Taking the floor – Eurovision Dance Contest
Fifty two years after the launch of the Eurovision Song Contest, a brand new Euro-show is set to sashay onto BBC One this autumn – take your partners for the sequinned splendour of the very first Eurovision Dance Contest.
The BBC will be the host for the event at BBC Television Centre, London and the viewing public will be the judges for the spectacular competition, featuring dancing couples from 16 countries across Europe – Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Ukraine and, of course, the UK.
The two and a quarter hour special, to be shown in September, will be a major BBC One Saturday night event, presented by Graham Norton and Claudia Winkleman.
Following her successful run hosting Strictly Come Dancing's sister show It Takes Two, Claudia Winkleman was the perfect choice to host the glitzy event alongside Graham.
Claudia said: "I'm so excited about doing this show, I actually feel sick. I love Graham and I can't believe I'm going to get to stand next to him all night long. The dancing promises to be fantastic. I'm secretly hoping for clogs."
Fresh from their stint as judges on Strictly Come Dancing and fast becoming a double act themselves, top choreographer Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman (a former dancer himself) will be on hand as expert commentators to dissect the performances and artistic content.
Viewers will be asked to vote on the overall performance: dancing, choreography, costume and choice of music.
Eurovision Dance Contest will see professional and amateur dancers compete for the international crown. They will perform two dances – one a choice of traditional Latin or Ballroom, the other one a freestyle dance reflecting their National culture.
Like the Eurovision Song Contest, the show will be live, unpredictable, with a scoreboard, foreign hosts – and, who knows, perhaps an infamous, "nul points".
Peter Fincham, Controller, BBC One, said: "The Eurovision Song Contest has been a remarkable, long standing success on BBC One. Eurovision Dance Contest is its natural partner.
"I'm looking forward to an evening full of stars and sequins, and glitz and glamour – a great night of family entertainment on BBC One."
Eurovision Dance Contest is a co-production between Splash Media and Sunset + Vine with assistance from the International DanceSport Federation and in association with the European Broadcasting Union.
Jane Lush and Fenia Vardanis of Splash Media were the two main creators of the BBC's highly-successful format Strictly Come Dancing.
Sunset + Vine is the UK's leading independent sports production company specialising in live events.
Eurovision Dance Contest is commissioned by Elaine Bedell, Controller, Entertainment Commissioning, and Peter Fincham.
Jane Lush said: "We are in the midst of a dancing obsession in the UK and the Eurovision Dance Contest takes this to an international level. Surely we can hope to get more than nul points!"
Fenia Vardanis said: "The competition will be intense ... but and perhaps, just maybe, this is one competition we actually stand a chance of winning!"
Notes to Editors
At present there is no more information available on Eurovision Dance Contest.
Press accreditation is not finalised as yet, and will not open until nearer the time of broadcast.