Strictly Come Dancing crowns its Christmas special 2022 winner

Coronation Street star Alexandra Mardell is 2022's Strictly Christmas Champion

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The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special has crowned a winner. (BBC) (BBC/Guy Levy)

Alexandra Mardell admitted she was 'shocked' as she was crowned the winner of the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special.

The actor — who is best known for playing Emma Brooker in Coronation Street — waltzed her way to victory with her pro partner Kai Widdrington.

Mardell faced strong competition from Larry Lamb, Rosie Ramsey, George Webster, Ricky Haywood-Williams and Girl's Aloud star Nicola Roberts in the festive instalment of the BBC ballroom show.

Read more: All the winners and finalists of Strictly Come Dancing

But she and Widdrington wowed the judges and the studio audience with their brilliant Quickstep to Sleigh Ride by The Ronettes.

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Alexandra Mardell and Kai Widdrington danced their way to victory. (BBC) (BBC/Guy Levy)

“I am so shocked, I cannot thank you enough,” the actor said after the pair lifted the coveted Strictly Silver Star trophy.

“I’m so happy about that, I did that for you [Kai] as well, I can’t believe it.”

The Christmas special was hosted by the show's usual presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, with judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and Shirley Ballas keeping an eye on all of the festive footwork.

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Bruno Tonioli returned for a musical performance. (BBC) (BBC/Guy Levy)

The instalment also saw the return of former Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli for a special musical performance.

Tonioli was one of the original judges but missed the 2021 series because COVID restrictions made it hard for him to travel back and forth to the US to do Dancing With The Stars.

He went on to bow out this year, with Du Beke taking his seat on the panel.

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Judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke during the festive special. (BBC) (BBC/Guy Levy)

But he was back on stage to sing his version of Don’t Leave Me This Way by The Communards, accompanied by professional dancers Dianne Buswell, Cameron Lombard, Nikita Kuzmin, Michelle Tsiakkas, Karen Hauer and Lauren Oakley.

Read more: Hamza Yassin says he feels 'happier and healthier' after Strictly weight loss

The episode also included a group routine to a festive medley of Let It Snow, The Nutcracker Suite and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

Watch: See Craig Revel Horwood in I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Ear