'Strictly Come Dancing': 5 former themed weeks that have been scrapped

Strictly's theme weeks have included some forgotten gems over the years. (BBC)
Strictly's theme weeks have included some forgotten gems over the years. (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing's theme weeks have become a highlight of the series for contestants and viewers alike, with movies, musicals and (non-COVID times) Blackpool weeks all eagerly anticipated.

But viewers may have forgotten about Strictly dabbling in a few other themes over the years that have been dropped in favour of the most popular special episodes.

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We take a look back over the Strictly theme weeks that time forgot - how many do you remember?

Best of Britain (2011)

Chelsee Healey looked to the Spice Girls for Best of Britain week. (BBC)
Chelsee Healey looked to the Spice Girls for Best of Britain week. (BBC)

Back in series nine, the class of 2011 didn't just go on tour to Blackpool (where the final was held that year) - they also took a trip up to Wembley Arena.

The occasion was Best of Britain, a one-time-only theme that took place in week eight and saw couples dance to numbers from Elton John, Spice Girls, Wham! and Robbie Williams.

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Highlights included Chelsee Healey and Pasha Kovalev's Samba to Spice Up Your Life, series champions Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani's Salsa to I'm Still Standing, and Alex Jones and James Jordan's Tango to Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Relax.

It also saw Russell Grant and Flavia Cacace crash out of the competition after their Jive to S Club 7's Reach.

Dance Through the Decades (2012)

By series 10, show bosses had obviously fallen for the allure of a theme week as there were two one-off episodes included - beginning with Dance Through the Decades.

The show returned to Wembley Arena to take a trip back through time with routines inspired by iconic eras and their music.

Best couple on the night was Denise Van Outen and James Jordan, who scored a near-perfect 39 points for their Charleston to Walk Like An Egyptian by the 40s-inspired vocal trio The Puppini Sisters.

Other couples danced to a soundtrack including Car Wash, Jailhouse Rock and Club Tropicana, although the show hasn't been tempted to repeat the theme since.

Dance Fusion (2012)

By the series 10 quarter-final, the show still hadn't quite finished with theme weeks as they presented the madcap Dance Fusion episode.

It involved a mash-up of two different dance styles for each couple, with Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev way out in front scoring 40 points for their Cha Cha Cha and Tango to It's Raining Men.

Less successful was Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer's bizarre pairing of an American Smooth with a Samba to Olly Murs' Troublemaker which saw them eliminated from the competition.

It was a lot to pack two different techniques into one short routine and the experiment has not been repeated.

Love Week (2013)

The following year, Strictly mixed things up yet again with another new theme - Love week, which took place in just the third live show.

Its value as a dance theme was questionable, with most of the inspiration seeming to come via the soundtrack of love songs.

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However, Love week obviously kindled some sparks for two of the couples, as Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev, and Ben Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff ended up getting together after the series and are still in relationships now.

Around the World (2014)

The last time we saw a contrived theme week was back in series 12, when the 2014 couples were assigned countries to inspire their dances.

However, rather than taking inspiration from the countries' traditional dance styles, the theme related more to costumes and styling as the dancers chose from their usual genres.

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Series winners Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev did particularly well with their Turkish-themed Charleston, now a classic Strictly moment, while Pixie Lott with her confusingly Dutch-themed Viennese Waltz and Simon Webbe's Austrian-inspired Waltz weren't far behind.

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