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Come Dancing With Me

by Karen Groves 02 Oct, 2017

So Strictly is back! The show which steals the limelight on a Saturday night appears to go from strength to strength. But what gives it that sparkle and keeps viewers hooked series after series?

The new head judge, Shirley Ballas sums it up when she says ‘Strictly has everything’. ‘Glitz, glamour, storylines, journeys, music….. it cuts across many borders, young and old. It’s just so inspiring.’ And the 13 million viewers who tuned in for the last final obviously feel the same. So what elements will continue to make the show the success of Saturday nights?

The Judges play a big part. Their differing personalities and approaches keep the judging fresh and entertaining. Shirley Ballas, world champion ‘queen of Latin’ claims her judging style will be ‘fun, firm, feisty and fair’. She was born and raised in Wallasey, Merseyside but has lived in the US for more than 30 years. She has been a regular guest on Strictly’s American show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and will work alongside fellow judges Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood. She jokes that she ll need to keep an eye on the boys, especially Bruno and his invasion of personal space with his flailing arms! Returning at the helm are hosts Tess Daley and Claudia Winkleman.

The show has made stars of a number of former contestants : Matt Baker, Susanna Reid and Ore Oduba to name but three. The guests this year include Jonnie Peacock, Alexandra Burke, Mollie King, Rev Richard Coles and Aston Merrygold with Aston (JLS star) already being named by some as the favourite to win. Viewers also warm to the inevitable underdog with a number winning the hearts of the nation and providing as much entertainment as the more inevitable masters of the dance floor. Ed Balls raised many smiles with his unforgettable Gangnam Style salsa, John Sergeant and Russell Grant also gave some memorable performances.

There’s no denying that the Strictly phenomenon is huge . Versions of the show are now being produced in more than 50 countries. It has gained a clear lead in recent years in the ratings war with ITVs X-Factor and its popularity shows no sign of waning. So in the lead up to Christmas, fans will settle down on a Saturday night, the bookies will rubbing their hands in expectation and there will be a lot of fun and entertainment in the meantime!


Strictly Fun Facts:

9 times the judges have given a score of one (eight of them from Craig Revel Horwood)

207 is the number of celebrities who have participated in the show to date

41 is the perfect scores of 40 that have been awarded (Caroline Flack and Danny Mac got four each)

504 cans of hairspray are used per series. That’s 252 litres – enough to fill six Mini Cooper petrol tanks

57 years separate the oldest contestant and youngest contestant to date (Johnny Ball, 74) and youngest (Louisa Lytton, 17)

by Karen Groves 15 Sep, 2017
  • Ruth Langsford and Anton du Beke are Waltzing to This Nearly Was Mine bySeth MacFarlane from South Pacific
  • Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice will perform a Paso Doble to Be Italian by Fergie
  • Alexandra Burke and Gorka Márquez are Waltzing to (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin.
  • Charlotte Hawkins and Brendan Cole will dance the Foxtrot to The Best Is Yet To Come by Michael Buble
  • Susan Calman and Kevin Clifton will dance the Viennese Waltz to Mad About The Boy by Dinah Washington
  • Mollie King and AJ Pritchard will Jive to Good Golly Miss Molly by Little Richard
  • Aston Merrygold and Janette Manrara will Foxtrot to It Had To Be You  by Harry Connick Jnr.
  • Chizzy Akudolu and Pasha Kovalev will dance the Cha Cha to Boogie Fever by The Sylvers
  • Brian Conley and Amy Dowden will Tango to Temptation by Heaven 17
  • Davood Ghadami and Nadiya will dance the Cha Cha to Dedication To My Ex by Lloyd ft. Andre 3000
  • Joe McFadden and Katya Jones are Jiving to Rockin' Robin by Michael Jackson
  • Jonnie Peacock and Oti Mabuse will dance the Waltz to When I Need You by Luther Vandross
  • Rev. Richard Coles and Dianne Buswell will perform the Cha Cha to There Must Be An Angel by the Eurythmics
  • Simon Rimmer and Karen Clifton will take on the Paso Doble to Song 2 by Blur
        The live shows begin on BBC One Saturday 23 September at 6.45pm
        For more up to the minute information on this year's 'Strictly' visit the BBC website
by Karen Groves 13 Sep, 2017
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman presented the new series of Strictly Come Dancing with a heart warming, tear jerking tribute to its former host Sir Bruce Forsyth who sadly passed away earlier this year.

See the tribute at  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05flpd8

They also announced the couple pairings as:

Gemma Atkinson & Aljaz Skorjanec
Debbie McGee & Giovanni Pernice
Chizzy Akudolu & Pasha Kovalev
Ruth Langsford & Anton Du Beke
Aston Merrygold & Janette Manrara
Reverend Richard Coles & Dianne Buswell
Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova
Simon Rimmer & Karen Clifton
Charlotte Hawkins & Brendan Cole
Mollie King & AJ Pritchard
Alexandra Burke & Gorka Marquez
Susan Calman & Kevin Clifton
Joe McFadden & Katya Jones
Jonnie Peacock & Oti Mabuse
Brian Conley & Amy Dowden

Watch the series beginning Saturday 23 September on BBC 1
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