Former Strictly contestants heading back to the ballroom for Christmas special

Six former celebrity dancers are returning for the festive spectacular

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Strictly Come Dancing’s celebrity line-up for the 2017 Christmas special has been revealed, and six former contestants are bravely going back into the ballroom.

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Judy Murray, Jeremy Vine, Katie Derham, Kimberley Walsh, Colin Jackson and Robbie Savage will all be competing to be crowned Strictly’s festive champion in the one-off show, which will no doubt be airing on Christmas Day.

Former Girls Aloud star Kimberley is going to be dancing again with Pasha Kovalev. The pair finished as runners-up in the 2012 series of Strictly, losing out to Louis Smith in the final.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be getting my dancing shoes on again for the Strictly Christmas special. I loved my time on Strictly so much so it’s going to be wonderful to be back in the Strictly bubble for Christmas!” the singer and West End star said.

But she’s not the only one revisiting an old partner. Jeremy Vine – the BBC Radio 2 presenter and former Strictly columnist for Radio Times – will also be dancing with Karen Clifton, who he entertained audiences with in series 13.

Fellow series 13 alumna Katie Derham has also signed up for the festive special. The BBC Radio 3 and Proms presenter, who made it to the final with Anton Du Beke in 2015, is now swapping one veteran pro for another as she dances with Brendan Cole.

“Being parachuted onto planet Strictly two years ago was the most joyful, challenging but hilarious and brilliant thing I’ve ever done,” she said. “I cannot wait to dust off the sequins and get back in the training room.”

Another former partner of Anton’s, tennis ace Judy will also be returning for another shot at glitterball glory. “I’m thrilled to bits to be part of Strictly’s Christmas Special,” she said. “I promise to be every bit as bad as before and to enjoy it every bit as much.”

Footballer Robbie Savage joked that despite it being six years since he was on Strictly, he was “still as bad as I was then”. We can already hear the Strictly ding-dong disaaaaaaster from Craig.

The full pairings for the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special are as follows:

Judy Murray and Neil Jones

Jeremy Vine and Karen Clifton

Robbie Savage and Dianne Buswell

Katie Derham and Brendan Cole

Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev

Colin Jackson and Amy Dowden

Presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will be hosting the festive special, while judges Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Shirley Ballas will all be critiquing the routines which each tell “the story of what everyone loves about Christmas”.

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So we’re thinking we can expect dances about leftover turkey, fighting over Scrabble and circling the best TV in the Radio Times Christmas issue.