Love Island presenter Caroline Flack, who won the series back in 2014, will be partnering with Gorka Marquez in the hope of winning the coveted silver star Christmas trophy.
Caroline says: “I can’t quite believe it’s been four years since I had the best time of my life, dancing with Pasha on the Strictly dance floor. My Glitterball still has pride of place in my living room! It always felt like a family at the SCD studios, so how could I say no to performing one last time on this year’s Christmas special? It’ll be the best present I could imagine.”
Anita Rani – partnered with Neil Jones
Anita Rani in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains (BBC)
Countryfile broadcaster Anita Rani, who competed in 2015 and made it all the way to the semi-finals, will be partnered with group dancer Neil Jones (married to Katya Jones).
Anita says: “I can’t contain my excitement about dancing again and getting sparkly for Strictly, stepping back inside the glitter ball of glam!”
Ann Widdecombe – partnered with Anton du Beke
Providing some festive fun, former politician and Strictly quarter-finalist Ann Widdecombe (of series eight fame) will be dusting off her dancing shoes — and reunited with her former dance partner, Anton du Beke.
Ann says: “I am very much looking forward to returning to Strictly, where I shall once again be pushed, pulled, cajoled and coaxed around the dance floor in all manner of ways by my poor dance partner. Who knows, they might even fire me out of a canon.”
Fingers crossed for another iconic Samba…
Aston Merrygold – partnered with Janette Manrara
Strictly Come Dancing stars Aston Merrygold and Janette Manrara (BBC)
Aston says: “I’m so happy to be able to get back in the Strictly floor. I feel like I’ve got some unfinished business with it!”
Jake Wood – partnered with Luba Mushtuk
EastEnders star and Strictly series 12 semi-finalist Jake Wood will be partnered with one of the show’s new professional dancers, Luba Mushtuk.
Jake says: “It’s been a few years since I donned the sequins so I can’t wait to do it all over again for the Christmas Special. I loved my experience on Strictly Come Dancing and I jumped at the chance when they asked if I wanted to step back onto the dance floor.”
Michael Vaughan – partnered with Nadiya Bychkova
Michael Vaughan (Getty)
A former England cricketer, Michael Vaughan found the transition to dancing tricky back in 2012 — but he’s keen to throw himself back in (and shift some of those Christmas pudding pounds…). He’s partnered with Nadiya Bychkova; his original partner Natalie Lowe has since left the BBC show.
Michael says: “Having not danced at all since 2012 I can’t be any worse than then as I had no clue then, still have no clue, but can’t wait to have some fun and at least it will help lose a few pounds over the Xmas party season!”
Who are the judges in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special?
Is the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special live?
We hate to break it to you, but Tess, Claudia and all of the celebrities and pros aren’t actually going to be coming live from Elstree on 25th December – the show is pre-recorded.
Does the Strictly Christmas special have audio description?
Yes! Strictly may be one of the most popular shows on television, but up until now, technical difficulties have meant that audio description (AD) hasn’t been an option for blind and partially sighted people.
But unlike the regular Strictly series, the BBC will be able to broadcast the Strictly Christmas special with AD as it is pre-recorded.
Following the broadcast on Christmas Day, charity RNIB will be asking members for feedback on the AD to send on to the BBC – including whether viewers would be interested in watching the full series with AD in future, and how well the description captured all the glitz and glamour of the show.
Sadly you’ve missed the boat this year: applications to be in the ballot for the Strictly 2018 Christmas special closed on Friday 2nd November. Check the BBC Shows and Tours website for more information and future events.