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Who won the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special 2023?

Six celebrities took part in the Strictly festive special, but only one emerged victorious

Jamie Borthwick and Nancy Xu - Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2023 (BBC)
Jamie Borthwick and Nancy Xu - Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2023 (BBC)

EastEnders star Jamie Borthwick and Nancy Xu are the winners of the 2023 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special.

The Jay Brown actor scored a perfect 40, and claimed the festive Strictly title after dazzling the judges and the audience with his Christmassy dance routine to claim the Strictly Silver Star trophy.

The couple impressed Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood dancing the Quickstep to Shakin' Stevens' Merry Christmas, Everyone, and were crowned by hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman after winning the combined judges and audience vote.

Celebrating his win, Borthwick said "This is great, it’s been a wonderful experience, but we’re all winners here. This show is magic."

Nancy Xu and Jamie Borthwick danced a festive quickstep on the Strictly Christmas special. (BBC)
Nancy Xu and Jamie Borthwick danced a festive quickstep on the Strictly Christmas special. (BBC)

Talking about Jamie and Nancy's performance, head judge Shirley Ballas said “If I could jump over this bar and quickstep around the room I would do it with you! I don’t have a paddle high enough for you.” Motsi Mabuse called their routine "the surprise of the evening and a perfect end,” while Anton Du Beke also called them "a surprise and a delight". Even the panel's most Grinch-like judge said: "Jamie you sleighed me darling, you were Fab-U-Lous!"

Also taking part in the show was broadcaster and historian Dan Snow, BBC Breakfast's Sally Nugent, Waterloo Road star Tillie Amartey, former rugby player Danny Cipriani, and Sugababe Keisha Buchanan.

Neil Jones, Tillie Amartey performing the Jive on Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special. (BBC)
Neil Jones, Tillie Amartey performing the Jive on Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special. (BBC)

Tillie, partnered with Neil Jones, danced a Jive to Underneath the Tree coming second in the judges' leaderboard. Dan Snow also danced a Jive with his partner Nadiya Bychkova to All I Want For Christmas. Sally Nugent and her partner Graziano Di Prima danced the Foxtrot to the Ella Fitzgerald version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, while Danny Cipriani and partner Jowita did the Cha Cha Cha to Celebration. Keisha and partner Gorka Marquez danced the Viennese Waltz to Snowman.


Strictly Christmas Special 2023 leaderboard

  • Jamie Borthwick and Nancy Xu - 40

  • Tillie Amartey and Neil Jones - 39

  • Sally Nugent and Graziano Di Prima - 38

  • Danny Cipriani and Jowita Przystał - 37

  • Keisha Buchanan and Gorka Marquez - 33

  • Dan Snow and Nadiya Bychkova - 30

Eurovison star Sam Ryder also performed his new single You’re Christmas To Me, accompanied by professional dancers Giovanni Pernice, Lauren Oakley, Kai Widdrington and Luba Mushtuk. To close the show in true Strictly style, the couples and judges all graced the ballroom once more for a Christmas cracker of a performance to What Christmas Means to Me.

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special is streaming on BBC iPlayer.