Can Strictly history help to predict the 2023 winner?

Bobby Brazier, Ellie Leach and Layton Williams have made it through to this year's final

Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola are in the Strictly final. (BBC)
Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola are in the Strictly final. (BBC)

Strictly’s 2023 final is fast approaching, with three celebs left in the running.

Model and actor Bobby Brazier, Corrie's Ellie Leach and actor and singer Layton Williams are set to go head-to-head in the glittering finale at the weekend, in the hope of getting their hands on the BBC ballroom show’s coveted Glitterball trophy.

The win looks to be anybody’s at this stage, with all three of the contestants having put in some stunning performances across this series. But is it possible to predict who might be the frontrunner by looking at previous winners?

Do men or women win Strictly more?

Strictly 2023 sees two men and one woman left in the competition for the final show. Historically, more women have got to the final (53%) but men have won more often (60%) - this points to a win for Layton or Bobby this year.

Is age a factor in who wins Strictly?

Brazier is the youngest contestant left at just 20, Leach is 22 and Williams is 29 – but is age a factor when it comes to Strictly winners?

Data shows that 2023's finalists are outliers when it comes to age. The final trio are all actually pretty young to have made it to this stage, as the average age of winners and finalists is 43. Broken down further, the average age for the winners historically is 41 for women and 44 for men.

Strictly Come Dancing 2023,09-12-2023,TX12 - LIVE SHOW,Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin,BBC,Guy Levy
Layton Williams and his pro partner Nikita Kuzmin. (BBC)

If Strictly follows this trend, the data points to a win for Layton Williams - the oldest contestant left on the show.

What sort of star usually wins Strictly?

Over the years there have been 20 Strictly winners with newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky taking home the first glitterball trophy in 2004.

In recent years the show has hosted a mix of actors, TV stars, singers, sports stars and online personalities. But most of the time finalists and winners are from the acting or presenting fields. This doesn't help to predict 2023's winner as all three are actors.

Strictly Come Dancing 2023,18-11-2023,TX9 - LIVE SHOW,Dianne Buswell & Bobby Brazier,BBC,Guy Levy
Bobby Brazier is the youngest person left in the BBC ballroom contest. (BBC)

There have been some notable exceptions, with a flurry of stars from the sports world doing well — in 2012 gymnast Louis Smith was the champ and cricketer Mark Ramprakash lifted the Glitterball in 2006. However, figures show that 60% of finalists or winners are either actors or presenters.

How diverse have the Strictly winners been?

Strictly Come Dancing has always made efforts to address and promote diversity, by using a more diverse cast of celebrity contestants from various backgrounds, ethnicities, and professions. They've also introduced more diverse professional dancers to the lineup.

And the data shows that a quarter of finalists and a quarter of winners have a diverse background.

Male finalists are actually more likely to have a diverse background than female finalists (30% against 23%). And although a third of male winners had a diverse background, only 13% of female winners did.

Who has won Strictly?

Strictly Come Dancing 2022,17-12-2022,Strictly Final,TX13,Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal,LIVE SHOW,BBC,Guy Levy
Hamza Yassin and pro partner Jowita Przystal won the 2022 series. (BBC)
  • 2004 - Natasha Kaplinsky

  • 2005 - Jill Halfpenny

  • 2005 - Darren Gough

  • 2006 - Mark Ramprakash

  • 2007 - Alesha Dixon

  • 2008 - Tom Chambers

  • 2009 - Chris Hollins

  • 2010 - Kara Tointon

  • 2011 - Harry Judd

  • 2012 - Louis Smith

  • 2013 - Abbey Clancy

  • 2014 - Caroline Flack

  • 2015 - Jay McGuiness

  • 2016 - Ore Oduba

  • 2017 - Joe McFadden

  • 2018 - Stacey Dooley

  • 2019 - Kelvin Fletcher

  • 2020 - Bill Bailey

  • 2021 - Rose Ayling-Ellis

  • 2022 - Hamza Yassin

The final will see each pair taking to the dancefloor three times.

Brazier and his partner Dianne Buswell, Leach and her partner Vito Coppola and Williams and his dance partner Nikita Kuzmin will each perform a favourite dance, a show dance and a judges’ pick.

Data analysis and visualisation by Isabelle Marchand

Strictly Come Dancing’s grand final is on Saturday, 16 December from 7pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Read more: Strictly

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