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Strictly Christmas special 2023 line-up in full

Sam Ryder will perform as part of the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special 2023 broadcast on Christmas Day.

Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke display their festive score paddles, but will any of the celebrities earn a perfect 40 on the 2023 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special? (BBC)
Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke display their festive score paddles, but will any of the celebrities earn a perfect 40 on the 2023 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special? (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One on Christmas Day 2023, just weeks after Ellie Leach was crowned winner of the main show, with an all-new cast of celebrities lined up to perform festive dances for the judges.

Confirmed to be competing for the Christmas Champion crown on 25 December 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 will have to tune in on Christmas Day to find out which of the celebrity dancers will be crowned the winner.

The Strictly Come Dancing professionals get in the festive spirit for the Christmas Special 2023. (BBC)
The Strictly Come Dancing professionals and their celeb partners get in the festive spirit for the Christmas Special 2023 group number. (BBC)

Each of the six couples will perform a festive-fuelled routine with the hope of impressing the judges, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke, Head Judge Shirley Ballas, and the voting studio audience.

New pictures show the Strictly professional dancers — including Graziano Di Prima, Kai Widdrington, Nancy Xu and Karen Hauer — performing in Christmas jumpers and Alpine-style dresses as they get in the festive spirit.

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

And as if the Strictly studio could get any more sparkly, there is gold and silver glitter aplenty 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 airs on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Christmas Day at 4.40pm.

The show is 75 minutes long, and will be followed on BBC One by the Doctor Who Christmas special: The Church on Ruby Road.

Who will compete 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)

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

Talking about taking part in the show, Tillie said: "You can’t say no to Strictly. I want to prove to myself and other younger people, that you can do anything you put your mind too. Yes I’m an actress and a presenter, but why can’t I dance as well?!"

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)

Former England Rugby player Danny Cipriani has been 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 Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby, and has represented his country many times.

Talking about his reasons for joining the show Cipriani said: "It was something that I definitely wouldn’t have done years ago. But I was with my friend and they said, ‘you have to do it, you love to dance’. I felt it in my chest that it was the right thing to do, so I committed to that and felt like I wanted to do it, so I said yes."

Keisha Buchanan with Gorka Márquez

Sugababes star Keisha Buchanan will be going Round Round on the Strictly dancefloor on Christmas day. (BBC)
Sugababes star Keisha Buchanan will be going Round Round on the Strictly dancefloor on Christmas day. (BBC)

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

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

Buchanan said: "I am so excited to be taking part, and over Christmas too, my favourite time of the year! I am looking forward to learning some new moves and embracing the dancefloor.”

Dan Snow with Nadiya Bychkova

Broadcaster Dan Snow will hope to make history on Strictly. (BBC)
Broadcaster Dan Snow will hope to make history on Strictly. (BBC)

TV historian Dan Snow has been 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 History Hit series. He was was part of the expedition to find Shackleton’s Endurance shipwreck in Antarctica in 2022 and is always on the hunt for new historical discoveries.

Snow said: “I am absolutely terrified about hitting 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 was 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)

BBC Breakfast's Sally Nugent will be paired with Graziano Di Prima. She presents BBC Breakfast on BBC One and she has covered some of the biggest news and sport stories of the last 20 years. Recently she is best known for working 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’ve always been too scared to even think about Strictly, and it’s always been one of those things where lots of people who do my job do it and I’ve always run in the other direction. But you know what, I just thought it was time to do something joyful and fun and happy, and escape from the real world for a little bit, and go into this bubble of glitter, and sequins and happiness and giddiness."

Jamie Borthwick with Nancy Xu

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

EastEnders star Jamie Borthwick will be paired with Nancy Xu.

He is best known for playing Jay Brown in EastEnders for the last 17 years. He on a British Soap Award for "Best Dramatic Performance from a Young Actor or Actress", an Inside Soap Award for “Best Actor” and has been nominated for various other TV accolades.

Talking about training for the special, the actor said: "I think I am quite a quick learner, remembering the steps I find relatively simple, but mastering them is a whole other level. And we’ve had such a laugh, but when it’s time for us to work we do what we need to do. But it’s so important we have a laugh. I’ve tried to absorb as much as I can while we’re together. The couples dancing, and rehearsing with all of the others really has been such a thrill."

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

Sam Ryder will perform as part of the 2023 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special, new preview pictures have revealed.

The Space Man singer — who represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest — will help spread festive cheer accompanied by the Strictly professional dancers.

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


Read more: Strictly Come Dancing