Strictly's Christmas special confirmed celebs - Anne-Marie and Moira Stuart announced

Anne-Marie and Moira Stuart have joined the cast. (BBC)
Anne-Marie and Moira Stuart have joined the cast. (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing has begun announcing the celebrities who will star in this year's Christmas special.

Anne-Marie and Moira Stuart became the latest contestants announced on Strictly: It Takes Two on Thursday night.

Read more: Strictly's 5 former theme weeks that have been scrapped

Popstar Anne-Marie will be partnered with Graziano Di Prima and spoke about her excitement at taking part.

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 18/09/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Launch Show (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Anne-Marie - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Anne-Marie recently sang on 'Strictly'. (BBC/Guy Levy)

She said: “I’m excited to take part in the Strictly Christmas special. I love the show, and who would turn down a dance with Graziano?!”

Moira Stuart, a veteran newsreader and presenter, will dance with Aljaz Skorjanec at Christmas.

Moira Stuart arriving for the Philips British Academy Television Awards at the Grosvenor House, 90 Park Lane, London.   (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Moira Stuart loves to dance. (Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

She said: “I’m really looking forward to the Strictly Christmas special. I've loved dancing for as long as I can remember. In fact it even helped me try to keep warm in my early coldwater flat..."

Earlier in the week, former Bake Off presenter Mel Giedroyc was announced for the festive show.

She is known for her on-screen partnership with Sue Perkins, but when she takes to the Strictly ballroom she will be paired with pro dancer Neil Jones.

Mel Giedroyc talks Bake Off with Jonathan Ross. (REX/Shutterstock)
Mel Giedroyc will dance with Neil Jones. (REX/Shutterstock)

Giedroyc, who also hosts Children In Need, said: "I don’t think I’ve been this excited about Christmas since I got my first guinea-pig from Santa in 1978."

They join First Dates restaurateur Fred Sirieix and The Repair Shop star Jay Blades who were the first two celebrities announced for the Christmas special.

'Strictly' will welcome six couples to the festive ballroom. (BBC)
'Strictly' will welcome six couples to the festive ballroom. (BBC)

Giedroyc, Sirieix and Blades will dance in the one-off Christmas Day contest with three other yet-to-be-announced celebrities to see who will be crowned Christmas champion 2021.

Gino, Gordon and Fred star Sirieix has been paired with pro dancer Dianne Buswell and said: "I absolutely love Christmas so I’m delighted to be taking part in the Strictly Christmas special and to be partnered with the magnificent Dianne.

Fred Sirieix will dance with Dianne Buswell. (Getty Images)
Fred Sirieix will dance with Dianne Buswell. (Getty Images)

"I hope my dance moves bring some Christmas joy to everybody watching at home and don’t make the judges say 'Bah, Humbug!'"

Meanwhile, furniture restorer and presenter Blades will dance with Luba Mushtuk and said: "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!

"It’s a show that I’ve always admired, and I can’t wait to see how I perform!"

Jay Blades attending the TV Choice Awards held at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, London. (Photo by Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images)
Jay Blades will partner Luba Mushtuk. (Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images)

Both celebrities were announced for the Christmas episode during Monday's Strictly: It Takes Two, with further names expected to be revealed throughout the week.

The six couples competing will dance festive-themed routines for judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood and Anton Du Beke.

Read more: Strictly 2021 couples share their most stressful moments so far

Unlike the main series, the show will be prerecorded rather than live, meaning that votes come from the studio audience rather than viewers at home.

Strictly's Christmas special can be a predictor of who might take part in the main show in years to come, so look out for any particularly talented celebrities who might just pop up in the 2022 series.

At the weekend, Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden became the latest couple to be voted out of the 2021 series, with Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice the current bookies' favourites to win.

Strictly's Christmas special airs on BBC One on Christmas Day

Watch: Strictly 2021 stars share their most inspiring former contestants