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Monday 23rd September 2019

Strictly's AJ Pritchard and Saffron Barker hang out with his brother Curtis and Maura Higgins

Strictly Come Dancing's AJ Pritchard has proved that his celebrity dance partner Saffron Barker is already pretty much part of the family.

Last night, AJ was partnered with 19-year-old social media star Saffron during the Strictly 2019 launch show and they both appeared delighted with their pairing.

Jumping for joy when his name was called, AJ raced over to Saffron and gave her a huge hug before telling host Tess Daly that he was "so happy".

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Well, it seems he didn't hang around long before introducing the YouTuber to his nearest and dearest!

AJ as since shared a snap on Instagram which was taken backstage after the launch show.

It shows the pair posing alongside AJ's brother Curtis and his Love Island co-star and girlfriend Maura Higgins.

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Writing alongside the snap, AJ said: Thank you for all the Love & Support, it’s Honestly overwhelming.. SERIOUSLY can’t wait to get in the studio now & start dancing."

Curtis, meanwhile, shared the same snap on his page and wrote: "I am so excited for this year's @bbcstrictly to Support @aj11ace & @saffronbarker every week."

Saffron also proved that AJ is already settling quite nicely into her family's life too - as she invited him to her house to watch the launch episode with her parents, family and friends!

Saffron and AJ both seemed delighted with their pairing (Credit: BBC)

Posting her own snap of AJ dancing with her mum Wendy, while she posed with her dad Darren, Saffron told her 1.2 million followers: "Last night i had a surprise party to watch the first show of @bbcstrictly 💃🏼.

"Feel so lucky. The support from my friends, family & all of YOU has been overwhelming, feel so incredibly grateful & cannot wait to start training!!"

During last night's launch show, viewers got to find out which celebrities the professional dancers had been paired with.

But while some were predictable, there were definitely a few surprises too.

Anton Du Beke, who is usually paired with the oldest female celeb, was matched with 42-year-old EastEnders star Emma Barton.

Telly host Anneka Rice, 60, was meanwhile partnered with reigning champion Kevin Clifton.

They all seemed pretty happy though, with Anton being so delighted that he accidentally insulted his past dance partners while whooping for joy. Oops!

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