Strictly Come Dancing

Contents

Host

Tess Daly and Bruce Forsyth (most shows, 2004-13; see Trivia)

Natasha Kaplinsky and Bruce Forsyth (autumn 2004 series)

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman (results shows 2010-13, all shows 2014-)

Zoe Ball (stand-in for Winkleman for 3 weeks in 2014)

Co-hosts

Judges: Craig Revel Horwood, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli (all series)
Arlene Phillips (2004-8)
Alesha Dixon (2009-11)
Darcey Bussell (guest judge 2009; permanent 2012-)

Jennifer Grey (one-episode stand-in for Len Goodman, 2011)
Donny Osmond (one-episode guest judge, 2014)

BBC Three coverage (Strictly Come Dancing on Three): Justin Lee Collins (2004)

BBC Two coverage (Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two): Claudia Winkleman (2004-10), Zoe Ball (2011-)

Voiceover: Alan Dedicoat

'Red Button' Commentary: Phillip Jackson (2006), Karen Hardy (2011-12)

Broadcast

BBC One, 15 May 2004 to present

(also simulcast on BBC HD and BBC One HD from 2006)

Synopsis

A bunch of non-dancing celebs attempt to learn a series of dances, perform them on a live Saturday night show, get insulted by a panel of judges, and face a public phone vote to decide who gets booted off each week. And all (originally) to raise money for Comic Relief / Children In Need / Telethon '89. Fairly bog-standard reality series mechanics then, but they certainly put on quite a show.

Bruce and Tess make their entrance

Renowned song-and-dance man Bruce Forsyth is our host, though he doesn't get to do much dancing, which seems a bit of a waste. Each celeb has been paired up with a professional dancer, and we get to see clips of them in rehearsal before they take to the floor to perform. After a minute and a half of dancing, their performance is appraised by four judges - the nasty one, the camp one, the old one and the Hot Gossip one (latterly, the seemingly underqualified one) - then they go off into the backroom (the transition originally covered by Brucie telling a joke that would invariably fall flat, but nowadays he just does a simple link) to be grilled by Glamorous Lady Co-Presenter and watch as the judges reveal their marks out of ten. Repeat until all the couples have danced.

Kelly Brook and professional dancer Brendan Cole in action

The judges' marks count for 50% of the final score, and the public phone vote for (calculators out, chaps) the other 50%. In theory this should reduce the influence of the sympathy vote and help to keep the better dancers in the competition for longer, though it doesn't entirely work that way.

Matt Dawson and professional dancer Lilia Kopylova receive their scores from the judges

From series five onwards, the bottom two after the phone vote go through to a "dance-off" with the judges deciding who should go. Whether effectively eliminating the chance of a shock result is good for the show is a bone of contention - as is the fact that in 2007-8, the results show was recorded and shown on Sunday night, which might not have been quite so controversial were we not living in an internet age in which the result would inevitably be leaked before broadcast. Even if you avoided the spoilers on Sunday, it still wasn't quite the same "event television" it was when the whole nation found out the result live. In 2009 the BBC saw sense (on this point at least) and incorporated the results back into the Saturday night show. Bafflingly, the 2010 series returned to the recorded Sunday night results show, but dropped the dance-off, leaving the results show with somewhat less of a "hook".

2008 saw a couple of changes to the telephone voting: lines now open only for a couple of hours after the live show, rather than staying open all week; and the link to Children In Need has been broken since new BBC guidelines introduced after the phone fakery scandals (as covered in Weaver's Weeks passim) no longer allow phone lines to be used to raise money for charity outside of special events.

Spoony watches footage of himself and Ola Jordan on "It Takes Two"

Even though it borrows a lot from other shows, Strictly Come Dancing does manage to come out feeling like something a little bit different for a Saturday night. It's a very visual spectacle, which instantly makes it stand out from all the purely musical entertainments that both BBC and ITV have thrown at us in recent years. There's a huge sense of fun and exuberance too, which even Bruce's strained jokes cannot quell. Credit must also be given to Laurie Holloway (series 1-3) and Dave Arch (thereafter) and their respective bands, who perform all the music live and, even more than the hosts, set the tone for the show. All in all, a surprising triumph for the BBC.

Key moments

In the 2010 series, the rules were changed to allow the use of props (other than the traditional hats, scarves and capes). The opportunity was grasped by dancers both good (Matt Baker started his charleston on a unicycle) and not-so-good (Craig suggested that Paul Daniels making Ola Jordan appear from an "empty" box was the best bit of his routine). But the image that will give us nightmares for the rest of our lives is Ann Widdecombe "flying" (read: being lowered heavily) down to the stage on a harness at the start of her tango. This was taken to extremes in 2011 with Russell Grant's "human cannonball" act to what was ostensibly a jive - which despite being arguably the most memorable moment of that series, didn't stop him from being voted off that week.

Ann Widdecombe flies like a bird. If the bird in question is a dodo on a string.

Since Alesha Dixon joined the panel, it's become a common ritual that after giving a ten, and just before the camera goes off the panel, the judges will either fan themselves, or start hitting each other with the paddles. Even Craig, who usually eschews such fripperies (and doesn't often give 10s anyway), joined in with hitting Len in the 2010 final when Len was the only judge not to give 10 for Kara Tointon's american smooth.

Catchphrases

One of Bruce's regular catchphrases was amended to "nice to twirl you..." in series 1 and 2. He's now reverted to the usual "nice to see you...".

"Let's meet the stars of our show."

"This... is the moment of truth."

"You're my favourites." - From series 4, often said by Bruce after a couple - any couple - had recieved a mauling from the judges. For the series 6 final, he changed this to the slightly too contrived "I've made up my mind - you're the best."

Bruce: "On behalf of Tess and everyone - and I do mean everyone..."
Bruce & Tess: "Keeeeeep dancin'!"
This is accompanied by an action in which the couples, in ballroom hold, tilt back and forward - they're supposed to go backward on "keeeeep" and forward on "dancin'" but inevitably some of them get it wrong, leading to Bruce following up with mock-exasperated cries of "not like that!".

Inventor

Format by BBC FED Team, based on Come Dancing devised by Eric Morley. From series five, his widow Julia Morley is also credited.

Trivia

For the first ten years, most shows were hosted by Tess Daly and Bruce Forsyth. Tess was on maternity leave for the autumn 2004 series, her replacement was reigning champion Natasha Kaplinsky. When Bruce was unable to appear on a show in 2009, Claudia Winkleman served as his substitute on that night. Claudia and Tess hosted the results programmes from 2010, and performance shows when Bruce was unavailable. When Bruce retired from the main shows after 2013, Claudia and Tess became the main hosts. Bruce still popped up for high days and holidays. Claudia Winkleman was indisposed for three weekends in November 2014, Zoe Ball stepped in.

The worst ever judges' score was 8 (out of 40), achieved by Quentin Willson and Hazel Newberry for the cha cha cha on their one and only competitive appearance. Len Goodman noted in his autobiography that this was particularly bad luck for Newberry as she is arguably the most distinguished professional dancer ever to take part in the show (which is really saying something when you consider that many of them have been multiple world champions in one discipline or another).

A perfect 40 was first achieved by Jill Halfpenny and Darren Bennett for the jive in the series 2 final. Lisa Snowdon and Brendan Cole were the first pairing to score a perfect 40 twice on the same night, in the 2008 final - though after the viewers' votes were added, they still only came third! Two other pairings have since scored 40 twice in one night: Denise Van Outen and James Jordan in the 2012 final, and Natalie Gumede and Artem Chigvintsev in the 2013 final, and they didn't win either.

Judge Bruno Tonioli was once a backing dancer and choreographer for Bananarama, as well as Wham!, Elton John (he's in the I'm Still Standing video) and Paul McCartney, among many others. He also appeared on A Song for Europe in 1980 as part of the group Duke and the Aces. They came seventh.

The "Strictly" bit in the title is a reference to the 1992 film Strictly Ballroom.

The Strictly Come Dancing format has been widely exported under the title Dancing With The Stars, and the US and Australian versions have both topped their countries' TV ratings charts. Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli appeared as judges on the US version, for which Alan Dedicoat also did the voiceover (though since all the announcements are pre-recorded, he never even got to leave London). Local versions of the show appeared in the annual top ten TV ratings in 17 countries in 2006, more than any other format.

The series earned itself a place in the 2010 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, as the world's most successful reality TV series, having been exported to 38 countries at the time of publication (September 2009). The criteria seem somewhat fuzzy though - after all, Big Brother has been sold to more than 100 countries as a format, and Spy, of all things, has had similar success as a finished show. So a mere 38 countries looks a little bit feeble in comparison.

The series is planned so that three couples will compete in the final. However in 2006 and 2007 the final featured only two couples, due to contestants dropping out: Jimmy Tarbuck for medical reasons and Kelly Brook due to a death in the family. The same would have happened in 2008 after John Sergeant withdrew from the competition, but they got around it by having no elimination in the week before the final and all votes cast that week "roll over" to the final. This was caused by the judges scores being tied for the top two couples on the penultimate week, meaning that there was no way for the viewers to get the couple in last place out of the dance-off. Why they didn't split the tie by giving the 3 points to the couple with the higher individual dance mark, we don't know. That would've been too logical, wouldn't it?

During series 7, Bruce Forsyth came down with the flu and was unable to present for one episode. To cover his absence, Tess Daly was promoted to front-of-house duties, while It Takes Two host Claudia Winkleman covered Daly's normal duties, interviewing the dancers backstage. Brucie's golfing pal Ronnie Corbett was drafted in to do the opening chat with Tess and contributed a couple of gags from his seat in the studio audience. Forsyth also took absence on 10 November 2012, preparing for the following week's Children in Need telethon.

Contrary to popular belief, it only takes one and a half to tango

In addition to the usual standard- and high-definition pictures, the 2010 and 2011 finals were shown in 3D, using the BBC-HD channel.

Champions

2004 Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole (Spring series)
2004 Jill Halfpenny and Darren Bennett (Autumn series)
2005 Darren Gough and Lilia Kopylova
2006 Mark Ramprakash and Karen Hardy
2007 Alesha Dixon and Matthew Cutler
2008 Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup
2009 Chris Hollins and Ola Jordan
2010 Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev
2011 Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani
2012 Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace
2013 Abbey Clancy and AljaĆŸ Skorjanec

Champion of Champions
2004 Jill Halfpenny and Darren Bennett
2005 Darren Gough and Lilia Kopylova

Strictly Ice Dancing
2004 David Seaman and Zoia Birmingham

Strictly African Dancing
2005 Robbie Earle

Christmas Special (winners styled "Strictly Christmas Champions")
2006 Colin Jackson and Erin Boag
2007 Darren Gough and Lilia Kopylova
2008 Jill Halfpenny and Darren Bennett
2009 Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna
2010 John Barrowman and Kristina Rhianoff
2011 Charlie Brooks and Vincent Simone
2012 JB Gill and Ola Jordan
2013 Rufus Hound and Flavia Cacace

Sport Relief Does Strictly Come Dancing
2008 Kara Tointon and Mark Ramprakash
2010 Peter Jones and Lilia Kopylova
2012 Chelsee Healey and Pasha Kovalev

Children in Need
2008 Tess Daly and Anton Du Beke
2010 Harry Judd and Ola Jordan
2011 Susanna Reid and Robin Windsor
2012 Russell Grant and Flavia Cacace
2013 Jayne Torvill and James Jordan

Participants

2004 (Spring series)

2004 (Autumn series)

  • Jill Halfpenny (actress) and Darren Bennett
  • Denise Lewis (athlete) and Ian Waite
  • Julian Clary (comedian) and Erin Boag
  • Aled Jones (singer and presenter) and Lilia Kopylova
  • Roger Black (athlete) and Camilla Dallerup
  • Sarah Manners (actress) and Brendan Cole
  • Diarmuid Gavin (garden designer) and Nicole Cutler
  • Esther Rantzen (presenter) and Anton Du Beke
  • Carol Vorderman (presenter) and Paul Killick
  • Quentin Willson (motoring journalist/presenter) and Hazel Newberry

2005

  • Darren Gough (cricketer) and Lilia Kopylova
  • Colin Jackson (former athlete) and Erin Boag
  • Zoe Ball (presenter) and Ian Waite
  • James Martin (TV chef) and Camilla Dallerup
  • Patsy Palmer (actress) and Anton Du Beke
  • Bill Turnbull (TV journalist) and Karen Hardy
  • Dennis Taylor (snooker player/commentator) and Izabella Hannah
  • Will Thorp (actor) and Hanna Haarala
  • Gloria Hunniford (presenter) and Darren Bennett
  • Fiona Phillips (presenter) and Brendan Cole
  • Jaye Jacobs (actress) and Andrew Cuerden
  • Siobhan Hayes (actress) and Matthew Cutler

2006

  • Mark Ramprakash (cricketer) and Karen Hardy
  • Emma Bunton (singer) and Darren Bennett
  • Georgina Bouzova (actress) and James Jordan
  • Matt Dawson (rugby player) and Lilia Kopylova
  • Ray Fearon (actor) and Camilla Dallerup
  • Claire King (actress) and Brendan Cole
  • Louisa Lytton (actress) and Vincent Simone
  • Nicholas Owen (newsreader) and Nicole Cutler
  • Mica Paris (singer) and Ian Waite
  • Jan Ravens (impressionist) and Anton Du Beke
  • Peter Schmeichel (footballer) and Erin Boag
  • Carol Smillie (television presenter) and Matthew Cutler
  • Spoony (disk jockey) and Ola Jordan
  • Jimmy Tarbuck (entertainer) and Flavia Cacace

2007

  • Alesha Dixon (ex-Mis-Teeq singer) and Matthew Cutler
  • John Barnes (ex-footballer) and Nicole Cutler
  • Stephanie Beacham (actress) and Vincent Simone
  • Kelly Brook (model, actress and TV presenter) and Brendan Cole
  • Brian Capron (ex-Coronation Street actor) and Karen Hardy
  • Letitia Dean (actress) and Darren Bennett
  • Matt Di'Angelo (EastEnders actor) and Flavia Cacace
  • Kate Garraway (TV presenter) and Anton Du Beke
  • Gethin Jones (Blue Peter presenter) and Camilla Dallerup
  • Penny Lancaster-Stewart (model and photographer) and Ian Waite
  • Dominic Littlewood (TV presenter) and Lilia Kopylova
  • Gabby Logan (TV presenter) and James Jordan
  • Kenny Logan (ex-rugby international) and Ola Jordan
  • Willie Thorne (ex-snooker player) and Erin Boag

2008

  • Tom Chambers (actor) and Camilla Dallerup
  • Christine Bleakley (presenter) and Matthew Cutler
  • Andrew Castle (presenter) and Ola Jordan
  • Phil Daniels (actor) and Flavia Cacace
  • Mark Foster (olympic swimmer) and Hayley Holt
  • Jodie Kidd (model) and Ian Waite
  • Cherie Lunghi (actress) and James Jordan
  • Austin Healey (ex-rugby player) and Erin Boag
  • Gary Rhodes (chef) and Karen Hardy
  • John Sergeant (journalist) and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Heather Small (singer) and Brian Fortuna
  • Lisa Snowdon (model and presenter) and Brendan Cole
  • Rachel Stevens (singer) and Vincent Simone
  • Gillian Taylforth (actress) and Anton Du Beke
  • Jessie Wallace (actress) and Darren Bennett
  • Don Warrington (actor) and Lilia Kopylova

2009

  • Chris Hollins (presenter) and Ola Jordan
  • Ali Bastian (actress) and Brian Fortuna
  • Lynda Bellingham (actress) and Darren Bennett
  • Natalie Cassidy (actress) and Vincent Simone
  • Martina Hingis (tennis player) and Matthew Cutler
  • Jade Johnson (long jumper) and Ian Waite
  • Zoe Lucker (actress) and James Jordan
  • Laila Rouass (actress) and Anton Du Beke
  • Jo Wood (model and businesswoman) and Brendan Cole
  • Joe Calzaghe (boxer) and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Richard Dunwoody (jockey) and Lilia Kopylova
  • Ricky Groves (actor) and Erin Boag
  • Craig Kelly (actor) and Flavia Cacace
  • Phil Tufnell (cricketer) and Katya Virshilas
  • Ricky Whittle (actor) and Natalie Lowe
  • Rav Wilding (presenter) and Aliona Vilani

2010

  • Felicity Kendal (actress) and Vincent Simone
  • Gavin Henson (rugby player) and Katya Virshilas
  • Goldie (drum'n'bass musician) and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Jimi Mistry (actor) and Flavia Cacace
  • Kara Tointon (actress) and Artem Chigvintsev
  • Matt Baker (presenter) and Aliona Vilani
  • Michelle Williams (least famous member of Destiny's Child) and Brendan Cole*
  • Pamela Stephenson (celeb psychiatrist) and James Jordan
  • Patsy Kensit (actress) and Robin Windsor
  • Paul Daniels (conjuror) and Ola Jordan
  • Peter Shilton (ex-footballer) and Erin Boag
  • Scott Maslen (actor) and Natalie Lowe
  • Tina O'Brien (actress) and Jared Murillo
  • Ann Widdecombe (ex-MP) and Anton Du Beke

* Michelle Williams was briefly partnered with Ian Waite during the programme's run, due to Cole returning to his native New Zealand following the death of his father.

2011

  • Rory Bremner (impressionist) and Erin Boag
  • Edwina Currie (ex-MP) and Vincent Simone
  • Nancy Dell'Olio (Sven Goran-Eriksson's paramour) and Anton du Beke
  • Anita Dobson (actress) and Robin Windsor*
  • Jason Donovan (actor and singer) and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Russell Grant (astrologer) and Flavia Cacace
  • Audley Harrison (boxer) and Natalie Lowe
  • Chelsee Healey (Waterloo Road actress) and Pasha Kovalev
  • Alex Jones (TV presenter) and James Jordan
  • Harry Judd (one of McFly) and Aliona Vilani
  • Daniel Lobb (TV presenter) and Katya Virshilas
  • Lulu (singer and actress) and Brendan Cole
  • Robbie Savage (ex-footballer) and Ola Jordan
  • Holly Valance (actress and singer) and Artem Chigvintsev*

*After Lulu was eliminated, Brendan Cole also briefly partnered first Holly Valance, then Anita Dobson, while their regular partners recovered from injury.

2012

  • Richard Arnold (TV presenter) and Erin Boag
  • Johnny Ball (TV presenter) and Iveta Lukosiute*
  • Fern Britton (TV presenter) and Artem Chigvintsev
  • Nicky Byrne (Westlife singer) and Karen Hauer
  • Jerry Hall (model and actress) and Anton Du Beke
  • Dani Harmer (Tracy Beaker actress) and Vincent Simone
  • Sid Owen (ex-EastEnders actor) and Ola Jordan
  • Victoria Pendleton (London 2012 Team GB Olympic cyclist) and Brendan Cole
  • Lisa Riley (ex-Emmerdale actress) and Robin Windsor
  • Colin Salmon (actor) and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Louis Smith (gymnast) and Flavia Cacace
  • Denise Van Outen (TV presenter) and James Jordan
  • Michael Vaughan (ex-cricketer) and Natalie Lowe
  • Kimberley Walsh (Girls Aloud singer) and Pasha Kovalev

*Johnny Ball was initially partnered with Aliona Vilani, who had to withdraw due to injury.

2013

  • Mark Benton (actor) and Iveta Lukosiute
  • Abbey Clancy (Great British Hairdresser narrator) and Aljaz Skornajec
  • Ben Cohen (rugby for England and Northampton) and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor ("Murder on the Dancefloor" singer) and Brendan Cole
  • Vanessa Feltz (radio host) and James Jordan
  • Fiona Fullerton (Pola Ivanova in the Bond film A View to a Kill) and Anton du Beke
  • Natalie Gumede (Kirsty Soames in Coronation Street) and Artem Chigvintsev
  • Tony Jacklin (golfer) and Aliona Vilani
  • Julien MacDonald (fashion designer) and Janette Manrara
  • Deborah Meaden (Dragon) and Robin Windsor
  • Dave Myers (Hairy Biker) and Karen Hauer
  • Susanna Reid (BBC Breakfast presenter) and Kevin Clifton
  • Rachel Riley (Countdown numbers whizz) and Pasha Kovalev
  • Patrick Robinson (Martin "Ash" Ashford in Casualty) and Anya Garnis
  • Ashley Taylor Dawson (Darren Osborne in Hollyoaks)

2014

  • Steve Backshall (wildlife presenter) and Ola Jordan
  • Frankie Bridge (another of The Saturdays) and Kevin Clifton
  • Thom Evans (rugby player for Glasgow and Scotland) and Iveta Lukosiute
  • Caroline Flack (presenter) and Pasha Kovalev
  • Jennifer Gibney (Cathy from Mrs Brown's Boys) and Tristan McManus
  • Alison Hammond (presenter) and Aljaz Skorjanec
  • Pixie Lott (singer) and Trent Whiddon
  • Scott Mills (entertainer) and Joanne Clifton
  • Judy Murray (tennis coach) and Anton du Beke
  • Sunetra Sarker (Zoe Hanna from Casualty) and Brendan Cole
  • Greg Wallace (from Masterchef Goes Large) and Aliona Vilani
  • Simon Webbe (from Blue) and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Tim Wonnacott (Bargain Hunter) and Natalie Lowe
  • Jake Wood (Max Branning in Eastenders) and Janette Manrara
  • Mark Wright (from The Only Way is Essex) and Karen Hauer

Specials

Champion of Champions 2004: Natasha Kaplinsky, Lesley Garrett, Martin Offiah, Jill Halfpenny, Denise Lewis and Aled Jones were reunited with their previous partners for this live special broadcast on 22 December 2004. The usual judges presided.

Strictly Ice Dancing: A one-off ice-dance version broadcast on 26 December 2004. Laurie Holloway's band was not present, and since the show was recorded, the studio audience rather than the public got to vote for 50% of the score. The judges were Craig Revel Horwood, Doreen Hoppe, Chris Howarth and Nicky Slater. The couples were:

  • Rowland Rivron (TV presenter) and Charlotte Clements
  • Carol Smilie (TV presenter) and Oula Jaaskelainen
  • Marcus Patric (actor) and Leigh Mack
  • Scarlett Johnson (actress) and Daniel Whiston
  • Jessica Taylor (singer) and Robert Burgerman
  • David Seaman (former footballer) and Zoia Birmingham

David Seaman was brought in as a late replacement for the injured Paul Gascoigne.

Strictly African Dancing:

Image:Strictly african dancing cast.jpg Yes, they do dress like that at home.

Another one-off, this one for the Africa Lives on the BBC season. Hosted by Martin Offiah and Natasha Kaplinsky, six celebrities "of African or Caribbean origin" each learnt an African dance and then went through the usual performance-and-voting procedure. The celebs were:

  • Robbie Earle (ex-footballer)
  • Tessa Sanderson (athlete)
  • Tupele Dorgu (Coronation Street actress)
  • Antonia Okonma (Bad Girls actress)
  • Tunde Baiyewu (Lighthouse Family singer)
  • Louis Emerick (actor)

The judges were Stacey Haynes, Peter Badejo, Todd Twala and Craig Revel-Horwood. Hugh Quarshie replaced Alan Dedicoat on voiceover duties.

Champion of Champions 2005: A recorded show, aired on Christmas Eve 2005, which featured the last four from 2005 series, together with two celebrities from the US version, Dancing With the Stars. The partnerships were:

  • Rachel Hunter (supermodel) and Darren Cole
  • Evander Holyfield (boxer) and Karen Hardy
  • Zoe Ball and Ian Waite
  • Darren Gough and Lilia Kopylova
  • Colin Jackson and Erin Boag
  • James Martin and Camilla Dallerup

Christmas Special 2006: Another recorded show, aired on Christmas Day 2006 (and quite right too), featuring the final four celebs from the 2006 series plus the second and third-placed finalists from the 2005 series. Winners were named "Strictly Christmas Champions".

  • Mark Ramprakash and Karen Hardy
  • Matt Dawson and Lilia Kopylova
  • Emma Bunton and Darren Bennett
  • Louisa Lytton and Vincent Simone
  • Colin Jackson and Erin Boag
  • Zoe Ball and Ian Waite

Christmas Special 2007: Featuring the top four from the 2007 series plus the 2005 and 2006 champions.

  • Letitia Dean and Darren Bennett
  • Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace
  • Alesha Dixon and Matthew Cutler
  • Darren Gough and Lilia Kopylova
  • Gethin Jones and Camilla Dallerup
  • Mark Ramprakash and Karen Hardy

Sport Relief Does Strictly Come Dancing 2008: A one-off in which new celebs were paired up not with professional dancers, but with sports stars who were previous Strictly contestants. Only three judges appeared as Bruno Tonioli was not available.

  • Gemma Bissix and Darren Gough
  • David Ginola and Denise Lewis
  • Jade Johnson and Roger Black
  • Elaine Paige and Matt Dawson
  • Kara Tointon and Mark Ramprakash

Children in Need 2008: Another charity edition, this time with Fearne Cotton hosting. Although this one was done live, there was no telephone voting, and the winner was decided by the studio audience.

  • Tess Daly and Anton Du Beke
  • Terry Wogan and Flavia Cacace

Christmas Special 2008: To feature the last three from the 2008 series, plus three stars from previous series. Kelly Brook had a change of partner as Brendan Cole qualified with Lisa Snowdon:

  • Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup
  • Lisa Snowdon and Brendan Cole
  • Rachel Stevens and Vincent Simone
  • Jill Halfpenny and Darren Bennett
  • Kelly Brook and Brian Fortuna
  • Alesha Dixon and Matthew Cutler

Christmas Special 2009: Featuring the top three from the 2009 series, plus three stars from previous series. Darcey Bussell was not present as a judge:

  • Chris Hollins and Ola Jordan
  • Austin Healey and Erin Boag
  • Ricky Whittle and Natalie Lowe
  • Gethin Jones and Flavia Cacace
  • Rachel Stevens and Vincent Simone
  • Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna

Sport Relief Does Strictly Come Dancing 2010: Yet another charity special, with Tess Daly hosting, and Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Len Goodman judging:

Children in Need 2010: Hosted by Tess Daly, and judged by Len Goodman, Terry Wogan, Craig Revel-Horwood and Pudsey Bear (who just waved at the camera and gave both couples 10, the ursine nit):

  • Harry Judd (McFly drummer) and Ola Jordan
  • Rochelle Wiseman (S Club Juniors and The Saturdays vocalist) and Ian Waite

Christmas Special 2010: Featuring participants, who for a variety of reasons, could not commit to appearing on the main run of the show:

  • Ronni Ancona (impressionist) and Anton Du Beke
  • John Barrowman (entertainer) and Kristina Rhianoff
  • Fern Britton (presenter) and Matt Cutler
  • June Brown (Dot Cotton from Eastenders) and Vincent Simone
  • The Rt Hon Vince Cable MP (cabinet minister) and Erin Boag

Children in Need 2011: Featuring BBC newsreaders:

  • Sian Williams and Vincent Simone
  • Sophie Raworth and Ian Waite
  • Susanna Reid and Robin Windsor
  • Emily Maitlis and Pasha Kovalev

Christmas Special 2011: Like the previous year's Christmas Special, featuring participants, who for a variety of reasons, could not commit to appearing on the main run of the show:

  • Barry McGuigan (boxer) and Erin Boag
  • Su Pollard (Hi-De-Hi actress) and Anton Du Beke
  • Simon Webbe (Blue singer) and Katya Virshilas
  • Debra Stephenson (actress and impressionist) and Ian Waite
  • Charlie Brooks (EastEnders actress) and Vincent Simone

Sport Relief 2012: Another charity special, this time featuring two finalists from the 2011 main series. However both couples had to perform their routine whilst underwater wearing breathing apparatus. Judged by Craig Revel Horwood, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli, with guest judge Olympic swimmer Mark Foster.

  • Chelsee Healey and Pasha Kovalev
  • Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani

Children in Need 2012: Hosted by Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly, and judged by all four regular judges:

  • Russell Grant and Flavia Cacace
  • Ann Widdecombe and Anton Du Beke

Christmas Special 2012: As has become traditional, featuring participants who had other things to do.

  • Bobby Ball (comedian) and Katya Virshilas
  • Katy Brand (comedian) and Anton du Beke
  • Sheila Hancock (comedian) and Ian Waite
  • JB Gill (¼ of boy-band JLS) and Ola Jordan
  • Fabrice Muamba (footballer) and Aliona Vilani
  • Helen Skelton (Blue Peter presenter) and Artem Chigvintsev

Children in Need 2013: Hosted by Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly, and judged by Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, and Darcey Bussell:

  • Jayne Torvill and James Jordan
  • Christopher Dean and Aliona Vilani

Christmas Special 2013: Six celebrities who didn't want to give up their autumn.

  • Sara Cox (radio presenter)
  • Matt Goss (Bros twin)
  • Rufus Hound (comedian)
  • Rochelle Humes (Strictly Come Dancing Children in Need 2010)
  • Ricky Norwood (Arthur "Fatboy" Chubb in EastEnders)
  • Elaine Paige (musical singer)

Christmas Special 2014: six former contestants come back for a pantomime-themed show. Bruce Forsyth returned for one night only, co-hosting with Tess Daly.

  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Aljaz Skorjanec
  • Russell Grant and Joanne Clifton
  • Chris Hollins and Iveta Lukosiute
  • Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor
  • Louis Smith and Aliona Vilani
  • Rachel Stevens and Tristan MacManus

Merchandise

Strictly Come Dancing (CD)

It's Strictly Dancing with Natasha & Brendan (VHS) | (all-region DVD)

Strictly Come Dancing - hardback book (2005) and revised 2006 edition

Sadly the Anton Du Beke mug and flask are no longer available.

Web links

Official BBC site

Strictly Dancing Online - excellent fan site

Ian & Victoria's Come Dancing Page - another good fan site

Wikipedia entry

Bother's Bar Review

Homepages for dancers featured on the show:
Anton Du Beke & Erin Boag
Camilla Dallerup
Darren Bennett & Lilia Kopylova

The show publicised the hashtag #scd.

Pictures

Image:Strictly come dancing series 1 cast.jpg

The assembled cast of series one.
Judges with a high opinion... of themselves.
(left to right): Bruno Tonioli, Arlene Phillips, Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood.
This seating arrangement was only used on the first episode, after which Craig and Bruno swapped places.
The 2009 panel, with Alesha Dixon replacing Arlene Phillips.

See also

Come Dancing

Strictly Dance Fever

Weaver's Week reviews: 2005, 2011, and 2014

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