Who is Strictly Come Dancing celebrity contestant Debbie McGee? Strictly finalist returning for 2019 Christmas special

McGee is back to take on Strictly once more...

Debbie McGee Kevin Strictly Christmas special (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas 2019: Debbie McGee

Age: 61

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Twitter: @thedebbiemcgee

Which Strictly professional has Debbie been paired with? Kevin Clifton

Who was she partnered with before? Giovanni Pernice

Where did Debbie McGee place? Debbie reached the finals in 2017

Strictly Come Dancing Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice

What is Debbie McGee famous for?

Surrey-born McGee started out her career in showbiz as a ballet dancer.

At 16, McGee won a place at the Royal Ballet School, and after graduating she joined the Iranian National Ballet in Tehran. McGee later became part of the Corps de Ballet and a soloist, but her ballet career came to a sudden halt when she had to flee the Iranian Revolution, Argo-style, in 1979. 

Strictly Come Dancing Debbie McGee

On returning to the UK, McGee landed a job performing on stage with magician Paul Daniels – who has been called “The Godfather of Modern Magic”. The pair later appeared on his BBC series The Paul Daniels Magic Show. Together, they were thrust into international fame and she became known as “the lovely Debbie McGee”, as Daniels affectionally referred to her on stage.

Daniels, who also appeared on Strictly in 2010, passed away last year.

The famous couple were the subject of a BBC2 Louis Theroux documentary in 2000, called When Louis Met… Paul and Debbie.

McGee has done her fair share of reality television, having appeared on Celebrity Wife Swap, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and the celebrity version of Come Dine With Me, to name a few.

What is Debbie McGee dancing in the Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Christmas special?

McGee will be dancing a Quickstep to ‘Jingle Bells’ by Frank Sinatra.

What has Debbie McGee had to say about returning to Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Christmas special?

McGee is excited to have returned with new partner Clifton.

“I think it’s easier because you’ve been through the whole thing, you know, I had four months on the series and then I did the arena tour. So, it’s going with a new partner is easier because you’re not a complete novice, you’ve done all the techniques through the series and I think that’s an advantage,” she said.

“We haven’t had much time to rehearse, it would be much more difficult if Kevin had to really go into detail on every single thing. Whereas, you’ve reminded me of techniques and he’s taught me, given me some new tips, taught me a few new steps like on the locks thing and the kicking my leg which I didn’t know before.

So, he’s actually pushed me a little bit further sometimes, nearly killed me off some days!”

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Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2019 airs Christmas Day at 4.40pm on BBC One