Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing (informally known as Strictly) is a British television dance contest in which celebrities partner with professional dancers to compete in mainly ballroom and Latin dance. Each couple is scored out of 10 by a panel of judges. The format has been exported to over 40 other countries, licensed by BBC Worldwide, and has also inspired a modern dance-themed spin-off Strictly Dance Fever. The Guinness Book of Records has named Strictly to be the world’s most successful reality TV format. The show is currently presented by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman.
|Strictly Come Dancing|
|Developed by||Karen Smith|
|Voices of||Alan Dedicoat|
|Theme music composer|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||16|
|No. of episodes||235 (as of 15 December 2018)|
|Executive producer(s)||Karen Smith (2004–2006)|
|Running time||30–120 minutes|
|Production company(s)||BBC Studios|
|Original network||BBC One|
|Original release||15 May 2004 –|
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 sixteenth series ended on 15 December 2018. 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 intending 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 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 remained a judge alongside Tonioli and Revel Horwood until 2018. 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 BBC Television Centre (primarily in the largest studio, TC1) until its closure in 2013, with the show moving to Elstree Studios' George Lucas Stage 2 from 2013 onwards. 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
- It Takes Two Presenter of
- Results show co-host
|Sir Bruce Forsyth1|
- ^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.
|2004||1||Justin Lee Collins||Strictly Come Dancing on Three|
|2004||2||Natasha Kaplinsky||Main show||Maternity cover for Tess Daly|
|2008||6||Fearne Cotton||Children in Need special|
|2009||7||Ronnie Corbett||Main show||Guest host, Week 9|
|2014||12||Zoë Ball||Guest host, covering for Claudia Winkleman|
- Head judge
- Main judge
- Guest judge
|Craig Revel Horwood|
|Dame Darcey BussellB|
- ^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
- ^E Ribeiro filled in for Tonioli for week five of series sixteen
Professional dancers and their partnersEdit
- Winner of the series
- Second place of the series
- Third place of the series
- First elimination of the series
- Withdrew in the series
- Participating in current series
Notes and statisticsEdit
- 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.
- Anton du Beke is the only professional dancer who has taken part in every series of the show.
- 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 Aljaž 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 five (2013–16, 2018).
- 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. In series 16, Neil Jones, Luba Mushtuk and Johannes Radebe were professional dancers but had no partner.
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 a professional couple 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 Aljaž Škorjanec 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.
- The sixteenth series introduced Contemporary, Jazz, Street dances as part of a "couples' choice" category.
- 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.
As of series four, coaches are Jaclyn Spencer and Chris Marques (aka Cuban Groove) for Salsa and Mambo, and Jenny Thomas and Ryan Francois for Swing, Jive, Rock n Roll and The Charleston. The Argentine Tango coaches in series three were Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone, both of whom have subsequently competed in the show.
From Series 1–4, the results show was shown live, later on the Saturday 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.
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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 TwoEdit
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.
Main series resultsEdit
Series 1 (2004)Edit
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.
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Jason Wood||Kylie Jones||Week 2|
|David Dickinson||Camilla Dallerup||Week 3|
|Verona Joseph||Paul Killick||Week 4|
|Claire Sweeney||John Byrnes||Week 5|
|Martin Offiah||Erin Boag||Week 6|
|Lesley Garrett||Anton du Beke||Third place|
|Christopher Parker||Hanna Karttunen||Runners up|
|Natasha Kaplinsky||Brendan Cole||Series winners|
Series 2 (2004)Edit
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.
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Quentin Willson||Hazel Newberry||Week 1|
|Carol Vorderman||Paul Killick||Week 2|
|Esther Rantzen||Anton du Beke||Week 3|
|Diarmuid Gavin||Nicole Cutler||Week 4|
|Sarah Manners||Brendan Cole||Week 5|
|Roger Black||Camilla Dallerup||Week 6|
|Aled Jones||Lilia Kopylova||Week 7|
|Julian Clary||Erin Boag||Third place|
|Denise Lewis||Ian Waite||Runners up|
|Jill Halfpenny||Darren Bennett||Series winners|
Series 3 (2005)Edit
In 2005, the third series commenced. Brendan, Anton, Erin, Camilla, Darren, Ian and Lilia returned from last series. Nicole, Paul and Hazel did not return. They were replaced by Karen, Hanna, Izabela, Andrew and Matthew.
The celebrities that took part in this series were as follows:
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Siobhan Hayes||Matthew Cutler||Week 1|
|Jaye Jacobs||Andrew Cuerden||Week 2|
|Gloria Hunniford||Darren Bennett||Week 3|
|Fiona Phillips||Brendan Cole||Week 4|
|Dennis Taylor||Izabela Hannah||Week 5|
|Will Thorp||Hanna Haarala||Week 6|
|Bill Turnbull||Karen Hardy||Week 7|
|Patsy Palmer||Anton du Beke||Week 8|
|James Martin||Camilla Dallerup||Week 9|
|Zoë Ball||Ian Waite||Third place|
|Colin Jackson||Erin Boag||Runners up|
|Darren Gough||Lilia Kopylova||Series winners|
Series 4 (2006)Edit
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:
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Nicholas Owen||Nicole Cutler||Week 1|
|Jimmy Tarbuck||Flavia Cacace||Withdrew|
|Mica Paris||Ian Waite||Week 2|
|DJ Spoony||Ola Jordan||Week 3|
|Georgina Bouzova||James Jordan||Week 4|
|Jan Ravens||Anton du Beke||Week 5|
|Ray Fearon||Camilla Dallerup||Week 6|
|Peter Schmeichel||Erin Boag||Week 7|
|Claire King||Brendan Cole||Week 8|
|Carol Smillie||Matthew Cutler||Week 9|
|Louisa Lytton||Vincent Simone||Week 10|
|Emma Bunton||Darren Bennett||Third place|
|Matt Dawson||Lilia Kopylova||Runners-up|
|Mark Ramprakash||Karen Hardy||Series winners|
Series 5 (2007)Edit
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.
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Brian Capron||Karen Hardy||Week 1|
|Stephanie Beacham||Vincent Simone||Week 2|
|Willie Thorne||Erin Boag||Week 3|
|Gabby Logan||James Jordan||Week 4|
|Dominic Littlewood||Lilia Kopylova||Week 5|
|Penny Lancaster-Stewart||Ian Waite||Week 6|
|Kate Garraway||Anton du Beke||Week 7|
|John Barnes||Nicole Cutler||Week 8|
|Kelly Brook||Brendan Cole||Withdrew|
|Kenny Logan||Ola Jordan||Week 9|
|Letitia Dean||Darren Bennett||Week 10|
|Gethin Jones||Camilla Dallerup||Third place|
|Matt Di Angelo||Flavia Cacace||Runners up|
|Alesha Dixon||Matthew Cutler||Series winners|
Series 6 (2008)Edit
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".
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Phil Daniels||Flavia Cacace||Week 1|
|Gillian Taylforth||Anton du Beke||Week 2|
|Gary Rhodes||Karen Hardy||Week 3|
|Jessie Wallace||Darren Bennett||Week 4|
|Don Warrington||Lilia Kopylova||Week 5|
|Mark Foster||Hayley Holt||Week 6|
|Andrew Castle||Ola Jordan||Week 7|
|Heather Small||Brian Fortuna||Week 8|
|Cherie Lunghi||James Jordan||Week 9|
|John Sergeant||Kristina Rihanoff||Withdrew|
|Jodie Kidd||Ian Waite||Week 10|
|Christine Bleakley||Matthew Cutler||Week 11|
|Austin Healey||Erin Boag||Week 12|
|Lisa Snowdon||Brendan Cole||Third place|
|Rachel Stevens||Vincent Simone||Runners up|
|Tom Chambers||Camilla Dallerup||Series winners|
Series 7 (2009)Edit
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.
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Martina Hingis||Matthew Cutler||Week 1|
|Richard Dunwoody||Lilia Kopylova||Week 2|
|Rav Wilding||Aliona Vilani||Week 3|
|Lynda Bellingham||Darren Bennett||Week 4|
|Joe Calzaghe||Kristina Rihanoff||Week 5|
|Jo Wood||Brendan Cole||Week 6|
|Zöe Lucker||James Jordan||Week 7|
|Craig Kelly||Flavia Cacace||Week 8|
|Phil Tufnell||Katya Virshilas||Week 9|
|Jade Johnson||Ian Waite||Withdrew|
|Ricky Groves||Erin Boag||Week 10|
|Natalie Cassidy||Vincent Simone||Week 11|
|Laila Rouass||Anton du Beke||Week 12|
|Ali Bastian||Brian Fortuna||Third place|
|Ricky Whittle||Natalie Lowe||Runners-up|
|Chris Hollins||Ola Jordan||Series winners|
Series 8 (2010)Edit
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.
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Goldie||Kristina Rihanoff||Week 2|
|Paul Daniels||Ola Jordan||Week 3|
|Peter Shilton||Erin Boag||Week 4|
|Tina O'Brien||Jared Murillo||Week 5|
|Jimi Mistry||Flavia Cacace||Week 6|
|Michelle Williams||Brendan Cole
Ian Waite (Week 4)
|Felicity Kendal||Vincent Simone||Week 8|
|Patsy Kensit||Robin Windsor||Week 9|
|Ann Widdecombe||Anton du Beke||Week 10|
|Gavin Henson||Katya Virshilas||Week 11|
|Scott Maslen||Natalie Lowe||Week 11|
|Pamela Stephenson||James Jordan||Third place|
|Matt Baker||Aliona Vilani||Runners-up|
|Kara Tointon||Artem Chigvintsev||Series winners|
Series 9 (2011)Edit
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.
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Edwina Currie||Vincent Simone||Week 2|
|Dan Lobb||Katya Virshilas||Week 3|
|Rory Bremner||Erin Boag||Week 4|
|Nancy Dell'Olio||Anton du Beke||Week 5|
|Lulu||Brendan Cole||Week 6|
|Audley Harrison||Natalie Lowe||Week 7|
|Russell Grant||Flavia Cacace||Week 8|
|Anita Dobson||Robin Windsor
Brendan Cole (Week 9)
|Robbie Savage||Ola Jordan||Week 10|
|Alex Jones||James Jordan||Week 11|
|Holly Valance||Artem Chigvintsev
Brendan Cole (Week 7)
|Jason Donovan||Kristina Rihanoff||Third place|
|Chelsee Healey||Pasha Kovalev||Runners-up|
|Harry Judd||Aliona Vilani||Series winners|
Series 10 (2012)Edit
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.
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.
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Johnny Ball||Iveta Lukosiute||Week 2|
|Jerry Hall||Anton du Beke||Week 3|
|Sid Owen||Ola Jordan||Week 4|
|Colin Salmon||Kristina Rihanoff||Week 5|
|Fern Britton||Artem Chigvintsev||Week 6|
|Richard Arnold||Erin Boag||Week 7|
|Victoria Pendleton||Brendan Cole||Week 8|
|Michael Vaughan||Natalie Lowe||Week 9|
|Nicky Byrne||Karen Hauer||Week 10|
|Lisa Riley||Robin Windsor||Week 11|
|Dani Harmer||Vincent Simone||Week 12|
|Denise van Outen||James Jordan||Runners-up|
|Kimberley Walsh||Pasha Kovalev|
|Louis Smith||Flavia Cacace||Series winners|
Series 11 (2013)Edit
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. Aljaž 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.
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Tony Jacklin||Aliona Vilani||Week 2|
|Vanessa Feltz||James Jordan||Week 3|
|Julien Macdonald||Janette Manrara||Week 4|
|Deborah Meaden||Robin Windsor||Week 5|
|Rachel Riley||Pasha Kovalev||Week 6|
|Dave Myers||Karen Hauer||Week 7|
|Fiona Fullerton||Anton du Beke||Week 8|
|Ben Cohen||Kristina Rihanoff||Week 9|
|Mark Benton||Iveta Lukosiute||Week 10|
|Ashley Taylor Dawson||Ola Jordan||Week 11|
|Patrick Robinson||Anya Garnis||Week 12|
|Sophie Ellis-Bextor||Brendan Cole||Week 13|
|Natalie Gumede||Artem Chigvintsev||Runners-up|
|Susanna Reid||Kevin Clifton|
|Abbey Clancy||Aljaž Škorjanec||Series winners|
Series 12 (2014)Edit
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.
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Gregg Wallace||Aliona Vilani||Week 2|
|Jennifer Gibney||Tristan MacManus||Week 3|
|Tim Wonnacott||Natalie Lowe||Week 4|
|Thom Evans||Iveta Lukosiute||Week 5|
|Scott Mills||Joanne Clifton||Week 6|
|Alison Hammond||Aljaž Škorjanec||Week 7|
|Judy Murray||Anton du Beke||Week 8|
|Steve Backshall||Ola Jordan||Week 9|
|Sunetra Sarker||Brendan Cole||Week 10|
|Pixie Lott||Trent Whiddon||Week 11|
|Jake Wood||Janette Manrara||Week 12|
|Mark Wright||Karen Hauer||Week 13|
|Frankie Bridge||Kevin Clifton||Runners-up|
|Simon Webbe||Kristina Rihanoff|
|Caroline Flack||Pasha Kovalev||Series winners|
Series 13 (2015)Edit
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.
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Iwan Thomas||Ola Jordan||Week 2|
|Anthony Ogogo||Oti Mabuse||Week 3|
|Daniel O'Donnell||Kristina Rihanoff||Week 4|
|Ainsley Harriott||Natalie Lowe||Week 5|
|Kirsty Gallacher||Brendan Cole||Week 6|
|Carol Kirkwood||Pasha Kovalev||Week 7|
|Jeremy Vine||Karen Clifton||Week 8|
|Jamelia||Tristan MacManus||Week 9|
|Peter Andre||Janette Manrara||Week 10|
|Helen George||Aljaž Škorjanec||Week 11|
|Anita Rani||Gleb Savchenko||Week 12|
|Katie Derham||Anton du Beke||Week 13|
|Georgia May Foote||Giovanni Pernice||Runners-up|
|Kellie Bright||Kevin Clifton|
|Jay McGuiness||Aliona Vilani||Series winners|
Series 14 (2016)Edit
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.
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Melvin Odoom||Janette Manrara||Week 2|
|Tameka Empson||Gorka Márquez||Week 3|
|Will Young||Karen Clifton||Withdrew|
|Naga Munchetty||Pasha Kovalev||Week 4|
|Lesley Joseph||Anton du Beke||Week 5|
Gorka Márquez (week 5)
|Laura Whitmore||Giovanni Pernice||Week 7|
|Daisy Lowe||Aljaž Skorjanec||Week 8|
|Greg Rutherford||Natalie Lowe||Week 9|
|Ed Balls||Katya Jones||Week 10|
|Judge Rinder||Oksana Platero||Week 11|
|Claudia Fragapane||AJ Pritchard||Week 12|
|Danny Mac||Oti Mabuse||Runners-up|
|Louise Redknapp||Kevin Clifton|
|Ore Oduba||Joanne Clifton||Series winners|
Series 15 (2017)Edit
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.
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Chizzy Akudolu||Pasha Kovalev||Week 2|
|Rev. Richard Coles||Dianne Buswell||Week 3|
|Charlotte Hawkins||Brendan Cole||Week 4|
|Brian Conley||Amy Dowden||Week 5|
|Simon Rimmer||Karen Clifton||Week 6|
|Aston Merrygold||Janette Manrara||Week 7|
|Ruth Langsford||Anton du Beke||Week 8|
|Jonnie Peacock||Oti Mabuse||Week 9|
|Susan Calman||Kevin Clifton||Week 10|
|Davood Ghadami||Nadiya Bychkova||Week 11|
|Mollie King||AJ Pritchard||Week 12|
|Alexandra Burke||Gorka Márquez||Runners-up|
|Debbie McGee||Giovanni Pernice|
|Gemma Atkinson||Aljaž Skorjanec|
|Joe McFadden||Katya Jones||Series winners|
Series 16 (2018)Edit
On 30 January 2018, it was announced that Brendan Cole would no longer perform in 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.
|Celebrity||Professional||Result (week voted out)|
|Susannah Constantine||Anton du Beke||Week 2|
|Lee Ryan||Nadiya Bychkova||Week 3|
|Katie Piper||Gorka Márquez||Week 4|
|Vick Hope||Graziano Di Prima||Week 5|
|Seann Walsh||Katya Jones||Week 6|
|Dr. Ranj Singh||Janette Manrara||Week 7|
|Danny John-Jules||Amy Dowden||Week 8|
|Kate Silverton||Aljaž Skorjanec||Week 9|
|Graeme Swann||Oti Mabuse||Week 10|
|Charles Venn||Karen Clifton||Week 11|
|Lauren Steadman||AJ Pritchard||Week 12|
|Ashley Roberts||Pasha Kovalev||Runners-up|
|Faye Tozer||Giovanni Pernice|
|Joe Sugg||Dianne Buswell|
|Stacey Dooley||Kevin Clifton||Series winners|
Series 17 (2019)Edit
On 13 February 2019, professional dancer Pasha Kovalev announced that he was leaving the show, after competing on it for eight years. On 10 April 2019, it was announced that judge Darcey Bussell had left the show after seven years.
Since the inception of Strictly Come Dancing in 2004, several special editions of the show have been transmitted by the BBC each year. These have included seasonal specials, charity specials, and variations of the Strictly Come Dancing format.
Strictly Come Dancing Live!Edit
Strictly Come Dancing Live! is a nationwide arena tour staged every year since 2008.
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The scores presented below represent the best overall accumulative average scores the celebrities gained each series.
|1||16||Runner-up||Ashley Roberts||Pasha Kovalev||36.94|
|2||11||Runner-up||Natalie Gumede||Artem Chigvintsev||36.88|
|3||5||Champion||Alesha Dixon||Matthew Cutler||36.50|
|16||Runner-up||Faye Tozer||Giovanni Pernice||36.50|
|5||15||Runner-up||Alexandra Burke||Gorka Márquez||36.44|
|6||14||Runner-up||Louise Redknapp||Kevin Clifton||35.87|
|7||6||Runner-up||Rachel Stevens||Vincent Simone||35.81|
|8||8||Champion||Kara Tointon||Artem Chigvintsev||35.69|
|9||11||Champion||Abbey Clancy||Aljaz Skorjanec||35.63|
|10||15||Runner-up||Debbie McGee||Giovanni Pernice||35.44|
|1||14||Runner-up||Danny Mac||Oti Mabuse||36.62|
|2||7||Runner-up||Ricky Whittle||Natalie Lowe||35.89|
|3||14||Champion||Ore Oduba||Joanne Clifton||35.69|
|4||9||Champion||Harry Judd||Aliona Vilani||35.63|
|5||3rd Place||Jason Donovan||Kristina Rihanoff||34.80|
|6||6||Champion||Tom Chambers||Camilla Dallerup||34.50|
|4th place||Austin Healey||Erin Boag||34.50|
|8||8||Runner-up||Matt Baker||Aliona Vilani||34.31|
|9||13||Champion||Jay McGuiness||Aliona Vilani||34.06|
|10||15||Champion||Joe McFadden||Katya Jones||33.75|
The scores presented below represent the worst overall accumulative average score the celebrities gained each series.
|1||16||Last place||Susannah Constantine||Anton du Beke||12.00|
|2||3||9th place||Fiona Phillips||Brendan Cole||15.00|
|Last place||Siobhan Hayes||Matthew Cutler||15.00|
|4||9||11th place||Nancy Dell'Olio||Anton du Beke||15.60|
|5||8||6th place||Ann Widdecombe||Anton du Beke||16.20|
|6||15||13th place||Charlotte Hawkins||Brendan Cole||17.50|
|16||13th place||Katie Piper||Gorka Márquez||17.50|
|7||13||10th place||Carol Kirkwood||Pasha Kovalev||18.00|
|10||13th place||Jerry Hall||Anton du Beke||18.00|
|9||Last place||Edwina Currie||Vincent Simone||18.00|
|1||2||Last place||Quentin Willson||Hazel Newberry||8.00|
|2||7th place||Diarmuid Gavin||Nicole Cutler||13.75|
|3||4||Last place||Nicholas Owen||Nicole Cutler||14.00|
|4||11||Last place||Tony Jacklin||Aliona Vilani||14.50|
|5||13||Last place||Iwan Thomas||Ola Jordan||15.00|
|6||15||14th place||Rev. Richard Coles||Dianne Buswell||16.00|
|7||4||Withdrew||Jimmy Tarbuck||Flavia Cacace||17.00|
|8||6||14th place||Gary Rhodes||Karen Hardy||17.50|
|9||8||13th place||Paul Daniels||Ola Jordan||17.67|
|10||5||Last place||Brian Capron||Karen Hardy||18.00|
On forty-seven occasions, a perfect 40 out of 40 has been awarded inside the main series (including three perfect 50 out of 50s in Series 7). Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev hold the record for most perfect scores with five forties. Kovalev also holds the record for most perfect scores by a professional dancer with thirteen forties. On another eight occasions, a couple scored 40/40 on a Christmas Special. The Rumba is the only dance style not to have received the perfect score before the introduction of Couples’ choice. Thus, Street and Contemporary are both yet to score a perfect score.
Here is a table showing all of the perfect scores achieved by number of perfect scores
The lowest score the judges have ever awarded was 8/40 (1,1,3,3) to Quentin Willson and Hazel Newberry for their Cha Cha Cha. Eleven individual ones have been awarded in the entirety of Strictly Come Dancing, with ten of those coming from Craig Revel Horwood and the other coming from Arlene Philips. Ann Widdecombe holds the current record for the most ones, receiving ones from Revel Horwood for her Salsa, Samba, and Rumba. The biggest margin between two singular judges scores is five, awarded to Jason Wood and Kylie Jones for their Rumba (2,5,7,5), Christopher Parker and Hanna Karttunen for their Tango (2,6,7,6), Fiona Philips and Brendan Cole for their Rumba (1,2,6,4), Gary Rhodes and Karen Hardy for their Cha-Cha-Cha (1,5,6,5), Scott Maslen and Natalie Lowe for their Rumba (4,9,7,8), Mark Benton and Iveta Lukosiute for their Cha-Cha-Cha (3,8,8,7), Scott Mills and Joanne Clifton for their Samba with Donny Osmond (2,5,7,5,6) and Ann Widdecombe and Anton du Beke for their American Smooth in the 2018 Christmas Special (2,6,7,7).
Alexandra Burke and her partner Gorka Márquez and Ashley Roberts and her partner Pasha Kovalev hold the record of most tens with 32, then that is followed by Faye Tozer and Giovanni Pernice with 31, then Ricky Whittle and his partner Natalie Lowe with 28. However, if the four tens given by Darcey Bussell during her tenure as a fifth judge are removed, he is behind Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse, with 26 tens, and Rachel Stevens and her partner Vincent Simone and Harry Judd and his partner Aliona Vilani with 25 each. They are followed by Natalie Gumede and Artem Chigvintsev and Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton with 24 each, Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev with 23, Abbey Clancy and Aljaž Skorjanec and Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice with 22, Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev with 21 and Lisa Snowdon and Brendan Cole, Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev and Denise van Outen and James Jordan with 20. Of these celebrities, Snowdon and Cole, Flack and Kovalev, Tozer and Pernice and Roberts and Kovalev are the only pairings to receive straight tens from the judges in all of their dances in their respective series finals. Flack and Kovalev and Roberts and Kovalev are the only pairs to manage three sets of perfect 40 marks in the final, and also hold the records for the longest consecutive streak of 40 marks with four, that includes their Salsa and American Smooth in the semi-final shows respectively, and the longest consecutive streak of tens, that adds to a total of 16.
Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev also have the best average score from the judges out of all contestants on every series being 36.94/40 for their dances. Natalie Gumede and Artem Chigvintsev, and Danny Mac and his partner Oti Mabuse, follow, with averages of 36.88 and 36.62 respectively. Quentin Willson, Susannah Constantine and Diarmuid Gavin hold averages of 8.0, 12.0 and 13.8, the lowest of any celebrities so far.
Highest and lowest scoring performances by danceEdit
The best and worst performances in each dance according to the judges' marks (out of 40) are as follows (not including scores earned on Christmas or any other specials).
For a more accurate comparison Darcey Bussell's scores have been subtracted from the totals of the Series 7 quarter-finalists where relevant; specifically Ali Bastian's American Smooth, Chris Hollins' Charleston and Ricky Whittle's Quickstep. Bussell scored all of them a ten. Whittle's Showdance has not been included as it did not receive the perfect score from Bussell, and therefore cannot be considered the same standard. Contemporary, Rumba and Street are the only dances that have not received the full mark of 40, the highest score being 39/40. Runner-up of Series 16 Ashley Roberts holds the record for receiving the most perfect scores as a celebrity with five. With thirteen perfect scores, Pasha Kovalev holds the record for most perfect scores by a professional dancer.
Oldest and youngest contestants and series winnersEdit
Television presenter Johnny Ball, who was 74 when he competed in 2012, is the oldest contestant; he was older than magician Paul Daniels and actress Lesley Joseph, who were 72 & 71 when they competed in 2010 & 2016 respectively. Actress Louisa Lytton, who was 17 when she competed in 2006, remains the youngest contestant. Actor Joe McFadden, who was 42 when he competed in 2017, is the oldest series winner and gymnast Louis Smith, who was 23 when he competed in 2012, is the youngest series winner. At 20, Christopher Parker and Matt Di Angelo are the youngest contestants to make it to the finale. while Dr. Pamela Stephenson is the oldest, at the age of 61.
Highest and lowest scoresEdit
Series 8 quarter-finalist Ann Widdecombe holds the record for the most lowest scores, with a highest score of 21/40 and lowest score of 12/40. Series 2 contestant Quentin Willson holds the record for the overall lowest score of 8/40 (1,1,3,3) and lowest average 8.0/40.0. Series 16 runner-up Ashley Roberts holds the highest average score with 36.9/40.0 and holds the record for the most perfect scores with five 40s. Series 13 contestant Jamelia holds the record for being in the most dance-offs, which is 5. Series 11 contestant Mark Benton holds the record for being in the most consecutive dance-offs, which is 4. Series 15 runner-up Debbie McGee holds the record for getting the earliest ever 40 in the competition which was in week 7, for her Tango. This was also the first 40 with Shirley Ballas as the head judge.
On 13 December 2008, Strictly Come Dancing became the subject of press attention and viewer complaints about an error in the voting system during the semi-final of series six. In the show, three couples remained in the competition. After all three had performed and the judges had given their scores, two of the couples were in joint-first position on the leaderboard, while the third – Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup – were in last place. This meant that, no matter how many public votes were cast in their favour, it was mathematically impossible for the third-placed couple to survive. This oversight was initially unnoticed by producers until after the public vote became live and viewers were invited to call in and save their favourites at a cost of 15p per vote. Once the mistake was finally realised and the public vote was closed, it was announced that all three couples would be put through to the final; all the votes already cast would count towards the final result of the competition; and viewers could apply for a refund if they wished.
The BBC received 1800 complaints about the incident, while media regulator Ofcom received 297. Jon Beazley, the BBC's Head of Entertainment Production, was interviewed on Strictly's spin-off show Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two on 15 December. He apologised for the oversight, referring to it as an "unprecedented situation." On the same day, the BBC posted a statement on their website, which clarified that an independent adjudicator had been consulted to reach a solution that would offer "fairness to the viewers who voted and the contestants themselves." The BBC also stated that, following the mistake, "the voting and judging mechanisms used in all BBC voting programmes [had] been thoroughly examined."
After conducting an investigation, Ofcom concluded that "the mistake had resulted from an oversight, rather than any shortcomings in the technical arrangements for voting or in the handling of votes received", and that they were "satisfied that appropriate steps were taken by the BBC and the disadvantage to viewers minimised." Ofcom also opined that: "the BBC had been open and transparent with viewers about the mistake it made and the solution adopted."
Arlene Phillips / Alesha DixonEdit
In June 2008, tabloid newspaper The Sun reported that the then 66-year-old judge Arlene Phillips, who had judged the show since its inception in 2004, was to replaced by series five winner Alesha Dixon, then aged 30. This was later confirmed by the BBC in July of that year. Subsequently, the BBC was accused of ageism and sexism by several sources, an accusation the corporation has faced before over the removal of several older female presenters, including Moira Stuart, Juliet Morris, Miriam O'Reilly, Michaela Strachan, Charlotte Smith and Anna Ford. The BBC denied the allegations that the decision to remove Phillips was due to her age.
Furthermore, Dixon herself was criticised after the debut episode of the seventh series, the first to feature her as a judge. A total of 272 complaints were received by the BBC – bringing the total number about Dixon joining the programme to over 4000 – along with over 5000 comments on Strictly Come Dancing's internet message board. Dixon was compared unfavourably to Phillips, with claims that the former was "unsuitable", "unqualified" and lacked "knowledge, experience and talent". However, Dixon was praised and defended from her critics by the BBC, by fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood and by Phillips herself.
In 2009, during the seventh series, professional dancer Anton du Beke issued a public apology for his use of a racial slur during a conversation with his dance partner Laila Rouass. Du Beke claimed that the comment, which was never broadcast, was a joke referring to Rouass' spray-tan, in which he said that she "looked like a Paki". Over 600 complaints were received by the BBC, including those about comments Bruce Forsyth, then host of Strictly Come Dancing, made about the controversy on a Talksport radio programme, in which he suggested that Britain "used to have a sense of humour" about such incidents, and that du Beke's apology should be accepted.
Following the incident, and Forsyth's response, the BBC stated:
Racially offensive language in the workplace is entirely unacceptable. Anton was right to apologise quickly and without reservation and Laila has wholly accepted his apology. Everyone is very clear that there can be no repetition of this behaviour.
Forsyth also clarified his position:
What Anton said to Laila was wrong and he has apologised unreservedly for this. Nor do I in any way excuse or condone the use of such language. To be absolutely clear, the use of racially offensive language is never either funny or acceptable. However, there is a major difference between this and racist comments which are malicious in intent and whilst I accept that we live in a world of extraordinary political correctness, we should keep things in perspective.
In 2015, in an interview with the Daily Mirror, CJ de Mooi said that he was turned down for the show because he had wanted to dance with a same-sex partner. The BBC denied that de Mooi had ever been under consideration for the show, and also declared that "Strictly is a family show and we have chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples". The press has reported on the issue on numerous occasions when gay celebrities have appeared on the show, including Will Young, Susan Calman, Robert Rinder, Richard Coles and Ranj Singh. Strictly Come Dancing judges Shirley Ballas and Craig Revel Horwood have both expressed their support for introducing same-sex couples.
Dancing by same-sex pairings has been included on several of the international versions of the show. In the American version in 2016, a surprise challenge saw judge Bruno Tonioli work with Jodie Sweetin and season 22 eventual winner Nyle DiMarco and their professional partners. During the sequence, the two celebrities swapped partners, seeing DiMarco and Keo Motsepe dance the tango in ballroom hold, with both men shirtless, and Mostsepe lift and twirl DiMarco. Same-sex pairing fashion designer Giovanni Ciacci and professional dancer Raimondo Todaro reached the 2018 grand final of Ballando con le Stelle, the show's Italian counterpart. In 2019, Courtney Act became the first drag performer in the history of the franchise, competing in the competing in the 16th season of the Australian version of Dancing with the Stars.
The so-called "Strictly curse" has been blamed for the number of affairs and relationship break-ups that have occurred during or soon after taking part in the show. The first such incident was the suggested affair between dancer Brendan Cole and newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky during the initial series: they both denied the affair, but the surrounding controversy resulted in the ending of both their long term relationships.
An example of Strictly Come Dancing's popularity is that after episodes, electricity use in the United Kingdom rises significantly as viewers who have waited for the show to end begin boiling water for tea, a phenomenon known as TV pick-up. National Grid personnel watch the show to know when closing credits begin so they can prepare for the surge.
All ratings are from BARB. Series averages exclude Christmas special and launch show.
|Series||Series premiere||Series finale||Series Average|
|1||15 May 2004||4.61||3 July 2004||9.28||6.45|
|2||23 October 2004||6.54||11 December 2004||11.60||9.02|
|3||15 October 2005||7.23||17 December 2005||10.55||8.44|
|4||7 October 2006||9.23||23 December 2006||12.11||8.57|
|5||6 October 2007||7.68||22 December 2007||12.09||8.57|
|6||20 September 2008||8.48||20 December 2008||12.03||9.63|
|7||18 September 2009||8.43||19 December 2009||11.29||9.22|
|8||1 October 2010||9.60||18 December 2010||14.28||11.23|
|9||30 September 2011||9.14||17 December 2011||13.16||10.97|
|10||5 October 2012||9.22||22 December 2012||13.35||10.80|
|11||27 September 2013||9.33||21 December 2013||12.79||10.71|
|12||26 September 2014||8.21||20 December 2014||11.67||10.25|
|13||25 September 2015||9.22||19 December 2015||12.47||10.62|
|14||23 September 2016||9.30||17 December 2016||13.30||11.09|
|15||23 September 2017||11.04||16 December 2017||13.01||11.14|
|16||22 September 2018||10.76||15 December 2018||12.99||10.54|
The show has won a highly prestigious Rose D'Or award for 'Best Variety Show', beating off competition from reality shows from twelve other different countries. It has also won two awards for 'Best Reality Show' at the TRIC Awards and two at the TV Quick Awards for 'Best Talent Show'. It has also received four BAFTA Award nominations.
In the Guinness Book of World Records 2010 edition, the format of Strictly Come Dancing was named the most successful television show with the format being sold to more than 38 countries worldwide.
|2004||National Television Awards||Most Popular Entertainment Programme||Strictly Come Dancing||Nominated|
|2007||Most Popular Talent Show||Nominated|
|2011||National Television Awards||Nominated|
|TRIC Awards||Best TV Reality Programme||Won|
|2012||National Television Awards||Most Popular Talent Show||Nominated|
|National Reality TV Awards||Best Reality Competition Show||Won|
|Televisual Bulldog Awards||Readers' Vote Award||Won|
|2013||National Television Awards||Most Popular Talent Show||Won|
|National Reality TV Awards||Best Talent Show||Won|
|Televisual Bulldog Awards||Best Entertainment Programme||Won|
|TRIC Awards||Best Reality Programme||Won|
|2014||National Television Awards||Best Talent Show||Won|
|National Reality TV Awards||Won|
|National Television Awards||Nominated|
|2016||BAFTA TV Awards||Best Entertainment Programme||Won|
|National Television Awards||Best Talent Show||Won|
|2017||National Television Awards||Won|
|2018||National Television Awards||Won|
|2019||National Television Awards||Won|
- Richard Hopkins Archived 11 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine The Telegraph, 12 January 2012
- Strictly Come Dancing producer Richard Hopkins dies Archived 12 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine; BBC News, 9 January 2012
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