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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 television format.[8] The series is currently presented by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman.

Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing title card.jpg
GenreDance Talent show
Created by
Developed byKaren Smith
Presented by
Voices ofAlan Dedicoat
Theme music composer
  • Dan McGrath[5]
  • Josh Phillips[6]
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series16
No. of episodes336
Executive producer(s)Karen Smith (2004–2006)
Production location(s)
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time30–120 minutes
Production company(s)BBC Studios
DistributorBBC Studios
Original networkBBC One
Picture format
Audio format
Original release15 May 2004 (2004-05-15) –
Related shows
External links

The series has been broadcast 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.[9] Eleven stand-alone Christmas specials and nine charity specials have also been produced. Since the fourth series, the show has aired in high definition.

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[10] as he was unable to appear due to illness.[11] Forsyth died on 18 August 2017.[12]


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.[13] 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.[13]

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.[14] She then took the role of Creative Director of BBC Entertainment whilst still overseeing series 4 and 5.[15][16]

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.[17]


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.[18] The profits from the telephone lines were donated to Sport Relief in series 1, and to Children in Need from series 2 onwards.

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.[19] 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.[20] 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[21]) 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.[22][23]

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.[24][25] In 2005 though the BBC announced that they would not be returning to the venue for the third series due to "logistical problems".[26] 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.[27] Strictly Come Dancing returned to Blackpool for the 2010[28] and 2011 series.[29] Then after series 10 when Strictly Come Dancing did not go to Blackpool, they announced that they would return for series 11.[30]


     Main presenter of Strictly Come Dancing
     Co-host of Strictly Come Dancing
     Presenter of It Takes Two
     Results show co-host
Cast member Series
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Sir Bruce Forsyth1
Tess Daly2
Claudia Winkleman3
Zoë Ball4
Rylan Clark-Neal
^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.


Year(s) Series Presenter Show Notes
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

Judging panelEdit

     Head judge
     Main judge
     Guest judge
Judge Series
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Bruno Tonioli
Craig Revel Horwood
Shirley Ballas
Motsi Mabuse
Len GoodmanA
Arlene Phillips
Alesha Dixon
Jennifer GreyC
Dame Darcey BussellB
Donny OsmondD
Alfonso RibeiroE
^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

Professional Avg. Series 1 Series 2 Series 3 Series 4 Series 5 Series 6 Series 7 Series 8 Series 9 Series 10 Series 11 Series 12 Series 13 Series 14 Series 15 Series 16 Series 17
Country Name
  Anton du Beke
  Karen Hauer
  Aljaž Skorjanec
  Janette Manrara
  Kevin Clifton
  Giovanni Pernice
  Oti Mabuse
  AJ Pritchard
  Katya Jones
  Amy Dowden
  Dianne Buswell
  Nadiya Bychkova
  Neil Jones
  Johannes Radebe
  Luba Mushtuk
  Brendan Cole
  Camilla Dallerup
  Erin Boag
  Hanna Karttunen
  John Byrnes
  Kylie Jones
  Paul Killick
  Darren Bennett
  Hazel Newberry
  Ian Waite
  Lilia Kopylova
  Nicole Cutler
  Andrew Cuerden
  Hanna Haarala
  Izabela Hannah
  Karen Hardy
  Matthew Cutler
  Flavia Cacace
  James Jordan
  Ola Jordan
  Vincent Simone
  Brian Fortuna
  Hayley Holt
  Kristina Rihanoff
  Aliona Vilani
  Katya Virshilas
  Natalie Lowe
  Artem Chigvintsev
  Jared Murillo
  Robin Windsor
  Pasha Kovalev
  Iveta Lukosiute
  Anya Garnis
  Joanne Clifton
  Trent Whiddon
  Tristan MacManus
  Gleb Savchenko
  Gorka Márquez
  Oksana Platero
  Graziano Di Prima


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

Notes and statisticsEdit

Professional partnersEdit

Some of the dancers form professional partnerships, dancing together competitively or on the show. Darren Bennet and Lilia Kopylova,[33] and James and Ola Jordan are married,[34] while Matthew and Nicole Cutler are divorced but still professional partners.[35][36] Anton du Beke and Erin Boag[37] have danced as a professional couple since 1997; Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace are a former Argentine Tango world champion couple.[38] Brendan Cole and Katya Virshilas danced professionally for several years before parting in November 2009.[39][40][41] 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 were also married, until their split in 2019.


On average, dances last for approximately 90 seconds.[42] 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.

Results showEdit

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.[43]

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.[44] It was then put back on Sundays in Series 8.


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

Strictly: It Takes 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.[45]

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 Premiere date Finale date No. of
of weeks
Third place
1 15 May 2004 3 July 2004 8 8 Natasha Kaplinsky & Brendan Cole Christopher Parker & Hanna Karttunen Lesley Garrett & Anton du Beke
2 23 October 2004 11 December 2004 10 8 Jill Halfpenny & Darren Bennett Denise Lewis & Ian Waite Julian Clary & Erin Boag
3 15 October 2005 17 December 2005 12 10 Darren Gough & Lilia Kopylova Colin Jackson & Erin Boag Zoë Ball & Ian Waite
4 7 October 2006 23 December 2006 14 12 Mark Ramprakash & Karen Hardy Matt Dawson & Lilia Kopylova Emma Bunton & Darren Bennett
5 6 October 2007 22 December 2007 14 12 Alesha Dixon & Matthew Cutler Matt Di Angelo & Flavia Cacace Gethin Jones & Camilla Dallerup
6 20 September 2008 20 December 2008 16 14 Tom Chambers & Camilla Dallerup Rachel Stevens & Vincent Simone Lisa Snowdon & Brendan Cole
7 18 September 2009 19 December 2009 16 14 Chris Hollins & Ola Jordan Ricky Whittle & Natalie Lowe Ali Bastian & Brian Fortuna
8 1 October 2010 18 December 2010 14 12 Kara Tointon & Artem Chigvintsev Matt Baker & Aliona Vilani Pamela Stephenson & James Jordan
9 30 September 2011 17 December 2011 14 12 Harry Judd & Aliona Vilani Chelsee Healey & Pasha Kovalev Jason Donovan & Kristina Rihanoff
Series Premiere date Finale date No. of
of weeks
Fourth place
10 5 October 2012 22 December 2012 14 12 Louis Smith & Flavia Cacace Denise Van Outen & James Jordan, Kimberley Walsh & Pasha Kovalev Dani Harmer & Vincent Simone
11 27 September 2013 21 December 2013 15 13 Abbey Clancy & Aljaž Škorjanec Natalie Gumede & Artem Chigvintsev, Susanna Reid & Kevin Clifton Sophie Ellis-Bextor & Brendan Cole
12 26 September 2014 20 December 2014 15 13 Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev Frankie Bridge & Kevin Clifton, Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff Mark Wright & Karen Hauer
13 25 September 2015 19 December 2015 15 13 Jay McGuiness & Aliona Vilani Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice, Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton Katie Derham & Anton Du Beke
Series Premiere date Finale date No. of
of weeks
14 23 September 2016 17 December 2016 15 13 Ore Oduba & Joanne Clifton Danny Mac & Oti Mabuse, Louise Redknapp & Kevin Clifton
15 23 September 2017 16 December 2017 15 13 Joe McFadden & Katya Jones Alexandra Burke & Gorka Márquez, Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice, Gemma Atkinson & Aljaž Škorjanec
16 22 September 2018 15 December 2018 15 13 Stacey Dooley & Kevin Clifton Ashley Roberts & Pasha Kovalev, Faye Tozer & Giovanni Pernice, Joe Sugg & Dianne Buswell
17 21 September 2019 14 December 2019 15 13

Series 1 (2004)Edit

In Spring 2004, Strictly Come Dancing commenced its first series. The professional dancers were: Brendan Cole, Hanna Haarala, Anton Du Beke, Erin Boag, John Byrnes, Paul Killick, Camilla Dallerup and Kylie Jones. This was 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 Cole, Anton Du Beke, Erin Boag, Paul Killick and Camilla Dallerup. There were 5 new professionals who were: Darren Bennett, Ian Waite, Lilia Kopylova, Nicole Cutler and Hazel Newberry. Hazel only participated in this series while the other professionals competed in the 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 Cole, Anton Du Beke, Erin Boag, Camilla Dallerup, Darren Bennett, Ian Waite and Lilia Kopylova returned from the last series. Nicole Cutler, Paul Killick and Hazel Newberry did not return. They were replaced by Karen Hardy, Hanna Haarala, Izabela Hannah, Andrew Cuerden and Matthew Cutler.

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 Ramprakash and Karen Hardy 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.[46]

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[47]
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.[48] The series lasted for 14 weeks, which is the longest series so far.[48] The series involved three new professional dancers, Brian Fortuna, Hayley Holt and Kristina Rihanoff.[49] 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.[50]

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.[51]

On 19 November 2008, John Sergeant announced that he would be leaving the show because he believed he may "win it".[52]

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[52]
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.[53] Tess Daly signed a two-year deal to continue presenting the programme for at least the 2009 and 2010 series'.[54]

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.[53] The BBC were 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.[55]

The official line-up was revealed on 25 August 2009 and the winner was BBC Breakfast presenter Chris Hollins:[56]

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.[57] Three new professional dancers were announced,[58] The celebrities were revealed on 8 September 2010[59] and the professional partners were revealed during the launch show.[60][61]

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)
Week 7
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.[62] 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)
Week 9
Robbie Savage Ola Jordan Week 10
Alex Jones James Jordan Week 11
Holly Valance Artem Chigvintsev
Brendan Cole (Week 7)
Week 11
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.

On 25 April 2012, it was confirmed that Darcey Bussell would be joining the judging panel, replacing Alesha Dixon who left the show to be a judge on Britain's Got Talent.[63]

Katya Virshilas was the only professional dancer not returning to this series, and she was replaced by Burn the Floor's Karen Hauer.[64] The full line-up was revealed on 10 September during The One Show.[65]

Aliona Vilani was originally Johnny Ball's partner, but injury resulted in her being replaced by Iveta Lukosiute.[66]

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.[67] Rod Stewart and Jessie J performed on the premiere show.[68]

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.[69][70][71] However, it was confirmed on 22 August 2013 that Anya Garnis and Kevin Clifton joined the series, replacing Slater.[72] 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.[73]

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,[74] followed by the live shows starting on 26 and 27 September.[75] 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.[76] 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.[77]

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.[78] It was then announced in August that Robin Windsor had pulled out of the competition due to a back injury. Windsor was replaced by new professional Trent Whiddon.[79] In the third week entertainer Donny Osmond joined the four regular judges, making the maximum score that week 50 points.[80] 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.[81]

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.[82] 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.[83]

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

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

On 28 June 2016, the list of professionals who were returning for the fourteenth series was revealed. Professionals from the last series who would not return included last series' champion and two-time professional winner of the show Aliona Vilani, former professional winner Ola Jordan, and two-times professional finalist Kristina Rihanoff as well as Gleb Savchenko and Tristan MacManus. Joanne Clifton was returning after a one series hiatus. The leaving professionals were replaced by Katya Jones, Burn the Floor dancer Gorka Márquez and former Dancing with the Stars US troupe member Oksana Platero.[84] On 26 July 2016, three more new professional dancers were announced as AJ Pritchard, Chloe Hewitt and Neil Jones, husband of new dancer Katya.[85] 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
Anastacia Brendan Cole
Gorka Márquez (week 5)
Week 6
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.[86] 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 were 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 was the first celebrity to be taking part in the series. This was 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.[87] 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.[88]

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.[89] On 10 April 2019, it was announced that judge Darcey Bussell had left the show after seven years.[90] On 22 July 2019, Motsi Mabuse was announced as the replacement for Bussell. On 30 July 2019, it was announced that Nancy Xu will be joining the cast of professional dancers.[91] On 5 September 2019, it was announced that Jamie Laing had withdrawn from the show due to a foot injury. He was later replaced by Kelvin Fletcher.

Celebrity Professional Result (week voted out)
Alex Scott Neil Jones Participating
Anneka Rice Kevin Clifton Participating
Catherine Tyldesley Johannes Radebe Participating
Chris Ramsey Karen Hauer Participating
David James Nadiya Bychkova Participating
Dev Griffin Dianne Buswell Participating
Emma Barton Anton du Beke Participating
Emma Weymouth Aljaž Skorjanec Participating
James Cracknell Luba Mushtuk Participating
Karim Zeroual Amy Dowden Participating
Kelvin Fletcher Oti Mabuse Participating
Michelle Visage Giovanni Pernice Participating
Mike Bushell Katya Jones Participating
Saffron Barker AJ Pritchard Participating
Will Bayley Janette Manrara Participating


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.[92]


Highest-scoring celebritiesEdit

The scores presented below represent the best overall accumulative average scores the celebrities gained each series.



Lowest-scoring celebritiesEdit

The scores presented below represent the worst overall accumulative average score the celebrities gained each series.



Judges' scoresEdit

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

By Celebrity:

Number of
Series Place Celebrity Professional
5 16 Runner-up Ashley Roberts Pasha Kovalev
4 12
Caroline Flack
Danny Mac
Faye Tozer
Pasha Kovalev
Oti Mabuse
Giovanni Pernice
3 6
3rd Place
3rd Place
Lisa Snowdon
Pamela Stephenson
Kimberley Walsh
Natalie Gumede
Alexandra Burke
Brendan Cole
James Jordan
Pasha Kovalev
Artem Chigvintsev
Gorka Márquez
2 6
3rd Place
3rd Place
Rachel Stevens
Ali Bastian
Harry Judd
Jason Donovan
Denise Van Outen
Abbey Clancy
Kellie Bright
Ore Oduba
Debbie McGee
Vincent Simone
Brian Fortuna
Aliona Vilani
Kristina Rihanoff
James Jordan
Aljaž Skorjanec
Kevin Clifton
Joanne Clifton
Giovanni Pernice
1 2
Jill Halfpenny
Mark Ramprakash
Matt Di Angelo
Chris Hollins
Ricky Whittle
Chelsee Healey
Louis Smith
Simon Webbe
Georgia May Foote
Louise Redknapp
Joe McFadden
Darren Bennett
Karen Hardy
Flavia Cacace
Ola Jordan
Natalie Lowe
Pasha Kovalev
Flavia Cacace
Kristina Rihanoff
Giovanni Pernice
Kevin Clifton
Katya Jones

By Professional:

Number of
13 Pasha Kovalev
7 Giovanni Pernice
5 James Jordan
4 Oti Mabuse
3 Brendan Cole
Artem Chigvintsev
Kristina Rihanoff
Kevin Clifton
Gorka Márquez
2 Vincent Simone
Brian Fortuna
Aliona Vilani
Flavia Cacace
Aljaž Skorjanec
Joanne Clifton
1 Darren Bennett
Karen Hardy
Ola Jordan
Natalie Lowe
Katya Jones

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.[93] 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.

Dance Couple Highest
Couple Lowest
American Smooth (Series 3–present) Ali Bastian & Brian Fortuna
Natalie Gumede & Artem Chigvintsev
Alexandra Burke & Gorka Márquez
Ashley Roberts & Pasha Kovalev
40 Ann Widdecombe & Anton du Beke 14
Argentine Tango (Series 4–present) Jason Donovan & Kristina Rihanoff
Harry Judd & Aliona Vilani
Simon Webbe & Kristina Rihanoff
Louise Redknapp & Kevin Clifton
Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice
Kate Silverton & Aljaž Skorjanec 23
Cha-Cha-Cha Lisa Snowdon & Brendan Cole
Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev
Quentin Willson & Hazel Newberry 8
Charleston (Series 7–present) Chris Hollins & Ola Jordan
Kimberley Walsh & Pasha Kovalev
Denise van Outen & James Jordan
Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice
Danny Mac & Oti Mabuse
Joe McFadden & Katya Jones
Faye Tozer & Giovanni Pernice
Ashley Roberts & Pasha Kovalev
Tony Jacklin & Aliona Vilani 13
Contemporary (Series 16–present) Ashley Roberts & Pasha Kovalev 39 Lauren Steadman & AJ Pritchard 24
Foxtrot Rachel Stevens & Vincent Simone
Lisa Snowdon & Brendan Cole
40 Susannah Constantine & Anton du Beke 12
Jazz (Series 16–present) Faye Tozer & Giovanni Pernice Graeme Swann & Oti Mabuse 32
Jive Jill Halfpenny & Darren Bennett
Ore Oduba & Joanne Clifton
Alexandra Burke & Gorka Márquez
Ashley Roberts & Pasha Kovalev
Michael Vaughan & Natalie Lowe
Seann Walsh & Katya Jones
Paso Doble Chelsee Healey & Pasha Kovalev Katie Piper & Gorka Márquez 13
Quickstep Lisa Snowdon & Brendan Cole
Ricky Whittle & Natalie Lowe
Pamela Stephenson & James Jordan
Harry Judd & Aliona Vilani
Diarmuid Gavin & Nicole Cutler 12
Rumba Rachel Stevens & Vincent Simone
Kara Tointon & Artem Chigvintsev
Chelsee Healey & Pasha Kovalev
Jay McGuiness & Aliona Vilani
39 Fiona Phillips & Brendan Cole
Carol Kirkwood & Pasha Kovalev
Salsa (Series 4–present) Mark Ramprakash & Karen Hardy
Abbey Clancy & Aljaž Skorjanec
Natalie Gumede & Artem Chigvintsev
Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev
Alexandra Burke & Gorka Márquez
Ashley Roberts & Pasha Kovalev
40 Ann Widdecombe & Anton du Beke 12
Samba Danny Mac & Oti Mabuse Susannah Constantine & Anton du Beke 12
Showdance (Series 1, 7–present) Jason Donovan & Kristina Rihanoff
Denise van Outen & James Jordan
Louis Smith & Flavia Cacace
Natalie Gumede & Artem Chigvintsev
Caroline Flack & Pasha Kovalev
Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton
Ore Oduba & Joanne Clifton
Danny Mac & Oti Mabuse
Ashley Roberts & Pasha Kovalev
Faye Tozer & Giovanni Pernice
Christopher Parker & Hanna Karttunen 22
Street (Series 16–present) Charles Venn & Karen Clifton
Stacey Dooley & Kevin Clifton
36 Joe Sugg & Dianne Buswell 35
Tango Kimberley Walsh & Pasha Kovalev
Kellie Bright & Kevin Clifton
Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice
40 Diarmuid Gavin & Nicole Cutler 14
Viennese Waltz (Series 3–present) Ali Bastian & Brian Fortuna
Pamela Stephenson & James Jordan
Faye Tozer & Giovanni Pernice
Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton
Seann Walsh & Katya Jones
Waltz Matt Di Angelo & Flavia Cacace
Abbey Clancy & Aljaž Skorjanec
Fiona Phillips & Brendan Cole 11

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.[94]

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.


Phone votingEdit

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.[95]

The BBC received 1800 complaints about the incident,[96] while media regulator Ofcom received 297.[95] 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."[97] The BBC also stated that, following the mistake, "the voting and judging mechanisms used in all BBC voting programmes [had] been thoroughly examined."[95]

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."[95]

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 be replaced by series five winner Alesha Dixon, then aged 30.[98] This was later confirmed by the BBC in July of that year.[99] Subsequently, the BBC was accused of ageism and sexism by several sources,[99][100] an accusation the corporation has faced before over the removal of several older female presenters, including Moira Stuart,[101] Juliet Morris,[102] Miriam O'Reilly,[102][101] Michaela Strachan,[102] Charlotte Smith[102] and Anna Ford.[103] The BBC denied the allegations that the decision to remove Phillips was due to her age.[99]

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.[104] Dixon was compared unfavourably to Phillips, with claims that the former was "unsuitable", "unqualified" and lacked "knowledge, experience and talent".[104] However, Dixon was praised and defended from her critics by the BBC,[104] by fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood[104] and by Phillips herself.[105]

Race rowEdit

In 2009, during the seventh series, professional dancer Anton du Beke issued a public apology[106] for his use of a racial slur during a conversation with his dance partner Laila Rouass.[107] 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".[107] 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.[108]

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.[108]

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.[108]

Same-sex couplesEdit

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.[109] The BBC denied that de Mooi had ever been under consideration for the show,[110] and also declared that "Strictly is a family show and we have chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples".[109] The press has reported on the issue on numerous occasions when gay celebrities have appeared on the show, including Will Young,[111] Susan Calman,[112] Robert Rinder,[113] Richard Coles[114] and Ranj Singh.[115] Strictly Come Dancing judges Shirley Ballas[115] and Craig Revel Horwood[116] 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.[117] Same-sex pairing fashion designer Giovanni Ciacci [it] and professional dancer Raimondo Todaro [it] reached the 2018 grand final of Ballando con le Stelle, the show's Italian counterpart.[118] In 2019, Courtney Act became the first drag performer in the history of the franchise, competing in the 16th season of the Australian version of Dancing with the Stars.[119][120]

In 2018, the UK show featured same-sex pairings in the pro group dances for the first time since the controversy arose.

Strictly curseEdit

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.[121][122] 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.[122]


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.[123]

All ratings are from BARB. Series averages exclude Christmas special and launch show.

Series Series premiere Series finale Series average
Air date Viewers
Date Viewers
Viewers (millions)
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 10.59
17 21 September 2019 TBA 14 December 2019 TBA TBA


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.[125] 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.[126]

The show won the award of 'Most Popular Talent Show' at the National Television Awards in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019.[127]

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.

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2004 National Television Awards Most Popular Entertainment Programme Strictly Come Dancing Nominated
2005 Nominated
2006 Nominated
2007 Most Popular Talent Show Nominated
2008 Won
2010 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
TRIC Awards 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
2015 Nominated
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

Strictly Come Dancing: The GameEdit

In 2016, BBC Worldwide commissioned a match-3 mobile app game published by Donut Publishing and developed by Exient Entertainment. The game uses a mix of hand animation and motion-captured data for all the dances in the game, using pro dancers from the show (Chloe Hewitt and Neil Jones). The mo-cap process was featured on It Takes Two in the build-up to the release of the app. The game features over 150 dresses and 9 dances: Quickstep, Jive, Tango, Salsa, Charleston, Viennese Waltz, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, and Paso Doble. It was released on the App Store and Google Play in early 2016 and is regularly updated with new dance features alongside new seasons of the show.[128]

See alsoEdit


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Further readingEdit

  • Smith, Rupert (2005) Strictly Come Dancing; dance consultant: Len Goodman. London: BBC Books ISBN 0-563-52293-3

External linksEdit