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Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2023 Preview

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One on Christmas Day 2023, just weeks after Ellie Leach was crowned winner of the main show, and will feature a brand new line-up of celebrities who will perform festive dances for the judges.

Confirmed to be in the running for the Christmas Champion crown on December 25 are: broadcaster and historian Dan Snow, BBC Breakfast's Sally Nugent, EastEnders star Jamie Borthwick, Waterloo Road star Tillie Amartey, former rugby player Danny Cipriani and Sugababe Keisha Buchanan.

Viewers must tune in on Christmas Day to find out which of the celebrity dancers will be crowned the winner.

The Strictly Come Dancing pros are getting into the holiday spirit for the 2023 Christmas special. (BBC)

The “Strictly Come Dancing” pros and their celebrity partners get into the holiday spirit with the group number of the 2023 Christmas Special. (BBC)

Each of the six couples performs a festive routine in the hope of impressing judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke, chair of the judging panel Shirley Ballas and the voting studio audience.

New images show Strictly's professional dancers – including Graziano Di Prima, Kai Widdrington, Nancy Xu and Karen Hauer – performing in Christmas jumpers and Alpine-style dresses to get into the holiday spirit.

Danny Cipriani and Sally Nugent are among the celebrities taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2023. (BBC)Danny Cipriani and Sally Nugent are among the celebrities taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2023. (BBC)

Danny Cipriani and Sally Nugent are among the celebrities taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2023. (BBC)

And as if things could get any sparklier in the Strictly studio, there's plenty of gold and silver glitter as this year's Christmas contestants are introduced to the audience surrounded by Christmas trees.

When is the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special on TV?

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special will air on Christmas Day at 4.40pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

The show lasts 75 minutes and is followed by the Doctor Who Christmas special “The Church on Ruby Road” on BBC One.

Who will take part in the Strictly Christmas special in 2023?

Tillie Amartey with Neil Jones

Tillie Amartey and Neil Jones – Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special. (BBC)Tillie Amartey and Neil Jones – Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special. (BBC)

Tillie Amartey and Neil Jones – Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special. (BBC)

Waterloo Road star Tillie Amartey will dance with Strictly pro Neil Jones in the Christmas special. As well as the CBBC school drama, the 20-year-old – who once dated current contestant Bobby Brazier – has also starred in Almost Never, The Teacher and Ratburger.

Speaking about her participation in the show, Tillie said: “You can't say no to Strictly. I want to prove to myself and other young people that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Yes, I'm an actress and a presenter, but why can't I dance too?!”

Danny Cipriani with Jowita Przystał

Jowita Przystal, Danny Cipriani – Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special.  (BBC)Jowita Przystal, Danny Cipriani – Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special.  (BBC)

Jowita Przystal, Danny Cipriani – Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special. (BBC)

Former English rugby player Danny Cipriani was paired with Jowita Przystał, who won the 2022 show with Hamza Yassin.

He is a professional rugby union player and most recently played for Premiership rugby side Bath, but previously played for Gloucester, Sale Sharks and Wasps in the Premiership and the Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby, and has represented his country many times.

Speaking about his reasons for joining the show, Cipriani said: “This was something I definitely wouldn't have done years ago. But I was with my boyfriend and they said, 'You have to do it, you love dancing.' I felt deep in my heart that it was the right thing to do, so I decided to do it and I felt like I wanted to do it, so I said yes.”

Keisha Buchanan with Gorka Marquez

Sugababes star Keisha Buchanan will dance 'Round Round' on the Strictly dance floor on Christmas Day. (BBC)Sugababes star Keisha Buchanan will dance 'Round Round' on the Strictly dance floor on Christmas Day. (BBC)

Sugababes star Keisha Buchanan will dance 'Round Round' on the Strictly dance floor on Christmas Day. (BBC)

Sugababes singer Keisha Buchanan will dance with Gorka Márquez in the Strictly special.

She is a founding member of the platinum-selling and critically acclaimed girl group Sugababes, whose hits include “Push The Button”, “Round Round”, “Stronger” and “Too Lost In You”.

Buchanan said: “I'm so excited to be taking part, and over Christmas, my favourite time of the year! I'm looking forward to learning some new moves and hitting the dance floor.”

Dan Snow with Nadiya Bychkova

Presenter Dan Snow hopes to make history on Strictly. (BBC)Presenter Dan Snow hopes to make history on Strictly. (BBC)

Presenter Dan Snow hopes to make history on Strictly. (BBC)

TV historian Dan Snow was paired with professional dancer Nadiya Bychkova. After 15 years at the BBC, Snow (son of Peter Snow, cousin of Jon Snow) is now the podcast entrepreneur behind the hugely successful series History Hit. He was part of the expedition to search for Shackleton's shipwreck Endurance in Antarctica in 2022 and is always on the lookout for new historical discoveries.

Snow said: “I'm terrified of going on the dance floor. But I love getting out of my comfort zone and I've always wanted to learn how to dance properly. So I thought it's now or never!”

Sally Nugent with Graziano Di Prima

Sally Nugent, Graziano Di Prima – Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2023. (BBC)Sally Nugent, Graziano Di Prima – Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2023. (BBC)

Sally Nugent, Graziano Di Prima – Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2023. (BBC)

BBC Breakfast's Sally Nugent will be joining Graziano Di Prima. She presents BBC Breakfast on BBC One and has covered some of the biggest news and sport stories of the last 20 years. Most recently she is best known for her work with former sports stars who have been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

On her reasons for joining the show, Nugent said: “It was all about timing. I was always too scared to even think about Strictly and it was always one of those things where a lot of people who do my job are doing it and I was always running the other way. But you know what, I just thought it was time to do something lighthearted, fun and happy and escape the real world for a while and get into this bubble of glitter, sequins, happiness and giddiness.”

Jamie Borthwick with Nancy Xu

EastEnders star Jamie Borthwick will hit the dancefloor this year in the Strictly Christmas special. (BBC)EastEnders star Jamie Borthwick will hit the dancefloor this year in the Strictly Christmas special. (BBC)

EastEnders star Jamie Borthwick will hit the dancefloor this year in the Strictly Christmas special. (BBC)

EastEnders star Jamie Borthwick will team up with Nancy Xu.

He is best known for his role as Jay Brown in EastEnders for 17 years. He has received a British Soap Award for 'Best Dramatic Performance by a Young Actor' and an Inside Soap Award for 'Best Actor', and has been nominated for various other TV awards.

Speaking about training for the special, the actor said: “I think I'm a pretty quick learner. I can memorize the steps, which seem relatively easy to me, but mastering them is a whole different thing. We laughed so much, but when it's time for us to work, we do what we need to do. But it's so important that we laugh. I tried to absorb as much as I could while we were together. Seeing the couples dance and rehearsing with everyone else was really so exciting.”

Who is the musical guest on the Strictly Christmas Special 2023?

Sam Ryder will appear in the Strictly Come Dancing 2023 Christmas special, new preview images reveal.

The Space Man singer, who represented Great Britain at the Eurovision Song Contest, will be in the festive mood accompanied by professional dancers from Strictly.

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Christmas Day.


Read more: Strictly Come Dancing