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Craig Revel Horwood

Craig Revel Horwood (born 4 January 1965) is an Australian-British ballroom and Latin American dancer, choreographer, conductor, author, theatre director and television personality in the United Kingdom. He is a patron of the Royal Osteoporosis Society.

Craig Revel Horwood
Craig Revel Horwood.jpg
Horwood at the 2008 Red Bull Flugtag
Craig Revel Horwood

(1965-01-04) 4 January 1965 (age 54)
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
ResidenceLondon, England
OccupationTelevision personality, choreographer, conductor, author Ballroom and Latin dancer, theatre director
Jane Horwood
(m. 1990; div. 1992)
Partner(s)Jonathan Myring (2018-present)

He is best known as a judge on popular BBC dancing show Strictly Come Dancing

He did a performance on Strictly Come Dancing in his drag in response to the homophobic messages that the show received after having a same-sex duo dance on the show the previous week.



West End and UKEdit

Horwood's West End credits include Spend Spend Spend and My One and Only, both of which gained Laurence Olivier Award nominations[1] for Best Choreography.[2] He was associate director and choreographer of West Side Story, assisted Bob Avian with Martin Guerre and was resident director of Miss Saigon. He choreographed Hard Times – The Musical, Calamity Jane, Tommy Cooper – Jus' Like That and the play Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, starring Claire Bloom and Billy Zane at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.[3] He also directed and choreographed Beautiful and Damned. He directed the Welsh Première Concert Production of My Land's Shore for the Gate Theatre in Cardiff.[4] During the summer of 2008, he directed a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Sunset Boulevard at the Watermill Theatre, which transferred to London's West End at the Comedy Theatre.[5]

Horwood directed and choreographed the 2010–11 UK and Canadian tour of Chess, a revival of the 1986 musical conceived and written by Tim Rice, with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (of ABBA).[6] He has directed the UK Tour of Strictly Come Dancing since 2012.[7] He starred as Miss Hannigan in the UK touring production of Annie in 2015 [8] and 2018 and also the West End in 2017 at Piccadilly Theatre.[9]

Regional theatre choreography credits include Pal Joey, Arcadia, On the Razzle and My One and Only at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Guys and Dolls in Sheffield, Anything Goes and South Pacific for Grange Park Opera and Hot Mikado at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury.[10]

Special EventsEdit

Horwood directed the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and staged Once Upon a Time – The Life of Hans Christian Andersen, a live concert in Copenhagen to mark the author's bicentenary.[11]


In December 2009, Horwood played the part of the Queen in Snow White and the 7 Dwarves at Theatr Cymru in Llandudno, North Wales,[12] a role he reprised in December 2010 at the Hawth in Crawley,[13] and at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford, Kent, alongside Ann Widdecombe in 2011.[14] In December 2012, he played the same role in the Swan Theatre in High Wycombe, again alongside Widdecombe and also in December 2013 at the Cliffs Pavilion, Southend.[15] In 2014, 2015 and 2016 he played Captain Hook in Peter Pan at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford,[16] Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe [17] and Churchill Theatre, Bromley.[18] In December 2017 he played the Wicked Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.[19] In December 2018 he played the Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella at New Victoria Theatre, Woking.[20] December 2019 he will play the Wicked Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at Manchester Opera House, Manchester.[21]

Solo TourEdit

In Spring 2020, Horwood will embark on his first solo tour around the UK, All Balls and Glitter, talking about his life and performing some of the music that has been the soundtrack to his career.[22]


Strictly Come DancingEdit

Horwood has been a member of the judging panel on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing since its inception in 2004. He has a reputation for being the harshest of the Strictly Come Dancing judges and is often the recipient of booing from the studio audience.[citation needed] He received criticism[from whom?] for his apparent bias towards Emma Bunton in the fourth series of the competition.[23] He is known for stringently applying rules, as for example when marking down for an "illegal lift" in the Viennese Waltz if the lady's foot leaves the floor.[citation needed]

Horwood has become known and imitated for his locutions, which often include exaggeratedly lengthened vowels, including: "It was a complete dahnce di-sah-ster, dahling" and "Chah-Chah-Chah". These are available as ringtones through Horwood's website, with profits going to the National Osteoporosis Society.[24] Another common utterance is "Three words: Fab-u-lous!", with the syllables of the word articulated as three separate words. Horwood similarly breaks up the syllables and throws the stress forward to the final syllable for "A-ma-zing!".[25] To appreciate erotically-charged routines, Horwood will declaim, "absolute filth," often immediately followed by "...and I loved it!" Passing judgment on Kimberley Walsh in 2012, Horwood said the dance was 'indecent, improper, absolute filth,' and added: ‘I loved it.’"[26] Of Claire King's rhumba with Brendan Cole in 2006, Horwood declared, "That was absolute filth. I loved it."[27] Similarly, he lauded Harry Judd's performance in 2011 with "'It had authority, dominance, command, control. It was filth and I loved it!'[28]

Dancing with the StarsEdit

He was a judge on Dancing with the Stars in New Zealand, along with Brendan Cole.[29]

He was also on the 2019 'revival' series of Dancing with the Stars in Australia, along with Sharna Burgess and Tristan MacManus.[30]

Comic Relief Does Fame AcademyEdit

Horwood became a judge on Comic Relief Does Fame Academy in 2005, along with Lesley Garrett and Richard Park. He and Garrett replaced vocal coaches David Grant and Carrie Grant on the panel; however the pair still appeared as voice coaches on the show. He returned as a judge for the third series of the Comic Relief edition in 2007. The show was cancelled by the BBC after the third series had ended.[citation needed]

Other television appearancesEdit

Horwood appeared in Episode 5 of Series 2 of Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends, during which Theroux investigates the trials and tribulations of struggling New York City actors. In May and June 2007, he appeared as a contestant on Celebrity MasterChef, reaching the final alongside Nadia Sawalha and Midge Ure.[citation needed]

On 15 April 2010, Horwood was the celebrity guest judge on Daily Cooks Challenge. On 13 August 2010, he appeared on Would I Lie to You?. During 2011, he guested on Celebrity Juice (Episode 6, series 5; 17 March) and on Ask Rhod Gilbert (28 September). In January 2012, he appeared on BBC TV series The Magicians. For the week beginning 3 September 2012, he appeared as a panellist on The Wright Stuff on Channel 5. On 22 October 2012, he appeared on ITV's Loose Women. He also appeared on CBBC's television programme 12 Again in 2012, talking about his life when he was 12. On 22 February 2013, he appeared on Room 101.[citation needed]

Horwood won the reworked version of the 2008 BBC series Maestro, called Maestro at the Opera. He competed against Josie Lawrence, Marcus du Sautoy and Trevor Nelson. Also appearing were Mark Elder, Danielle de Niese, Alfie Boe and Kiri te Kanawa. The series was partly filmed at London's Royal Opera House,[31] where Horwood, as eventual winner, conducted Act II of La Bohème in late 2012.[32]

Horwood lent his vocals to a single released by other celebrities under tutorage of choirmaster Gareth Malone for the Children In Need 2014 charity single. The choir performed a version of Avicii's Wake Me Up.

On 15 January 2016, he appeared as a panellist on a special episode of ITV's Loose Women (titled Loose Women and Men) alongside show regulars Andrea McLean and Nadia Sawalha and fellow special hosts Peter Andre and Chris Kamara. He also starred in an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? on 13 July 2017, in which he learned about his ancestry and family history.

Horwood has voiced a snake called Cornelius in animated series Sadie Sparks which airs on Disney Channel.[33]


Horwood choreographed the final scene in Paddington 2.[34] He made his screen acting debut as Emmanuel Cavendish in Nativity Rocks! in 2018.[35]


Horwood has published three autobiographies with Michael O'Mara Books. All Balls and Glitter: My Life in 2008 [36] Tales from the Dance Floor in 2013 [37] and In Strictest Confidence in 2018.[38]

Personal lifeEdit

Born in Ballarat, Australia in 1965, Horwood started his career as a dancer in Melbourne, then moved to London to take advantage of the greater opportunities available there and to dance competitively. In 1989, he moved to the UK from Australia, and on 20 August 2011,[39] he became a British citizen.[40]

Revel is Horwood's middle name, it is not double barrelled.[41]

In his autobiography, Horwood reveals that at the age of 17, he made money by appearing as a drag queen in bars and clubs and that his relationship with an unnamed celebrity was akin to prostitution.[42]

He has twice undergone plastic surgery. The first occasion was a "nose job" at the age of 18. In 2011, Horwood revealed that he had undergone a breast reduction during 2010 because his "C"-size cups rendered dancing painful.[43]

In December 2014, Horwood informed a reporter from OK! magazine that "I was bisexual for a long time. I flitted between men and women quite a lot between the ages of 17 and 26. My wife Jane left me for another man. Then I fell in love with a bloke. I have been gay ever since."[44] His former partner Damon Scott had been a runner up on Britain's Got Talent. Since early 2018 he has been in a relationship with horticulturist Jonathan Myring.[45]

Horwood became a patron of the Royal Osteoporosis Society in 2009.[46] In this, he has found common ground with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the Society's Royal patron (whose mother, like his, had bone disease).[47] The two of them danced the cha-cha-cha together on a school visit to mark National Osteoporosis Day in 2009.[48]

In January 2015, Horwood revealed on ITV's Loose Women that he suffered from anorexia and body dysmorphia as a teenager and young dancer, as a result of trying to make himself look like other young men, and other dancers in particular.[49]

The 14th British series of Who Do You Think You Are? featured Horwood's ancestry in the second episode. In this, his family history research took him home to Australia, where he discovered that his family tree traces to Gloucestershire, Lancashire and Essex in England. Horwood found out that he is not the first dancer in his family and that he is descended from gold prospectors that went bankrupt before becoming rich on finding a 250-ounce gold nugget. He learnt further that his great-great-grandfather, Moses Horwood, who is revealed in the programme to have been a petty criminal from England, was convicted at the Gloucestershire assizes and transported to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in 1841. Criminal records identified by TheGenealogist include a transportation document for Moses Horwood, showing he departed England on 1 December 1841 on board a ship called the John Brewer.[50]


  1. ^ "BBC One - Strictly Come Dancing - Craig Revel Horwood". BBC. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Craig Revel Horwood". Madame Tussauds Blackpool. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  3. ^ Reviews from The Independent, dated 4 December 2006. Accessed 19 December 2011.
  4. ^ Theatre Wales news. Accessed 19 December 2011.
  5. ^ Interview with Craig Revel Horwood; it ran from 4 December 2008 to 18 April 2009 at the Comedy Theatre.
  6. ^ "Chess – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton". The Public Reviews. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  7. ^ Strictly Come Dancing website Archived 7 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 19 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Craig Revel Horwood as the Miss Hannigan in Annie - see the first pictures!". HELLO!. 14 September 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Strictly stars join Craig Revel Horwood for Annie West End gala | WhatsOnStage". Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  10. ^ "The Watermill Theatre - HOT MIKADO". Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Craig Revel Horwood - Choreographer and director". Craig Revel Horwood. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  12. ^ "Craig Revel Horwood in Snow White panto at Venue Cymru – Mail Series". Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  13. ^ "Craig Revel Horwood launches 'strictly' wicked pantomime!". 16 October 2010. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  14. ^ Daily Mail review. Accessed 19 December 2011.
  15. ^ "Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood to star in Southend Cliffs panto". Echo. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  16. ^ "Strictly's Craig Revel Horwood can't wait to get stuck into Peter Pan pantomime at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford".
  17. ^ "Peter Pan | Wycombe Swan Theatre | Panto High Wycombe". Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  18. ^ "Craig Revel Horwood in Peter Pan at Churchill Theatre Bromley". 20 September 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  19. ^ "Mayflower Theatre | Southampton | Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". Mayflower Theatre. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  20. ^ "Cinderella - New Victoria Theatre - ATG Tickets". Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  21. ^ "CRAIG REVEL HORWOOD TO STAR IN MANCHESTER OPERA HOUSE'S FAB-U-LOUS PANTOMIME - - Pantomime Tickets | Pantos from Qdos Entertainment". Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  22. ^ "Craig Revel Horwood All Balls and Glitter debut solo tour announced | WhatsOnStage". Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  23. ^ Craig Revel Horwood backs Emma Bunton
  24. ^ Ringtones page from Craig Revel Horwood's website. Accessed 24 December 2012.
  25. ^ Ringtones of Revel Horwood's catchphrases are available. Accessed 15 December 2010. Archived 3 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "Louis Smith Wins Full Marks For Topless Showdance in Strictly Come Dancing Final," Metro, 22 December 2012. Accessed 24 December 2012.
  27. ^ Alison Boshoff, "Strictly Come Dancing Heats Up On and Off the Dancefloor," Metro, 22 December 2012. Accessed 24 December 2012.
  28. ^ Nadia Mendoza, "'It was Filth and I Loved It!'", Daily Mail, 14 November 2011. Accessed 24 December 2012.
  29. ^ mcfrannigan, Dancing With The Stars - The Judges., retrieved 10 December 2018
  30. ^ "Shane Burgess Is Now an Australian Dancing With the Stars Judge". 2 February 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  31. ^ Royal Opera House website report, by Chris Shipman, 29 February 2012. Accessed 29 February 2012.
  32. ^ ""Craig Revel Horwood swaps the ballroom for the baton for the chance to become a classical conductor for revived BBC show Maestro" by Liz Thomas, in the Daily Mail. Accessed 29 February 2012". Mail Online.
  33. ^ "Sadie Sparks is Launching on Disney Channel! #PressRelease - on the Brown Bag Labs blog". Brown Bag Labs. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  34. ^ Clair Woodward (17 September 2017). "Strictly's Craig Revel Horwood takes over as Miss Hannigan in Annie". The Express. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  35. ^ [1]
  36. ^ Amazon Product information page. Accessed 19 December 2011.
  37. ^ Horwood, Craig Revel. Craig Revel Horwood : tales from the dance floor. London. ISBN 9781782431510. OCLC 851827081.
  38. ^ Horwood, Craig Revel,. In strictest confidence. London. ISBN 9781789290202. OCLC 1065350278.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  39. ^ Ask Rhod Gilbert, 28 September 2011
  40. ^ 8 out of 10 Cats, 7 October 2011
  41. ^ STRICTLY COME DANCING - CRAIG REVEL HORWOOD - HERE SHE IS - Season 3 - Episode 1, retrieved 23 October 2019
  42. ^ English, Paul (4 October 2008), "Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood on being attacked in the street", Daily Record, retrieved 14 October 2008
  43. ^ Daily Mail summation of Daily Mirror story. Accessed 19 December 2011.
  44. ^ Takyi, Stephanie (16 December 2014). "'We might adopt in the future': Craig Revel Horwood opens up about having children". Daily Express.
  45. ^ Moore, Matt (25 November 2018). "Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood is aiming to get married to his boyfriend Jonathan Myring". Gay Times. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  46. ^ National Osteoporosis Society Press Archive article, 20 October 2009 Archived 16 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 25 December 2012.
  47. ^ [2]Bryony Gordon, "The Queen, Camilla and Craig", Daily Telegraph, 28 October 2011. Accessed 25 December 2011.
  48. ^ "Perfect 10 for rhythmic Camilla as she shows off her best "Strictly" steps, HELLO!, 21 October 2009. Accessed 25 December 2012.
  49. ^ Loose Women, 15 January 2016
  50. ^ "TheGenealogist featured article". TheGenealogist. Retrieved 14 July 2017.

External linksEdit