The stars of the Strictly Come Dancing tour were pictured ahead of tonight’s first show.

Live broadcasts of the popular BBC series kick off in Birmingham tonight, and some of the celebrity contestants and professional dancers were pictured making their way to one last training session before the big debut.

Katya Jones, John Whaite and champions Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis are just some of the stars who were pictured leaving their Birmingham hotel just hours before performing on stage for the first time tonight .

Nadiya Bychkova was also pictured with a huge smile on her face ahead of the live broadcasts – just days after it was revealed she had ended her engagement to footballer Matija Škarabot.



Nadiya Bychkova flashed a smile for the cameras on Thursday as she left her hotel in Birmingham



Nadiya Bytchkova
The Strictly pro looked super chic in her tall black boots and sleek coat

The professional dancer – who was associated with BBC presenter Dan Walker on the show last year – looked super chic as she strolled around in an eye-catching blue and white coat and sunglasses on Thursday.

Strictly Come Dancing finalists John and his professional dance partner Johannes Radebe grabbed a coffee as they headed for one last practice session together before reuniting on stage in Birmingham.

The pair made history as the first all-male dance duo to compete on the BBC series last year – making it all the way to the final in December and finishing worthy runners-up.



John Whitete
The Bake Off champion armed himself with a caffeinated drink before rehearsals



Johannes
Dance partner Johannes also made sure to have a caffeine fix on Thursday

Defending champions Giovanni and Rose looked excited ahead of their stage reunion – both smiled as they left the hotel.

The EastEnders Rose actress appeared to be in high spirits as she was pictured in a casual outfit consisting of a black puffer jacket, track pants and a colorful jumper.

Professional dancer Giovanni – who lifted the Glitterball trophy for the first time in her Strictly career last month – cut a handsome figure as she strolled around in shades, a cap and a sleek black coat.



Strictly Come Dancing celebrities spotted leaving hotel ahead of tonight's first live show
Giovanni looked super chic as he relaxed before the live shows



Rose Ayling Ellis to be
Famous dance partner Rose smiled as she was pictured ahead of the first live performance

Tilly Ramsay and former EastEnders actress Maisie Smith were also spotted.

Tilly, 20, recently returned from a lavish family holiday in the Maldives and appeared to be adjusting to colder weather in Britain on Thursday.

Strolling alongside Maisie as they left their hotel in Birmingham, the CBBC presenter wrapped up against the cold in a comfy bright blue tracksuit with a designer bag slung over her shoulder.



Amy Dowden
Amy Dowden flashed a smile for the cameras on Thursday



Katia Jones
Professional dancer Katya Jones also seemed in high spirits as she left the hotel

In contrast, Maisie peeked down at her toned stomach as she wore a retro velor pink tracksuit with a dark blue jacket, white earmuffs and sunglasses.

Tilly will dance in the live shows with her show partner Nikita Kuzmin, while Maisie, 20, will step in to team up with professional dancer Kai Widdrington.

The former EastEnders actress stepped in at the last minute to link up with the Strictly star after AJ Odudu was forced to pull out of live shows due to a foot injury.



Janette Manrara, Aljaz Skorjanec
Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec had coffee on Thursday



Kai Widdrington
Kai Widdrington looked excited for the upcoming night with his new dance partner

AJ, 33, and Kai, 26, made it to the BBC show’s grand finale last month but were desperately forced to forfeit because the TV presenter suffered injuries ankle ligaments during a training session.

Despite hoping she would be fit enough for the national tour, AJ was replaced on the next live shows by 2020 contestant Maisie.

The actress competed in the eighteenth round of the ballroom dance show alongside partner Gorka Marquez, reaching the final but losing to Bill Bailey who won the Glitterball Trophy with pro Oti Mabuse.

Earlier this week, Maisie revealed how AJ had given the actress his blessing to quickly step in at the eleventh hour and take her place for the live broadcasts.

“I spoke to AJ and she was like, ‘Don’t worry, I’m just excited that you and Kai [Widdrington] both can play,'” Maisie told HELLO! magazine.

“It was nice and reassuring because I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes.”

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