The professional dancers opened the show with a choreographed dance around BBC Television Centre, with special appearances from Bruce Forsyth, Tess Daly, Craig Horwood and new judge Darcey Bussell.
Ballerina Bussell also performed an American Smooth-inspired routine with professional dancer Ian Waite, and popstar Mika also made a special appearance accompanied by the Strictly pros.
The pairings for the 2012 series are as follows:
Colin Salmon and Kristina Rihanoff
Dani Harmer and Vincent Simone
Denise Van Outen and James Jordan
Fern Britton and Artem Chigvintsev
Jerry Hall and Anton Du Beke
Johnny Ball and Aliona Vilani
Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev
Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor
Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace
Michael Vaughan and Natalie Lowe
Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer
Richard Arnold and Erin Boag
Sid Owen and Ola Jordan
Victoria Pendleton and Brendan Cole
Judge Bruno Tonioli said of the pairings and the new series: "I am literally throbbing! To the point of hyperventilation. I cannot wait to get my eyes on some of these girls. I cannot wait to see Victoria, Denise and Kimberly performing the raunchy rumba and the saucy salsa.
"Sid and Ola could be the Ricky and Bianca of the dance floor. You can get all the stormy relationships, and more ups and downs then the plot of EastEnders! I'm looking forward to that. Then you've got Nicky and Karen. I want to see the wild side of Westlife!"
Len Goodman added: "Fern and hunky Artem are going to be fabulous. I remember when she was on the Christmas special and I'll tell you what, she can shake it about. And what about Dani and Vincent? Young, fresh and frisky. A couple of dancing munchkins out there.
"And Brendan has got the perfect one - Victoria. Get on your bike, son, she'll say. I've got a feeling they're going to be like a couple on a tandem, going along smoothly right into that final. "
Strictly Come Dancing continues on October 5, where seven celebrities will be performing for the first time with their new partners.
Photo gallery - Strictly Come Dancing launch show: