What is The Greatest Dancer? Everything you need to know about the new BBC dancing talent show

Simon Cowell is behind this brand new dance show that will air in the New Year on BBC1

The Greatest Dancer: Oti Mabuse, Matthew Morrison, Cheryl

The Greatest Dancer is coming soon to BBC1.

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But what exactly is this brand new dance and entertainment show all about and how is it going to work?

Below is everything we know so far about who’s presenting, when it’s going to be on our screens and how you can get tickets.

What is The Greatest Dancer?

A pilot for the show was filmed in February at Hammersmith Apollo for a programme called The Greatest Show, which was billed as featuring international stars and giving the audience the power to decide how far the acts went in the competition.

The title has now morphed into The Greatest Dancer, with soloists, duos and groups auditioning on stage. The show will apparently “put the fate of the UK’s best dance acts in your hands” (although whether that’s the studio audience or viewers at home remains to be seen).

A BBC press release about the show said: “From ballet to jazz, hip hop to Bollywood, the show is open to anyone. Expect dramatic auditions, incredible challenges and remarkable live performances as dancers swing, swirl and sashay onto the stage each week in the hope of being named The Greatest Dancer.”

Who are the judges on The Greatest Dancer?

The Greatest Dancer: Oti Mabuse, Matthew Morrison, Cheryl
The Greatest Dancer: Oti Mabuse, Matthew Morrison, Cheryl (BBC/Syco/Thames)

The judges are actually called ‘Dance Captains’, and they have been confirmed as former X Factor judge Cheryl, Glee star Matthew Morrison and Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Oti Mabuse.

Read more about what they had to say on joining the show here.

Who are the presenters of The Greatest Dancer?

The Greatest Dancer Jordan Banjo and Alesha Dixon
The Greatest Dancer Jordan Banjo and Alesha Dixon (BBC/Syco/Thames)

Alesha Dixon is returning to the BBC alongside Jordan Banjo, with the pair confirmed as hosts of The Greatest Dancer.

Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha was the winner of Strictly Come Dancing in 2007, and went on to replace Arlene Phillips as a judge on the show before quitting to join the BGT panel. Jordan, meanwhile, is the Diversity star who was the backstage digital presenter of Dancing on Ice in 2018.

Alesha said: “I can’t wait to be a part of The Greatest Dancer and work with Jordan. As a massive fan of dance I’m so excited about the prospect of finding amazing new dance talent.”

Is Simon Cowell going to be on The Greatest Dancer?

He isn’t going to be a judge, but he is linked to the show. The series is being made by Syco – Simon Cowell’s production company behind both Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor. This will be the first time that Syco have produced a show for the BBC.

Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell (Getty)

When is The Greatest Dancer on TV and how many episodes are there?

The eight-part series kicks off on BBC1 at 8pm on Saturday 5th January – controversially going directly up against ITV’s Saturday night entertainment offering The Voice, which starts on the same day and at exactly the same time. Will viewers be more enticed my the tried and tested formula of The Voice or the pull of the new? By singing or dancing? Only time will tell…

How can I audition?

Unfortunately, applications for the show are now closed. Open auditions were held in London this July, with the filmed segment of the show being recorded in August.

Can I get tickets to watch The Greatest Dancer?

The audition might be closed, but there’s still the option to go and watch the auditions. There are currently audience tickets available via ApplauseStore for Friday 10th August and Saturday 11th August in Birmingham.

What do the winners of The Greatest Dancer get?

The winners of the show will bag a cool £50,000. So that might not be as impressive as the £250,000 the winner of BGT bags for themselves, but it’s certainly not half bad.

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The Greatest Dancer begins on BBC1 at 8pm on Saturday 5th January 2019