'Strictly Come Dancing' bosses start looking for their celebrity contestants in February.

Susannah Constantine

Susannah Constantine

The ballroom and latin show's talent executive Stefania Alexander has revealed she starts putting the feelers out for the new series seven months before the launch because she wants to make sure she has "unpredictable" talent on the line up.

Speaking on the 'Strictly Come Dancing' podcast, she explained: "I mean the list is endless. There are so many amazing people and so many famous faces, so we come up with ideas together and we go after people we would love to see on the show.

"Then we meet them and have a chat with them about what the show's all about, the commitment, and find out how much they want to learn to dance.

"It's not as simple as saying: 'Hey I wanna do 'Strictly'' and we go: 'OK you're booked', because you've got to represent for the family audience. We want to make sure for everyone from five-years-old who stays up as a treat and watches it all, through to your nana at 90-odd, we want everyone to sit down and make it appointment viewing.

"It's all about the surprises for me. When the announcements come out I don't want everyone going 'Oh yeah I knew they'd be booked', I want them to go 'Oh I didn't expect that.' "

However, once she's narrowed down the celebrity list and settled on the line-up, Stefania has the challenge of coming up with obscure code names so that the news doesn't leak online.

She explained: "I need it short, snappy and something that I am passionate about so it's either gonna be cheese or wine so this year it was cheeses."

This year's series of 'Strictly Come Dancing' launched two weeks ago but, from this week on, the contestants will be dropping like flies following Susannah Constantine's elimination.