— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) November 25, 2021
We are down to the final five couples as the 19th series of Strictly Come Dancing reaches the quarter-final stage – but only three can make it to the final. While the Strictly Odds 2021 are currently in the favour of EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and her partner, Giovanni Pernice, it won’t be long before the glitterball is in the winner’s hands and attention turns to the Christmas Special.
This year’s bonus festive edition will be televised on Christmas Day and, while the time is yet to be confirmed, the celebrities taking place are.
So, who will be attempting a Christmas Cha-Cha? Read on to find out more.
Better known for presenting The Repair Shop, this year Jay Blades will waltz away from the workshop floor to the dancefloor – and was also the first celebrity revealed to be on the show! Partnered with professional dancer Luba Mushtuk, who previously won the 2018 Children in Need Special with Shane Lynch, there are high hopes for the couple – although Blades has already revealed his excitement:
“I’m super excited, times two! One, because I’m going to learn a new dance apart from the ‘Dad’ dance, and two because I’m going to be on Strictly!”
Adrian Chiles will be swapping 5 Live for the Foxtrot. The broadcaster and writer was the most recent – and final – celebrity confirmed to be participating in the Christmas show. He will be partnered with Jowita Przystal, who only joined the main show this year, after winning The Greatest Dancer and consequently bagging a place on Strictly. However, she did not pair up with a celebrity in the current series.
Mel Giedroyc was the third celebrity revealed to be taking part in the Christmas show. The presenter and comedian will be paired with Neil Jones, as they battle it out for the coveted Glitterball Trophy. Professional dancer Jones was the first to be eliminated from this year’s series, and will be hoping for a better score than 18 – the final result that he and Nina Wadia received for their tango, shortly before being eliminated.
For one night only, it will be goodbye pop stardom and hello paso doble, as nine-time BRIT award nominee Anne Marie will take part in the Christmas special of Strictly. Musicians usually fare quite well on the show, with the likes of Alesha Dixon, Harry Judd and Jay McGuiness winning in the past – and the singer has been matched up with Graziano Di Prima. The Italian was eliminated in round six this series, and will hope to be considered among the Strictly Come Dancing tips for this year’s special.
He may be best known for matchmaking at his First Dates restaurant, but Fred Sirieix will be eager to see if his cupid skills transfer to the dancefloor, in the hope that the judges fall in love with his moves! Partnered with Dianne Buswell, who was a runner-up in 2018, Sirieix said:
“I hope my dance moves bring some Christmas joy to everybody watching at home and don’t make the judges say, Bah, Humbug!”
At 72 years old, Moira Stuart is among one of the oldest Strictly Come Dancing contestants. However, she will be swapping the newsroom for the ballroom for one night. Stuart has been partnered with Aljaž Škorjanec, who is no stranger to lifting the glitterball trophy – having won series 11 with Abbey Clancy!
The judges have also been announced – Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, (the head judge) Shirley Ballas, and Anton Du Beke will make up the panel. For this Christmas special, it won’t be down to the judges, and instead, the studio audience will be voting on the winner. But, who will lift the Silver Star trophy?