Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing (informally known as Strictly) is a British television dance contest, featuring celebrity contestants, with professional dance partners competing in a ballroom and Latin dance competition. Each couple is scored out of 10 by a panel of judges. The title of the show suggests a continuation of the long-running series Come Dancing, with an allusion to the film Strictly Ballroom. The format has been exported to over 40 other countries, and has also inspired a modern dance-themed spin-off Strictly Dance Fever. The show is currently presented by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman.

The show has run on BBC One since 15 May 2004, primarily on Saturday evenings with a following Sunday night results show (with certain exceptions) and with its high viewing figures Strictly Come Dancing has become a significant programme in British popular culture. The thirteenth series ended on 19 December 2015. A further eleven stand-alone Christmas specials have also been produced, in consecutive years from 2004 onwards. Nine charity specials have also been produced since 2008. Since the fourth series, the show has also been aired in high definition on BBC HD, and BBC One HD from series 8.

On 7 November 2013 it was announced that Sir Bruce Forsyth would be retiring from presenting the main series. While intended to return as host for each Children in Need and Christmas special, he only did so for the Christmas special in 2014 and the Children in Need special in 2015. He sent a video message for the 2015 Christmas special as he was unable to appear due to his illness. Forsyth died on 18 August 2017.


Producer Richard Hopkins, who had produced the first UK series of Big Brother, unsuccessfully pitched the idea of a modern Come Dancing to the BBC under the title of Pro-Celebrity Dancing in 2003. Later, entertainment executive Fenia Vardanis also suggested reviving Come Dancing, so Jane Lush, the then head of BBC Entertainment, put Hopkins and Vardanis together to develop the show.

Hopkins then called in Karen Smith, who had just produced Comic Relief Does Fame Academy for BBC One and The Games for Channel 4, to help lead the development of the show and launch the series. Smith was the show running Executive Producer of the first three series, and of sister show It Takes Two. She then took the role of Creative Director of BBC Entertainment whilst still overseeing series 4 and 5.

Hopkins later took the format to America himself when the BBC dismissed the idea of selling it abroad, as they felt it was too British.


From series 1 to 11, Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly presented the pro-celebrity ballroom dancing competition. From series 8 to 11, Forsyth only presented the main show and was replaced for the results show by Claudia Winkleman, at which point Daly assumed Forsyth's role as main presenter and Winkleman assumed Daly's role as co-presenter. Winkleman has joined Daly as full-time co-presenter for series 12 following Forsyth's departure after the 2013 series. Through telephone voting, viewers vote for who they would like to be in the next round, the results of the poll being combined with the ranking of the judges. For example, with ten contestants left, the judges' favourite would receive ten points, second favourite nine points, and so on, and similarly with the viewers' rankings. The bottom ranked couple gets one point. The profits from the telephone lines were donated to Sport Relief in series 1, and to Children in Need from series 2 to 5.

The show is broadcast live on BBC One on Saturday evenings, and is currently presented by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman (however Zoë Ball covered for Winkleman for a number of weeks in 2014). Sir Bruce Forsyth presented the live shows alongside Daly from 2004 to 2013, announcing his departure in 2014. He was to continue to present special editions of the show. For some of the second series, Natasha Kaplinsky stood in temporarily for Daly while she took maternity leave; Claudia Winkleman hosted the results show and editions that Forsyth had missed between 2010 and 2013. The judging panel initially consisted of Bruno Tonioli, Arlene Phillips, Len Goodman and Craig Revel Horwood. Alesha Dixon took Phillips' place from series 7 to 9, after which she left the programme to judge Britain's Got Talent which led retired ballerina Dame Darcey Bussell to replace her; Bussell remains a judge alongside Tonioli and Revel Horwood. Tonioli commutes weekly between Hollywood and London to judge both the American and British versions of the show simultaneously. Each judge gives the performance a mark out of ten, giving an overall total out of forty. The voice-over announcer is Alan Dedicoat. During series four, an hour-long highlights show was shown on Sundays at 19:00 on BBC Two, and during series five and six, the results show moved to Sunday evenings, although it was filmed on Saturday and then broadcast "as live" on the Sunday.

The singers on the show are Tommy Blaize, Hayley Sanderson, Lance Ellington, Andrea Grant and formerly the well known UK dance music vocalist Tara McDonald. The music director is David Arch. Tommy Blaize has been part of Strictly since its beginning. David Arch joined in the fourth series and Hayley Sanderson in the fifth.

The show was broadcast from a specially constructed set at the BBC Television Centre, moving to the Elstree Studios in 2013. However, in the first two series, shows were also filmed at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool, where the original Come Dancing series was filmed in the 1970s.

In the second series, two shows were filmed at the Tower Ballroom, show five and the Grand Final which was broadcast live on 11 December 2004. In 2005 though the BBC announced that they would not be returning to the venue for the third series due to "logistical problems". In October 2008, Craig Revel Horwood called for the series to return to the Tower Ballroom, saying, "the atmosphere was electric. It's huge and has so much history. The Tower Ballroom puts a lot of pressure on the professionals and the celebrities to perform to the best of their potential. What a wonderful place to go live to 12 million people. We have got to get the BBC to bring Strictly Come Dancing back to Blackpool." Eventually, the show did return to the Tower Ballroom, for series 7, where Blackpool-born Craig Kelly was eliminated. The episode was aired live on 7 November 2009. Strictly Come Dancing returned to Blackpool for the 2010 and 2011 series. Then after series 10 when Strictly Come Dancing did not go to Blackpool, they announced that they would return for series 11.


     Main presenter of Strictly Come Dancing
     Co-host of Strictly Come Dancing
     Presenter of It Takes Two
     Results show co-host
^1 From series eight to 11, Sir Bruce Forsyth only hosted the main show.
^2 In series two, Tess Daly only appeared from week six onwards due to maternity leave. Natasha Kaplinsky served as a temporary replacement.
^3 From series 8 onwards, Claudia Winkleman presented the results show alongside Daly, and occasionally the main show, replacing Forsyth. Following Forsyth's departure after series 11, Daly took over Forsyth's role as main presenter and Winkleman took over Daly's role as co-presenter.
^4 In series twelve, Zoë Ball co-presented weeks six, seven and eight of the main show with Daly, covering for Winkleman.


Live tour

Judging panel

     Head judge
     Main judge
     Guest judge
^A Goodman is a former head judge, but missed week six of series nine, so Revel Horwood served as temporary head judge
^B Bussell served as a guest judge throughout weeks twelve to fourteen for series seven
^C Grey served as a guest judge for Goodman during week six of series nine
^D Osmond served as a guest judge for week three of series twelve

Professional dancers and their partners


     Winner of the series
     Second place of the series
     Third place of the series
     Finalist of the series
     First elimination of the series
     Withdrew in the series
     Participating in current series

Notes and statistics

  • Iveta Lukosiute was a replacement partner for Johnny Ball in series 10 after his original partner, Aliona Vilani, was injured in training.
  • Although Ian Waite and Karen Hardy no longer dance competitively on the show, they do still make regular appearances on companion programme It Takes Two. Waite and Darren Bennett both participated in the professional dance troupe in series 8, and Waite stood in as a temporary dance partner in series 8, due to the unavailability of Brendan Cole.
  • Brendan Cole and Anton du Beke are the only two professional dancers who have taken part in all fifteen series of the show. Anton has never won the competition; Brendan won the first series with Natasha Kaplinsky.
  • Only four professionals have won in their first series of being a Strictly professional. Those four are Brendan Cole (Series 1), Darren Bennett (Series 2), Artem Chigvintsev (Series 8) and Alja? Skorjanec (series 11)
  • Only four professionals have won in their last series of being a Strictly professional. Those four are Camilla Dallerup (Series 6), Flavia Cacace (Series 10), Aliona Vilani (series 13) and Joanne Clifton (series 14).
  • In series 11, Aliona Vilani (who had previously been announced as leaving the show) was a replacement for Natalie Lowe who was injured before the series started. The producers of the show announced this on 2 September 2013.
  • Aliona Vilani is the first professional in history to be eliminated first twice in a row with Tony Jacklin in series 11 and Gregg Wallace in series 12. She is also the only professional, however, to have won more than once (with Harry Judd and Jay McGuiness)
  • Kevin Clifton has the most final appearances ever, with four. These are all consecutive.
  • In series 13, Joanne Clifton was a professional dancer however was not given a celebrity partner. In series 14 and 15, Neil Jones and Chloe Hewitt were professional dancers but had no partner.

Professional partners

Some of the dancers form professional partnerships, dancing together competitively or on the show. Darren Bennet and Lilia Kopylova, and James and Ola Jordan are married, while Matthew and Nicole Cutler are divorced but still professional partners. Anton du Beke and Erin Boag have danced as professional couples since 1997; Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace are a former Argentine Tango world champion couple. Brendan Cole and Katya Virshilas danced professionally for several years before parting in November 2009. Karen Hauer and Kevin Clifton were engaged when Kevin entered the show in 2013 and were married prior to the 2015 season, Janette Manrara and Alja? ?korjanec were married in 2017. Neil and Katya Jones are also married.


On average dances last for approximately 90 seconds. The music for the dances are performed by The Strictly Come Dancing Band.

  • The Waltz, Cha Cha Cha, Quickstep, Rumba, Tango, Jive, Foxtrot, Paso Doble and Samba have all been danced since Series 1.
  • The American Smooth and the Viennese Waltz were added in Series 3.
  • The Salsa and the Argentine Tango were added in Series 4.
  • No more dances were added until Series 7, week 11 when couples performed either a Charleston (which winner Chris Hollins chose to perform again in the final) or a Rock N' Roll routine. The final also featured a head-to-head Lindyhop. Of these dances, only the Charleston was retained for subsequent series, although elements of the Lindyhop have often featured in Showdances.
  • Series 8 introduced the Swing-a-thon, where all remaining couples dance Swing simultaneously and are voted off the dancefloor one by one by the judges until only one couple remains. This returned in Series 9 and 11.
  • The tenth series featured a "Dance Fusion", in which the couples attempt to perform two dances consecutively in one routine.
  • The twelfth series introduced the Waltz-a-thon, which uses the same manner as the Swing-a-thon of all remaining couples on the dance floor at the same time, all the couples dance Waltz. Afterwards, the results are revealed by the judges.
  • The thirteenth series introduced a Quickstep-a-thon, in which all seven remaining couples simultaneously performed a quickstep. The judges then ranked them one to seven and gave points accordingly.
  • The fourteenth series saw the Cha-Cha-Challenge introduced, in which all six remaining couples simultaneously performed a cha-cha-cha. The judges then ranked them one to six and gave points accordingly.
  • A Showdance (Freestyle) has always been performed in the series final as a last chance for couples to impress the public. However, since Series 8, the Showdance has been danced as the second dance in the final.

Prior to series 10, the dances performed in the early weeks are switched between one Ballroom and one Latin, and are divided as evenly as possible depending on the number of contestants left. As the competition progressed further, this system is abandoned and many styles, not just two, can be performed in one week by each of the remaining contestants. From series 4 through 7, the remaining contestants who made it to the semi-finals are granted to perform the semi-final-exclusive Argentine Tango. Beginning with series 10, this has all changed. The contestants are now allowed to dance whichever dance they are bestowed to (not accustomed to any patterns), though the Argentine Tango remains to be somewhat reserved for the latter stages of the series. The Showdance, however, is still restricted only for the finalists from the very first series until now.

Results show

From Series 1-4, the results show was shown live, later on the Saturday after 1 hour after the performances.

From Series 5 onwards, the results show is recorded on the Saturday night directly after the live show and incorporates the result of the viewers' votes which are completed by 21:30. This was confirmed by the official BBC website in 2008:

The Sunday show is recorded on Saturday night but no element involving the results of the vote will start recording until after lines are closed and votes counted and verified.


Throughout the Sunday results show the presenters refer to 'last night' in reference to the main show, due to the timing of the Sunday programme, and Tess Daly, Claudia Winkleman's and the judges' outfits are changed to present an illusion of a second live broadcast.

For Series 7, the Sunday results show was axed and put back to Saturday nights as a result of a revamp of the show. It was then put back on Sundays in Series 8.


A new system called the dance-off was introduced in series 5. It continued on the program through series 7, was not used for series 8 and 9, but was reinstated as of series 10 and has remained a feature of the show ever since. There are two couples in each dance-off, which occurs on the results show: the two who received the lowest totals that week from the combined judges' scores and the public vote. The aim of the dance-off is for the couples to convince the judges that they deserve to go through to the following week's competition. Before they attempt the dance a second time the couple sometimes gets advice from the judges. The judges decide who continues on the show and who is eliminated based on the second dance performances. If three of the judges agree that one of the couples should be "saved", that couple is through to the following week's competition and the Head Judge's vote is not counted. If one couple has two votes and the other couple has one vote, then the deciding vote is cast by the Head Judge, originally Len Goodman and currently Shirley Ballas. Afterwards, the eliminated couple perform one final dance--some people call it waltzing out of the ballroom. The Monday after they are eliminated they appear on It Takes Two to talk about their time on the show. The dance-off has been cancelled only once, in series 14, due to an injury sustained earlier by one of the contestants, Anastacia. She was unable to perform the dance-off, and the couple with the lowest total was eliminated.

Strictly: It Takes Two

During the run of Strictly Come Dancing, Strictly: It Takes Two is broadcast each weeknight on BBC Two. The series was previously hosted by Claudia Winkleman; but, due to her pregnancy in 2011, she had to leave the series, and Zoë Ball took over from Series 9.

The show features reviews of the performances during the previous Saturday's show, and interviews with, and training footage of, the couples preparing for the next show. The judges and other celebrities also provide their opinions on how the couples are doing. It Takes Two replaced Strictly Come Dancing on Three, hosted by Justin Lee Collins, which ran on BBC Three during the first series. Prior to 2010, BBC Two Scotland aired the programme on four nights only, running their own Gaelic-language programming on Thursdays instead.

Series 1 (2004)

In Spring 2004, Strictly Come Dancing commenced its first series. The professional dancers were: Brendan, Hanna, Anton, Erin, John, Paul, Camilla and Kylie. This is the only series that took place in the Spring/Summer months. From the second series onwards, the show takes place from September/October to December each year. Natasha Kaplinsky & Brendan Cole were crowned the first winners of Strictly Come Dancing. This was the shortest series, with 8 weeks.

Series 2 (2004)

In Autumn 2004, the second series commenced. 5 of the 8 professionals returned. These professionals were: Brendan, Anton, Erin, Paul and Camilla. There were 5 new professionals who are: Darren, Ian, Lilia, Nicole and Hazel. Hazel only participated in this series while the other professionals competed in following series.

A new spin-off show called Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two presented by Claudia Winkleman was created this series and has continued to air alongside each following series, now hosted by Zoë Ball on BBC Two.

Series 4 (2006)

The show ran from 7 October to 23 December 2006. Over 12 million votes were cast, raising £1.5 million for Children in Need. A peak of 13 million viewers tuned into the final show of series four to see Mark and Karen crowned 2006 Strictly Come Dancing champions.

This series introduced four new professional dancers - Flavia Cacace, James Jordan, Ola Jordan and Vincent Simone. Andrew Cuerden, Hanna Haarala and Izabela Hannah did not return to the series. This series also saw the return of Nicole Cutler, who had taken part in Series 2 but not in Series 3.

The couples in order of elimination:

Series 5 (2007)

The fifth series of Strictly Come Dancing began on BBC One on 29 September 2007, with Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly returning as presenters. For the first and only time, the line up of professionals was unchanged from the previous series. The first programme was a catch-up show and preview to the new series, before the start of the competition on 6 October, which ran for 12 weeks.

The show featured 14 new celebrities, who were paired with 14 professional dancers. In a change to the previous format, the results show was recorded on Saturday and broadcast on Sunday, rather than shown live later on Saturday. In addition to this, the two couples who were at the bottom of the table after the viewers' vote were subject to a dance-off, where they reprised their routine, for the judges to decide who left. Head Judge Len Goodman had the casting vote in case of a tie. The series raised just over a million pounds for Children in Need.

Series 6 (2008)

A sixth series of the show was confirmed after the dancers' pay dispute was called off in late June 2008. The series lasted for 14 weeks, which is the longest series so far. The series involved three new professional dancers, Brian Fortuna, Hayley Holt and Kristina Rihanoff. Nicole Cutler did not return to the series.

In July 2008 it was reported that current EastEnders cast members were banned from taking part in the competition due to the length of the series.

The sixth series began on 13 September with a behind-the-scenes look at the new series, followed by the first live show on 20 September.

On 19 November 2008, John Sergeant announced that he would be leaving the show because he believed he may "win it".

Series 7 (2009)

The seventh series of Strictly Come Dancing ran from 18 September until 19 December 2009. Tess Daly signed a two-year deal to continue presenting the programme for at least the 2009 and 2010 series'.

On 9 July 2009, former competitor Alesha Dixon was confirmed to be joining the judging panel for this series, and that Darcey Bussell would be a guest judge towards the end of the series run. Dixon replaced Arlene Phillips who moved to The ONE Show as a Strictly Come Dancing expert. It has been reported in the media that many of the show's professional dancers are furious at Phillips being replaced by Dixon. They apparently feel that they "will be judged by someone who knows less than they do about dancing". The BBC were also accused of sexism, as none of the male judges on the show had been replaced. The BBC received over 5,000 complaints. Dixon's fans were also unhappy as she had to cancel a number of dates on her autumn tour to do the programme.

The official line-up was revealed on 25 August 2009 and the winner was BBC Breakfast presenter Chris Hollins:

Series 8 (2010)

The eighth series of Strictly Come Dancing began with a launch show on 11 September 2010, then three weeks later the live shows started on 1 October 2010. Three new professional dancers were announced, The celebrities were revealed on 8 September 2010 and the professional partners were revealed during the launch show.

Series 9 (2011)

Strictly returned with a launch show on 10 September 2011, with the final in December at the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool. Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly returned to front the main show, and Claudia Winkleman presented the Sunday night results show along with Daly.

For Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two, a new presenter joined the team. Winkleman had to pull out of the 2011 series as it would be difficult to do a daily programme so soon after giving birth and was replaced by Zoë Ball.

All of series eight's judges returned to the show. Jennifer Grey served as a cover judge for Len Goodman during week six due to his break from the show. This was the last series to feature Alesha Dixon as a judge after she left the show after the final to become a judge on Britain's Got Talent

The professional line-up was announced on 15 June 2011 with most of the Series 8 professionals returning, except for Jared Murillo who was replaced by Siberian dancer Pasha Kovalev. The celebrity line-up was announced on 6 September 2011 on The ONE Show and the couples were paired up for the first time on the launch show.

Series 10 (2012)

The tenth series began on 15 September 2012 with a launch show to reveal the celebrity/professional partnerships, and the live shows began on 5 October.

On 25 April 2012, it was confirmed that Darcey Bussell would be joining the judging panel, replacing Alesha Dixon who left the show to be a judge on Britain's Got Talent.

Katya Virshilas was the only professional dancer not returning to this series, and she was replaced by Burn the Floor's Karen Hauer. The full line-up was revealed on 10 September during The ONE Show.

Aliona Vilani was originally Johnny Ball's partner, but injury resulted in her being replaced by Iveta Lukosiute.

Series 11 (2013)

Strictly Come Dancing returned with the launch show on 7 September 2013 and its live shows on 27 September 2013 for its eleventh series. Rod Stewart and Jessie J performed on the premiere show.

On 1 June 2013, it was announced that Aliona Vilani, Vincent Simone, Flavia Cacace, and Erin Boag would all leave this series. Alja? Skorjanec, Emma Slater, Janette Manrara and Iveta Lukosiute, who partnered Johnny Ball in the first few weeks of series 10, would all join the cast. However, it was confirmed on 22 August 2013 that Anya Garnis and Kevin Clifton joined the series, replacing Slater. On 2 September 2013, it was announced that a foot fracture injury meant Natalie Lowe would not be able to participate this series, and she was replaced by returning professional Vilani.

Series 12 (2014)

The series started on 7 September 2014 with a launch show, followed by the live shows starting on 26 and 27 September. This series was the first not to be presented by Sir Bruce Forsyth after announcing his departure from the live shows on 4 April (He made his final regular appearance in this series' launch show). However, Forsyth would continue to present special editions of the show, such as Children in Need and Christmas specials. It was announced on 9 May that Claudia Winkleman would join the main show as co-presenter and the duties would mirror the existing result show format, with Tess Daly taking over Forsyth's role as main presenter and Winkleman taking Daly's role as co-presenter.

It was announced on 1 June 2014 that professional dancers Artem Chigvintsev, James Jordan and Anya Garnis would not be returning for the new series, although Garnis would remain on the show's choreography team. It was also announced that Tristan MacManus and Joanne Clifton would be joining the show's professional line-up. It was then announced in August that Robin Windsor had pulled out of the competition due to a back injury. Windsor will be replaced by new professional Trent Whiddon. In the third week entertainer Donny Osmond joined the four regular judges, making the maximum score that week 50 points. Due to Winkleman's absence in weeks 6, 7, and 8, It Takes Two presenter Zoë Ball co-presented with Daly.

Series 13 (2015)

Strictly Come Dancing returned for the thirteenth series with a launch show on 5 September 2015, followed by the live shows starting on 25 and 26 September.

On 23 April 2015, the list of professionals participating in the thirteenth series was revealed. Professionals from the last series who did not return included Trent Whiddon, Iveta Lukosiute and Joanne Clifton. Clifton would remain involved in group dances and would feature on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two as a dance expert. Robin Windsor, absent from the previous series because of injury, also did not return for this series. Three new professional dancers were introduced: Russian dancer Gleb Savchenko (from the American, Australian, and Russian versions of Dancing with the Stars), South African dancer Oti Mabuse (from Germany's Let's Dance) and Italian dancer Giovanni Pernice.

On 3 October 2015, the judges performed The Strictly, a signature dance made up of some iconic moves from the show's history for fans to do at home when they hear the theme tune; subsequently, a tutorial for the dance was made available on the show's website and iPlayer hosted by Natalie Lowe and Tristan MacManus. Ola Jordan later announced that she had quit the show and claimed that the results were "fixed".

Series 13 was the last to feature Tristan MacManus, Kristina Rihanoff, Ola Jordan and Gleb Savchenko as professional dancers. Aliona Vilani announced three days after winning that she was leaving the show, however, she did do the 2016 live tour. Savchenko announced he was leaving the show on 28 June 2016. For series 14, Katya Jones, Gorka Márquez, Oksana Platero, and Joanne Clifton replaced them.

Series 14 (2016)

Strictly Come Dancing returned for its fourteenth series with a launch show on 3 September 2016 on BBC One. This was Len Goodman's final series as head judge.

On 28 June 2016, the list of professionals who were returning for the fourteenth series was revealed. Professionals from the last series who would not return included last series' champion and two-time professional winner of the show Aliona Vilani, former professional winner Ola Jordan, and two-times professional finalist Kristina Rihanoff as well as Gleb Savchenko and Tristan MacManus. Joanne Clifton was returning after a one series hiatus. The leaving professionals were replaced by Katya Jones, Burn the Floor dancer Gorka Márquez and former Dancing with the Stars US troupe member Oksana Platero. On 26 July 2016, three more new professional dancers were announced as AJ Pritchard, Chloe Hewitt and Neil Jones, husband of new dancer Katya. Chloe Hewitt and Neil Jones did not partner a celebrity as the professionals outnumbered the celebrities, although they were still in group dances and appeared on It Takes Two.

Series 15 (2017)

On 4 May 2017, Series 7 finalist, Natalie Lowe announced that she would be departing the show. Five days later, Shirley Ballas announced that she would be replacing Len Goodman as head judge. On 21 June 2017, previous series professional champion, Joanne Clifton, as well as Oksana Platero announced that they would also be leaving. The new professionals replacing them are Australian Open champion, Dianne Buswell, Welsh dancer, Amy Dowden, and Ukrainian two-time world champion, Nadiya Bychkova. On 7 August, Nick Grimshaw announced that Mollie King is the first celebrity to be taking part this series. This is the first series to be broadcast since Sir Bruce Forsyth's death in August that year. In a change to the format of previous five years, there was no elimination in the final, hence there were three runner-up couples this series.

Series 16 (2018)

On 30 January 2018, it was announced that Brendan Cole had been axed from the show. On 30 May 2018, the full line-up for professional dancers was announced. Chloe Hewitt left the series, and three new professional dancers, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe and Luba Mushtuk were announced to be joining the show. This meant that there were 18 professional dancers, the largest in the show's history.

Christmas specials

The Christmas specials have been broadcast each year since 2004. The first special was broadcast the week before Christmas 2004, in 2005 it was broadcast on Christmas Eve, and from 2006 they have been broadcast on Christmas Day. Every Christmas Special has been hosted by Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly and Forsyth continued to host these editions from 2014 after he left the live shows until he announced he would not be appearing on the 2015 Christmas special- due to ill health- from which he died in 2017, so Daly and Winkleman have presented the special together since 2016.


  • Darren Gough & Lilia Kopylova and Jill Halfpenny & Darren Bennett are the only two couples to have won the Christmas Special twice. They have both won the main series.
  • The Christmas Special was not held in Series 1 because the main series was held in the summer. However, it has been held from Series 2 to the present day.
  • From Series 2 - Series 7, celebrities from previous series would perform. From Series 8 - Series 11, celebrities who did not have time to do the show would perform. From Series 12 - present, celebrities from previous series would perform.

Strictly Ice Dancing

Strictly Ice Dancing was broadcast as a one-off special on 26 December 2004; with Carol Smillie, Jessica Taylor, Scarlett Alice Johnson, Marcus Patric, David Seaman, and Rowland Rivron paired with professional skaters. This was won by David Seaman (who was a late replacement for Paul Gascoigne) and his partner Zoia Birmingham.

In order of elimination, the competitors were:

Strictly Ice Dancing was identical to the ITV format Dancing on Ice, although details of Dancing on Ice were revealed before Strictly Ice Dancing was commissioned.

Strictly African Dancing

A further one-off special was broadcast on BBC One on 9 July 2005 as part of the BBC's Africa Lives season. It featured six celebrities of African descent performing traditional African dances with a professional troupe. The contestants were Tunde Baiyewu, Tupele Dorgu, Robbie Earle, Antonia Okonma, Louis Emerick, and Tessa Sanderson. The programme was presented by Natasha Kaplinsky and Martin Offiah, and the winner was Robbie Earle. Professional dancers Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova, who have appeared on Strictly Come Dancing since the second series, also appeared on this special to perform a traditional African Samba.

In order of elimination:

  • Tunde Baiyewu
  • Louis Emerick
  • Tupele Dorgu
  • Tessa Sanderson
  • Antonia Okonma
  • Robbie Earle

The London cast of the musical The Lion King, led by South-African actress Brown Lindiwe Mkhize, took part in this broadcast. The company performed the trademark song "Circle of Life".

Sport Relief Does Strictly Come Dancing


A Strictly Come Dancing one-off special for Sport Relief was broadcast on 14 March 2008, with Craig Revel Horwood, Arlene Phillips and Len Goodman judging. Five former Strictly contestants related to sport partnered a new celebrity.

The results were as follows:

The ranking of the bottom three couples was not announced - they were eliminated from the competition in a random order.

A BBC spokesperson commented: "Sport Relief features Strictly Come Dancing with a difference."



Strictly Come Dancing did an underwater special for Sport Relief 2012. The contestants were 2011 champion Harry Judd and runner-up Chelsee Healey. The judges were Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Mark Foster. It was presented by Claudia Winkleman.

After the initial scores resulted in a draw, Len (as Head Judge) had the deciding vote. He chose Chelsee and Pasha therefore they won the contest.


Strictly Come Dancing did a Paralympians special for Sport Relief 2014. The contestants were David Clarke, Hannah Cockroft, Nathan Stephens and Martine Wright. The judges were Goodman, Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Lee Pearson; however, no scores were given. The series was presented by Tess Daly.

Children in Need


A Strictly Come Dancing one-off special for Children in Need was broadcast on 14 November 2008, with Fearne Cotton presenting and Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Arlene Phillips and Craig Revel Horwood judging.

The results were as follows:


The dancers performed alongside Alesha Dixon singing The Boy Does Nothing at the start of the show and also Ricky Whittle was seen backstage, supporting the Hollyoaks cast who performed and Alesha told him to go back to rehearsals. The presenters and judges did not appear in this unlike the previous year when judges rated Terry's performance.


A Strictly Come Dancing one-off special for Children in Need was broadcast on 19 November 2010, with Tess Daly presenting the show and Craig Revel Horwood, Len Goodman, Terry Wogan and Pudsey Bear judging.

The results were as follows:


In November 2011, BBC newsreaders Sian Williams, Sophie Raworth, Susanna Reid and Emily Maitlis performed a group dance to Katy Perry's "Firework". Susanna and Robin won with three of the judges' votes. Angela Rippon also made an appearance in the dance, alongside the women. Susanna then went on to compete as a contestant in the eleventh series of the show in 2013.


A one-off special for Children in Need 2012 was broadcast on 16 November 2012 with Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly hosting, and judges Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli. Fan favourites Ann Widdecombe and Russell Grant made a special appearance in a parody of The Queen's Olympic opening ceremony scene with Daniel Craig as James Bond, and danced an "Angels and Demons" routine with their partners Anton du Beke and Flavia Cacace. Bruno voted for Ann and Anton, but Craig, Darcey, and Len all chose Russell and Flavia, who took home the Pudsey-on-a-glitter-ball trophy.


A one-off special was broadcast for Children in Need 2013 on 15 November 2013. Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly hosted the show, and was judged by Len Goodman, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli. The show featured professional ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, who were partnered with James Jordan and Aliona Vilani. Bussell voted for Chris and Aliona, but Tonioli and Goodman voted for Jayne and James, who won the show and took home the Pudsey-on-a-glitter-ball trophy.


The judges were: Revel Horwood, Bussell, Goodman & Tonioli. There were two teams with one children couple and one of the shows professional as a couple, Team Glitter's pros were Natalie Lowe & Anton Du Beke and Team Sparkle's pros were Aliona Vilani & Tristan MacManus. Team Glitter took home the trophy.


On 13 August 2015, it was announced that Call the Midwife actors Jenny Agutter, Laura Main, Stephen McGann and Jack Ashton would appear on the 2015 Children in Need special. Tess Daly hosted the show, along with former presenter Sir Bruce Forsyth in what was Forsyth's final formal television appearance prior to his death in 2017.


On 18 November 2016, British olympians Canoeist Joe Clarke, Hockey player Hollie Webb, Taekwando athlete, Lutalo Muhammad and Rower Helen Glover competed in the 2016 Children in Need Special. Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman presented the show, making it the first Children in Need not co-presented by Sir Bruce Forsyth.


The BBC announced that former and current Blue Peter presenters would take part in the 2017 special.

The People's Strictly for Comic Relief

On 11 September 2014, the BBC announced that a special non-celebrity version of the show would air for Comic Relief 2015. It featured six inspirational heroes who underwent four weeks of training before performing live in the studio.

The series began airing on 25 February 2015 over four pre-recorded episodes, the first two episodes introduced the contestants, the third episode on 5 March followed their training and preparation for the show. The fourth episode on 11 March saw the couples take to the dance floor, with the winner decided via an online public vote and announced live on Red Nose Day 2015 on 13 March.

The series was hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, and judged by Bussell, Tonioli and Goodman alongside guest judge Anton du Beke. Craig Revel Horwood did not take part as a judge due to prior commitments. The judges' scores were for guidance only.

The Weakest Link Special 2008

On 27 December 2008, a special episode of The Weakest Link was broadcast on BBC One featuring participants of Strictly Come Dancing. The game was won by series 6 celebrity Mark Foster, who beat professional dancer Anton du Beke in the final. Participants in order of elimination were:

  • Craig Revel Horwood
  • Arlene Phillips
  • Kristina Rihanoff
  • Camilla Dallerup
  • Mark Ramprakash
  • Brendan Cole
  • Heather Small
  • Anton du Beke
  • Mark Foster

The Live Tour! 2008

Strictly Come Dancing went on tour at the beginning of 2008 for the first time. The tour was hosted by Kate Thornton, and judged by Craig Revel Horwood, Arlene Phillips, and Len Goodman. Bruno Tonioli was not a judge in this competition due to him being in Los Angeles. The tour began on 18 January 2008 in Glasgow and finished on 19 February 2008 in Birmingham.

Celebrity dancers taking part were:

  • Series 1 runner up Christopher Parker and Nicole Cutler
  • Series 2 runner up Denise Lewis and Matthew Cutler
  • Series 3 winner Darren Gough and Lilia Kopylova
  • Series 3 contestant James Martin and Camilla Dallerup
  • Series 5 contestant Letitia Dean and Darren Bennett
  • Series 4 contestant Louisa Lytton and Vincent Simone
  • Series 5 runner up Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace
  • Series 3 finalist Zoë Ball and Ian Waite

Christopher Parker's original partner Hannah Karttunen did not dance with him as she had left the show before this tour. Denise Lewis also had a different partner as her original partner Ian Waite danced with more recent partner Zoë Ball. Instead she danced with Matthew Cutler

Strictly Professionals James Jordan and Ola Jordan also performed a routine together.

The results of the tour are as follows:

Denise Lewis, Christopher Parker or James Martin were not winners or runners up at any stage of the tour.

The Live Tour! 2009

The Strictly Come Dancing Tour returned in January and February 2009. Kate Thornton returned to host, and all four judges from the TV series took part.

Celebrity dancers taking part were:

  • Series 6 contestant Cherie Lunghi and James Jordan
  • Series 5 contestant Gethin Jones and Flavia Cacace
  • Series 2 winner Jill Halfpenny and Darren Bennett
  • Series 6 contestant Jodie Kidd and Ian Waite
  • Series 3 finalist Julian Clary and Lilia Kopylova
  • Series 5 contestant Kenny Logan and Ola Jordan
  • Series 6 runner up Rachel Stevens and Vincent Simone
  • Series 6 winner Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup

The couples and results of the tour were as follows:

Gethin Jones and Julian Clary were paired with new professional partners - Jones' partner Camilla Dallerup danced with her series six celebrity Tom Chambers, whilst Clary's partner (Erin Boag) did not take part in the tour, as she and her professional partner Anton du Beke were on their own Cheek To Cheek tour of the UK.

Strictly Come Dancing professionals Matthew Cutler and Kristina Rihanoff also performed a routine together.

The DVD was released on 9 November 2009.

The Live Tour! 2010

The Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour took place in January and February 2010. Amanda Byram and Kate Thornton hosted on different nights.

The judging panel consisted of four members:

  • Craig Revel Horwood
  • Len Goodman (did not appear at every performance)
  • Arlene Phillips (did not appear at every performance)
  • Bruno Tonioli

The following celebrities and professional dancers starred in the tour:

  • Series 7 semi-finalist Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna
  • Series 5 contestant Kelly Brook and Matthew Cutler
  • Series 7 winner Chris Hollins and Ola Jordan
  • Series 4 winner Mark Ramprakash and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Series 7 contestant Ricky Groves and Aliona Vilani
  • Series 7 contestant Natalie Cassidy and Darren Bennett
  • Series 7 contestant Zöe Lucker and James Jordan
  • Series 6 contestant Austin Healey and Lilia Kopylova

Two other pro dancers danced on the tour:

  • Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe

Strictly Come Dancing - The Professionals Tour 2010

Nine professional show dancers took part in the first Strictly Come Dancing - The Professionals Tour between April to July 2010. It featured:

  • Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace
  • Matthew Cutler and Aliona Vilani
  • James Jordan and Ola Jordan
  • Brian Fortuna and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Ian Waite

The Live Tour! 2011

The Strictly Come Dancing 2011 UK tour returned to UK arenas during January and February 2011. Zoë Ball joined as host. Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman returned as judges. The celebrities and professionals who participated were:

  • Series 7 runner up Ricky Whittle and Natalie Lowe
  • Series 8 contestant Tina O'Brien and Jared Murillo
  • Series 8 finalist Pamela Stephenson and James Jordan
  • Series 8 winner Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev
  • Series 3 runner up Colin Jackson and Ola Jordan
  • Series 8 contestant Patsy Kensit and Robin Windsor
  • Series 8 contestant Jimi Mistry and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Series 8 runner up Matt Baker and Aliona Vilani
  • Series 8 contestant Ann Widdecombe and judge Craig Revel Horwood

Also making a guest appearance in the tour was Fever Dance Company and their amazing formation team.

The Live Tour! 2012

The Strictly Come Dancing 2012 UK tour began its run on 20 January and finished on 26 February. The venues hosting the tour were:

  • National Indoor Arena, Birmingham
  • Capital FM Arena, Nottingham
  • Wembley Arena and O2 Arena, London
  • Evening News Arena, Manchester
  • Sheffield Arena, Sheffield
  • Echo Arena, Liverpool
  • Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
  • SECC, Glasgow
  • Cardiff International Arena, Cardiff
  • The O2, Dublin
  • Odyssey Arena, Belfast

Kate Thornton returned as host. Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman returned as judges. Horwood directed the tour for the second year.

The celebrities and professionals who participated were:

  • Series 9 contestant Anita Dobson and Robin Windsor
  • Series 9 runner-up Chelsee Healey and Pasha Kovalev
  • Series 9 winner Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani
  • Series 9 finalist Jason Donovan and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Series 6 contestant Mark Foster and Natalie Lowe
  • Series 9 contestant Nancy Dell'Olio and Artem Chigvintsev
  • Series 9 contestant Robbie Savage and Katya Virshilas

Ian Waite performed with Natalie on the tour, but did not partner a celebrity.

The Live Tour! 2013

The Strictly Come Dancing 2013 UK tour began its run on 18 January 2013. The confirmed line-up of celebrities and professionals for the tour is as follows:

  • Series 10 finalist Dani Harmer and Pasha Kovalev
  • Series 10 runner-up Denise van Outen and James Jordan
  • Series 10 contestant Fern Britton and Artem Chigvintsev
  • Series 10 semi-finalist Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor
  • Series 10 winner Louis Smith and Ola Jordan
  • Series 10 contestant Michael Vaughan and Natalie Lowe
  • Series 7 contestant Phil Tufnell and Karen Hauer

Kate Thornton returned as host; Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman returned as judges. Iveta Lukosiute also performed on the tour, but did not partner a celebrity. Louis Smith and Ola Jordan were the overall champions of the tour, with the most wins.

The Live Tour! 2014

The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 UK Tour begun on 17 January 2014 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham and ended at The O2 Arena on 7 February. The tour was hosted by former contestant Lisa Riley, and Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Len Goodman returned as judges.

The following celebrities and professionals took part:

  • Series 11 contestant Mark Benton and Iveta Lukosiute
  • Series 11 contestant Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Series 11 runner-up Susanna Reid and Kevin Clifton
  • Series 11 runner-up Natalie Gumede and Artem Chigvintsev
  • Series 11 winner Abbey Clancy and Alja? ?korjanec
  • Series 11 contestant Deborah Meaden and Robin Windsor
  • Series 10 contestant Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer

Natalie Lowe also featured on the tour, but did not partner a celebrity.

This is the first series of The Live Tour! in which all of the celebrities danced with their original partners.

The Live Tour! 2015

The Strictly Come Dancing 2015 UK Tour began on 16 January 2015 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham and concluded at The O2 Arena on 8 February 2015. The tour was hosted by former contestant and It Takes Two host Zoë Ball for the second time. Craig Revel Horwood returned as judge, but Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli did not take part due to other commitments including Dancing with the Stars in the United States, so they were replaced by Series 6 champion Tom Chambers and his professional partner Camilla Dallerup. Anton du Beke was also a judge in the Echo Arena, Liverpool and Wembley Arena, London. Len Goodman was a judge just for the O2 show on 8 February and on that same show the presenter was Lisa Riley.

The following celebrities and professionals took part:

  • Series 12 contestant Thom Evans and Iveta Lukosiute
  • Series 12 winner Caroline Flack and Tristan MacManus
  • Series 12 contestant Alison Hammond and Alja? Skorjanec
  • Series 12 contestant Scott Mills and Joanne Clifton
  • Series 12 runner-up Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Series 12 finalist Mark Wright and Karen Hauer
  • Series 6 runner-up Rachel Stevens and Kevin CliftonA

Caroline Flack danced with Tristan MacManus not her partner in the series Pasha Kovalev

Trent Whiddon also featured on the tour to dance with Iveta, but did not partner a celebrity. Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff are the overall champions of the tour, with the most wins.

Pro Partners on the tour were as follows:

  • Kevin Clifton and Karen Clifton
  • Tristan MacManus and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Aljaz Skorjanec and Joanne Clifton
  • Trent Whiddon and Iveta Lukosiute
^A Frankie Bridge was originally supposed to take part, but had to pull out due to illness of pregnancy, so Stevens took her place.

The Live Tour! 2016

The 2016 tour started on 22 January and finished on 14 February. The new presenter was Mel Giedroyc and the judges were Craig Revel Horwood, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli.

  • Series 13 contestant Ainsley Harriott and Karen Cliftona
  • Series 12 runner-up Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton
  • Series 13 runner-up Georgia May Foote and Giovanni Pernice
  • Series 13 semi-finalist Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenkob
  • Series 13 winner Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani
  • Series 13 contestant Helen George and Alja? Skorjanec
  • Series 12 semi-finalist Jake Wood and Janette Manrara

Joanne Clifton was also featured on the tour, but not partner a celebrity.

Pro Partners on the tour were as follows:

  • Kevin Clifton and Karen Clifton
  • Giovanni Pernice and Aliona Vilani
  • Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara
  • Gleb Savchenko and Joanne Clifton

a Natalie Lowe was scheduled to dance on the tour but she sustained an injury during tour rehearsals. Karen Clifton, who was already set to dance on the tour without a celebrity partner, took over for Lowe.

b Mel Giedroyc was ill on 9 February so Anita Rani hosted instead. However, she still performed her Paso Doble but not for votes.

The Live Tour! 2017

The 2017 tour was presented by 2015 semi-finalist Anita Rani. The judges were Craig Revel Horwood, Len Goodman and Karen Hardy. The tour started on 20 January and finished on 12 February.

The full tour line up was announced on 14 December:

  • Series 14 runner up Louise Redknapp and Kevin Clifton
  • Series 14 contestant Daisy Lowe and Alja? Skorjanec
  • Series 14 runner up Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse
  • Series 14 contestant Ed Balls and Katya Jones
  • Series 14 winner Ore Oduba and Karen Clifton
  • Series 14 contestant Lesley Joseph and Gorka Márquez

Due to Ed Balls not dancing in Manchester, Judge Rinder and Oksana Platero will replace him on the 4 and 5 February.

Extra Dancers on Tour who are dancing in Group Dances:

  • Giovanni Pernice and Janette Manrara
  • AJ Pritchard and Chloe Hewitt
  • Neil Jones and Oksana Platero

The Live Tour! 2018

The 2018 tour was presented by 2016 champion Ore Oduba. The judges were Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Darcey Bussell. The tour started on 19 January and finished on 11 February.

The full tour line up was announced on 14 December:

  • Series 15 runner up Alexandra Burke and Gorka Márquez
  • Series 15 runner up Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice
  • Series 15 runner up Gemma Atkinson and Alja? Skorjanec
  • Series 15 winner Joe McFadden and Katya Jones
  • Series 15 contestant Davood Ghadami and Nadiya Bychkova
  • Series 15 contestant Susan Calman and Kevin Clifton
  • Series 15 contestant Jonnie Peacock and Oti Mabuse

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