first group shot ahead of tonight's launch show.

The celebrities looked glamorous as they took to the ballroom for the first time during the show's upcoming launch episode.

Kicking off the show's 17th series, the celebs are pictured mingling with the professional dancers as the pose for a group shot.

Some of the show stars, including Michelle Visage, Emma Barton, Dev Griffin, Catherine Tyldesley, Viscountess Emma Weymouth, Chris Ramsey, Karim Zeroual and David James, can be seen looking to the sky as string decoration appears around them.

Meanwhile Saffron Barker, James Cracknell, Emma Scott, Will Bayley, Mike Bushell and Anneka Rice look overjoyed as they celebrate the end of the group number with their fellow stars.

In another preview shot, Craig Revel-Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli and newest signing Motsi Mabuse are pictured behind the judges' table.

As well as a glittering group performance, viewers will also find out who each celeb is partnered with in tonight's episode.

Earlier this week, Jamie Laing was forced to drop out of the dance competition after injuring his foot during a group routine.

Although he will appear in tonight's pre-recorded episode, the Made In Chelsea star looked downcast as he addressed the situation on Instagram Stories.

He said: "I am absolutely devastated that I am unable to continue in the competition. I was so excited to hit the dance floor!

“I would like to wish the lovely couples all the very best and hope they enjoy their time on the show to the fullest.”

Bosses at the BBC face a race against time to find a replacement with just two weeks before the first live show.

A show source said: “It’s the worst case scenario losing a celebrity as the process to find them is so painstaking.

“Producers now have to not only find someone who is willing to do Strictly and available, but someone the right height and a proper match with the professional Jamie has been selected.

“It’s going to be touch-and-go but they are determined to make it work.”

However, it appears show bosses may have already filled Jamie's place.

According to an insider, former Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher is one of the several names being considered for the role.

A source said: “Bosses are considering Kelvin carefully and think he has the mix of charisma and acting credentials to entertain viewers.

"Kelvin has been rehearsing with the team for the past couple of days and he’s definitely impressed bosses – he’s favourite to replace Jamie at the moment."

The soap star was recently slammed by a charity for using his phone while driving.

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