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Christmas line-up revealed

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BBC Strictly Nora | 10:15 UK time, Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Deck the hall with glitterballs, the line-up for our sparkly Strictly Christmas special has been revealed...

Strictly's Christmas line-up

Former world featherweight boxing champion Barry McGuigan will be dancing with Erin Boag, say ho ho ho as Hi-De-Hi legend Su Pollard is partnered with Anton Du Beke. Blue's Simon Webbe is to dance with Katya Virshilas. Comedienne Debra Stephenson is paired with Ian Waite and completing the famous five is EastEnders' Janine Butcher, actress Charlie Brooks, who will take to the floor with Vincent Simone.

Here's what our excitable celebrities had to say...

Barry: "I'm looking forward to Strictly Come Dancing, it's a challenge. I've always considered myself to have two left feet and I want to surprise myself!"

Su: "Strictly Come Dancing is strictly must-see Christmas Day television. I'm hoping to wow the judges and the viewers with my utter exuberance and prowess!"

Simon: "Strictly Come Dancing is one of my mum's favourite shows. It's always nice to learn something new, the dancing part of my brain is dormant and I want to wake it up. I also want to wear something tight and sparkly!"

Debra: "I'm a really big fan of Strictly Come Dancing. I'm very excited to be on the Christmas special and I can't wait to get my dancing shoes on!"

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Loving this line-up and great to have Ian back among the pro dancers.

    Can't wait xx

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm devastated! Looking at the picture I thought Hilary Devey was going to be on! A mean trick :-(

  • Comment number 3.

    wicked a Waite and du beke christmas special bring back the bennetts and you have a full set yipee xxxx Looking forward to christmas special who will be the best simon webbe or barry mcguigan or debbie stephenson or su pollard!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Interesting, Nice to see an Irish person on it Barry Mcguigan. nice to see the look Ian Waite in it

  • Comment number 5.

    So no sign of Matthew then. Either busy (which I hope) or out of favour?

    Good to see Ian back. Why was he dropped - remind me!

  • Comment number 6.

    So pleased Ian Waite is to be included in the Christmas Strictly Come Dancing - he is so popular and should never have been dropped from the show. It would have been great to have included some of the past popular professionals, including Matthew Cutler and the Bennets. It would have been great to have included a real surprise dancer like say Lord Sugar included.

  • Comment number 7.

    Only ever heard of Barry & Sue! Some 'celebrity' lineup!

  • Comment number 8.

    What a mixed bag we have - should be interesting 'though

  • Comment number 9.

    An interesting mixture; delighted that Anton is involved!

  • Comment number 10.

    Surely it is Hilary Devey? Wish they'd bring Rory Bremner back for this show. It was ridiculous to lose him so early this year as he would have brought some humour and colour to the current rather lacklustre lot

  • Comment number 11.

    It's Debra Stephenson impersonating her ;-( Obv. Glad about Ian Waite but Sue Pollard? Really?

  • Comment number 12.

    Surprised too that Rory Bremner didn't agree to come back to dance with Erin would have been great., especially as he decided not to be in the Strictly Tour. Do hope there will be a dance included from the new champions whoever they may be!

  • Comment number 13.

    Anton must be wondering who or what has it in for him.

  • Comment number 14.

    I'm very disappointed with the Pro dancers line up. I've had enough of Anton and Erin now. Time they went, their soooo boring.

  • Comment number 15.

    So pleased Ian is dancing Christmas show but where is Matthew, Darren and Lilia and somebody please tell me why they are not on the show. I still miss them where are they?

  • Comment number 16.

    So pleased Ian is dancing Christmas show but where is Matthew, Darren and Lilia and somebody please tell me why they are not on the show. I still miss them where are they?

    It is lovely to have the lovely Ian waite back, but it would be nice if they brought back the even more lovely Matthew Cutler and the bennetts even for the christmas special or bring them back to the series.

    can anyone answer the question why were Matthew, Ian, Darren and Lilia dropped? or can the BBC answer it.

  • Comment number 17.

    Su Pollard? My, the show must be in trouble.

  • Comment number 18.

    Really happy to see Vincent in the line-up (Ian is lovely too). I hope Charlie can match Louisa Lytton's standard and make Vincent proud, he deserves a good partner!

  • Comment number 19.

    I love when Chelsee's on It Takes Two it makes me less home sick. It's nice to hear a proper north western accent on the telly :oD

  • Comment number 20.

    Hi lostachamp. Re the comment on number 16, I haven't a clue why the professionals you mentioned were dropped. Similarly, Brian Fortuna from two series ago? I agree about Ian and Matthew - all comments seem to suggest we are all loving Ian on It Takes Two. I seem to have missed something somewhere - how do you all know who the professional dancers are for the Christmas show? And who are they?!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    Also, meant to say that I think Zoe is doing a great job on It Takes Two - but please stop the dancing down the stairs at the intro!!!

  • Comment number 22.

    Please ignore comment re professionals for Christmas - just flipped back to the top of the page and have read it!!

  • Comment number 23.

    Patriciapolka, I was just going to tell you that the names are on top of the page when I saw your last comment @22.

    Thank you for answer on my question, because I and the rest of the Strictly Fans that are on thses blogs are being asking this question why were these pros dropped all last year on the blogs and the BBC never answered it, so I think it is time that they did.

    Strictly is not the same without Matthew, Ian, Darren, lilia and Brian( I forgot about Him), But I still watch Strictly

  • Comment number 24.

    Just great to have more dancing on tv! Two series a year, like USA would be grreat!

  • Comment number 25.

    Just great to have more dancing on tv! Two series a year, like USA would be grreat!

    that would be a great idea,Pumpkintoes go we wouldn't have to wait for 9 months for it

  • Comment number 26.

    phoebe lostchachachamp and patriciapolka

    I am also missing the Bennetts and Ian - they were all really good teachers. Why were they dropped? Anyone remember Paul Burns (I think that was his name) from Series 1 who danced with Claire Sweeney?

  • Comment number 27.

    16&22

    Have just googled Brian Fortuna and it seems that he decided to leave the show in June2010 when the BBC changed the format . The change being that,he,Ian,Darren,Matthew and Lilia were told that they would no longer be dancing with the celebrities but perfoming only as professionals.

    No,I don't agree with this decision either.

    I seemed to remember that Brian sort of left under a cloud but couldn't exactly recall the details. Your questions got me wondering so I thought I'd check.

    We still have the others, all be it in a reduced capacity, as regards the full use of their talents. Brian however,who had been with the show for only 2 years ? (correct me if I'm wrong here),felt that this change amounted to a demotion and decided to pursue his career elsewhere.

  • Comment number 28.

    Sorry,patriciapolka, my reply was to your post at 20.
    But thank you and lostchachachamp for raising the question.

    I thought Brian was a breath of fresh air to SCD and was sorry to see him depart so soon.

  • Comment number 29.

    I also think Karen Hardy should definitely be brought back. What a dancer, and who could forget her legendary pairing with Mark Ramprakash. Great to see Ian back. As for the celebrities, mediocre at best. Come on Barry McGuigan, I say.

  • Comment number 30.

    Why can't we have this for a Christmas line up pleeeeeeeeeeease.

    1. Karen Hardy and Mark Rapmrakash doing the Argentine Tango.

    2.Natalie Lowe and Ricky Whittle doing anything except their final dance routine.
    love these two they should have won.

    3. Zoe Ball and Ian Waite doing their best dance to date or one they never got a chance to do.

    4. Brendan and Lisa Foxtrot.

    5. Colin Jackson and Erin Boag quickstep.

    6. Flavia and Vincent doing a Charleston for a change.

    This way Ola can still be rehearsing with Robbie and James with Alex.

  • Comment number 31.

    I have never missed an episode of Strictly but I find it very difficult to get excited about the one-offs as these lack the vital ingredients of long term tension and the ongoing development of celebs' dancing skills.

    By the way I see you are joining the ranks of those who misuse the word "excitable". The celebs may all be excitable, but the correct word is "excited", even though you are making a fairly big assumption.

  • Comment number 32.

    Poor Anton, although to be fair, Su Pollard might turn out to be good, I know it seems highly unlikely but stranger things have happened.
    Bringing back Darren Bennet with Jill Halfpenny to show how the jive should be done would be great, Lilia could dance anything for me, she was great, Karen & Ramps, the Salsa surely, have we seen anything as hot,hot,hot??? Harry and Aliona were good but, the Charleston has to be Ola & Chris Hollins, Team Cola were a surprise win but worthy. As for "excited" v "excitable" I would imagine some of the celebs are very excitable, not so sure if they are excited but they are not really exciting, for me anyway.
    Vincent & Flavia for the Argentine Tango coz no-one does it better ;-)

  • Comment number 33.

    Hope Anton can get Sue to focus. Her entertainment value should be high

  • Comment number 34.

    Thank you Lincoinduncan, for checking it out for us.

  • Comment number 35.

    One off spectaculars rarely live up to their expectations and I don't expect a lot from this one.

    Do the BBC consider Anton to be a talented, serious, dancer or not?

    AW,ND,and now SP. Just wondering aloud! ☺☻☺

  • Comment number 36.

    Agree with teddandgypsy, would have been nice to see Rory Bremner again. As far as I'm concerned he should still be in the main competition.

  • Comment number 37.

    teddyandgypsy, sorry about the spelling mistake above. Just installed new keyboard but can hardly blame it on that, all letters being in the same place!

    Last keyboard was grey/black which drove me mad. Lo and behold my beloved arrived home today with a cream/black keyboard with which I am so familiar and what do I do? I make a typing error!

    And that annoys me, because something which which I am so familiar has seen me fall short of the mark. And the fault is mine.

    So take note BBC!

    SCD has a great following, many loyal fans have been with the programme from the beginning. No one is averse to change for the better, but the changes you are making do no seem to be for the better as far as the majority of people making comments on these blogs are concerned.

    Talented professional dancers told that they will no longer be dancing with the celebrities. Result :- You lose the highly talented and personable Brian Fortuna.

    The time allowed for the public to register their votes is dramatically reduced, not to mention the fiasco a few years ago when Tom Chambers competed.

    The outcome as to who is leaving the competition is decided on Saturday but not broadcast until Sunday and is aired to all intents and purposes as a live show.

    You maintain that the Wembley fiasco was the best thing since white bread, when the majority of us posters on these blogs are choking on our breakfast toast through lack of recognition.

    In the words of one of my favourite songwriters, maybe we "seem to lean on old familiar ways". But if it isn't broken why change it?

    I digress but freelancers tend to do that.

    To return to base. Anton ,hope Sue proves to be a genuine partner so that you no longer have to be the joker of the pack.

  • Comment number 38.

    Talented professional dancers told that they will no longer be dancing with the celebrities. Result :- You lose the highly talented and personable Brian Fortuna.

    Agreed- 3 out of the 5 talented professional dancers told that they will no longer be dancing with celebrities were champions of Strictly .- Series 2 Darren won, Series 3- Lilia won and series 5-Matthew won, They never gave Ian and Brian the chance of winning Strictly.

    The outcome as to who is leaving the competition is decided on Saturday but not broadcast until Sunday and is aired to all intents and purposes as a live show.

    The only thing that BBC should like the DWTS in America is to put up "recorded as live" in the results show who do they think they are fooling when they closed the phone lines at a certain on Saturday night.

  • Comment number 39.

    I think I'll watch the other side?
    This series has been so disappointing. bring back Karen and get some real judges, times fro Aleisha to go ... same comments fro every dancer!!
    Brucie grates me and why oh why does he grab Tess's leg, it looks so staged and stupid but then he always did like the ladies!

    sometimes Yess's dresses fit where they touch, with one creeping higher and higher as the show went on ... ugh!

  • Comment number 40.

    no Hilary what a shame still a good line up :)

  • Comment number 41.

    Lovely to see Ian back in the christmas line up, pity he is'nt on every week

  • Comment number 42.

    Hurrah. Ian Waite is back. I never understood why he was passed over. Perhaps the producers want to exclude all British dancers. A great dancer and personality to match.

  • Comment number 43.

    An interesting selection for Christmas - could be good, and I'm really pleased that Ian Waite is involved.

    I've always thought that the Christmas show is a bit rushed, and that the Beeb could actually allow an extra half hour (or return later in the evening for the results), so as to have more contestants.

    Or, wouldn't it be good to have a "champion of champions" show, where the past winners could all compete against each other? As so far no professional dancer has won twice, there wouldn't be problem from that angle, and it would be great to see which one could win out.

  • Comment number 44.

    Hurrah. Ian Waite is back. I never understood why he was passed over. Perhaps the producers want to exclude all British dancers. A great dancer and personality to match.

    Yes,agree with you. why do they want to exclude all British dancers. I might be wrong in saying this is the United Kingdom home to Ballroom Dancing?

    Or, wouldn't it be good to have a "champion of champions" show, where the past winners could all compete against each other?

    People have been saying this in other blogs to have champion of champions

  • Comment number 45.

    Great post, as ever Lincoln Duncan. And have you seen the Tour line-up? Mark Fostere? Hello? Are they kidding. Who is going to pay money for him - only Tess who acted like a lovestruck teenager when she saw his (very unapealling) chest.

  • Comment number 46.

    Totally agree teddyandgypsy.
    He's probably there just to make up the numbers.
    But then here's a thought. BBC could decide to tweek the format yet again and have a few celebrity dancers paired up.
    After all we know they like to profile the comedy side of the show.
    That way, perhaps Mark and Nancy could give it a twirl, because she's about as good a dancer as he deserves.
    He didn't exactly set the world on fire or anything else for that matter, with the exception of Tess's blood pressure which still doesn't seem to have returned to normal.
    But then, other chests have followed that of Mark, so I guess there's no hope of a recovery for the poor girl.
    Occupational hazard I suppose.

  • Comment number 47.

    Poor ol Anton drawn the short straw again

  • Comment number 48.

    Marion 47 I cannot help but think that Anton is fine being partnered with someone whose playing things for the comedy aspect - I'm sure that he wouldn't agree to taking part if he was concerned. Having said that I'm sure in the next series he will be given a partner who will give him a chance to go a long way in the show. I think it would be far better that the producers pick celebs who want to learn to dance and that way there would be no problems as long as height issue etc are taken into account.

  • Comment number 49.

    Well, I suppose they could consider Dom (don't mess with me) Littlewood, Rav (beefcake) Wilding, Gary (I cook so I can dance) Rhodes and Craig (have I mentioned I come from Blackpool).

  • Comment number 50.

    And I forgot Esther (my teeth could eat you all up) Rantzen, Carole (I am so important) Vorderman and Jan (I have a sense of humour in real life) Ravens

  • Comment number 51.

    How is the line-up for the show chosen?

    Can we ask to see our favourite stars?

    Personally I'd like to see Ben Mansfield of Andrew-Lee Potts on Strictly.

  • Comment number 52.

    there used to be a Champion of Champions Show at Christmas until a few years ago, no new celebrities involved. not sure why this was stopped

  • Comment number 53.

    Great line up!! Love the dancing and glamour! Can't wait!!

  • Comment number 54.

    Great, we get Ian dancing again. Can we have Matthew back as well please

 

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