Dancing with the Stars returns tonight... here's the full line-up of contestants

The sixth series beings on RTÉ1 tonight (Sunday)
Dancing with the Stars returns tonight... here's the full line-up of contestants

From left, Stephanie Roche, Panti Bliss, and Shane Byrne in Dancing With The Stars. On the cover is Suzanne Jackson

STRICTLY Come Dancing may have put away its glitterball for another year, but rest easy dance fans, as the RTÉ version is all set to hit our screens.

The sixth series begins on RTÉ1 at 6.30pm tonight (Sunday January 8), hosted by Jennifer Zamparelli and new sidekick, Doireann Garrihy, after Nicky Byrne announced that he would be stepping away from hosting duties after five seasons to focus on Westlife touring commitments.

Panti Bliss in Dancing with the Stars
Panti Bliss in Dancing with the Stars

Fans will be introduced to 11 new celebrity dancers who will be hoping to make it all the way to the final, while filling our winter Sunday evenings with glitz and glamour.

Each celeb will be paired up with a professional dancer and perform a live routine every week, from the Charleston to hip hop - and they’ll have just seven days to perfect their routine before performing live to the nation.

Suzanne Jackson in Dancing with the Stars
Suzanne Jackson in Dancing with the Stars

Each celebrity couple will be scored by an expert panel of judges and the viewing public at home, with the winning couple claiming the much-coveted glitter ball trophy at the end of the series.

The judging panel consists of Loraine Barry, Brian Redmond and Arthur Gourounlian – who return to give their informed, up ront and sometimes tough-talking reviews and scores from each of the live performances to the contestants.

All eleven celebrities have been paired up with Dancing with the Stars pros.
All eleven celebrities have been paired up with Dancing with the Stars pros.

The 11 celebs taking part this year are:

  • Former State Pathologist Marie Cassidy, who is partnered with Stephen Vincent, who reached the grand final with Ellen Keane last year.
  • Drag performer Panti Bliss, who is partnered with Ukrainian dancer Denys Samson.
  • Footballer Stephanie Roche, who is bookies’ favourite to win.
  • Derry Girls actress Leah O’Rourke.
  • Former Eurovision contestant, singer Brooke Scullion.
  • Entrepreneur and blogger Suzanne Jackson.
  • Former Dublin GAA player Paul Brogan.
  • Former Glee star Damian McGinty who, in a fun twist, will be competing against her husband, pro dancer Stephen Vincent.
  • Comedian Kevin McGahern.
  • Former rugby international Shane Byrne.
  • 2FM Breakfast host and Instagram sensation Carl Mullan.

Shane Byrne in Dancing with the Stars.
Shane Byrne in Dancing with the Stars.

Social reporter James Patrice is also back for the new season, with his access-all-areas backstage pass to bring fans all the latest news and updates from the training room and the dancefloor on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

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