STRICTLY champion Abbey Clancy was reunited with dance partner Aliaz Skorjanec for a stunning waltz to mark the show’s return.
Abbey revealed she had a touch of envy as she wished she could do the show again, and watched on as stars including Pixie Lott and Judy Murray were paired up with professional dancers.
Liverpool actress Sunitra Sarker will dance with Brendan Cole, while professional dancer Iveta Lukosiute was lost for words as she was partnered with rugby player and model Thom Evans.
And the couple were tipped as early favourites by judge Len Goodman, who told viewers: “The one I’m going to look out for is Tom. He is used to being in a scrum, and with Iveta they are going to be scrumptious.”
Judy Murray was partnered with Anton Du Beke – and revealed that she would “wipe” her son Andy’s Wimbledon trophy from the mantelpiece for the glitterball trophy.
Meanwhile Sir Bruce Forsyth bid an emotional goodbye as he bowed out of presenting the BBC show.
The veteran presenter announced earlier this year he was quitting after a decade fronting the show, but he made a return to introduce this year’s glittering line-up.
Sir Bruce told viewers: “I’ll really miss being here with this atmosphere, with Dave and the band and the singer. It is that kind of night for me.”
In a special opening sequence in which Sir Bruce sat behind a grand desk with the judges as his servants, he told viewers: “I’m really looking forward to putting my feet up this year.
“But I have one last thing to do for Strictly – get everyone back together again and to get the nation dancing.”
The 86-year-old was greeted with loud cheers as he appeared on stage to pass the presenting baton to Claudia Winkleman and his old co-host Tess Daly, who will front the programme this year.
And Brucie slipped on his dancing shoes and gave a tap performance to kick the show off.