This year, Strictly Come Dancing will be celebrating a big landmark – as the ballroom extravaganza marks two decades on our screens.


The very first run of the show began almost exactly 20 years ago, in May 2004, before moving to its now traditional slot in the final quarter of the year from season 2 onwards.

With that in mind, you might wonder if there were any special surprises in store for when the series returns to our screens later in 2024 – and that question was put to long-standing presenter Tess Daly at the BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises after the show picked up the award for Best Entertainment Programme.

Speaking to and other press in the winners' room, Tess said: "We hope so, because it's a big year for us."

While she didn't give too much away about what those surprises might entail – with co-host Claudia Winkleman pointing out that executive producer Sarah James was the person to ask as far as that was concerned – it certainly wouldn't be a surprise to see the beloved show pulling out all the stops to celebrate the milestone.

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Meanwhile, Claudia also spoke about how much of a "privilege" it was to be involved with Strictly, referring to some of the letters she and Tess receive from fans of the series.

"It's one of those shows where I believe whole families watch, so we get lovely letters from grandparents with their grandchildren [saying], 'I had to babysit and they were grumpy but then they saw a cha-cha and they love Shirley [Ballas] and they love Craig [Revel Horwood],' or however it works," she explained.

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"So it's an honour, but we never take it for granted that people will come, so every year we're like, 'Fingers crossed.' But it feels like a snow globe of a show, and it feels like the marker that it's Christmas soon!"

She added: "The magic really is in the team, because they keep changing it, it evolves, it doesn't just stay the same.

"But every single person who works on that show are the very best at what they do, whether it's lighting, hair, make-up – I mean, the band is the greatest live band."

Tess added that they were both "grateful" to all the fans that tell them how much they look forward to the show.

"To be a part of that, something that's celebratory in tone – there's no other agenda, we are just celebrating, that's it," she said.

"And it feels joyful, and it feels like a gift to be part of something like that - especially in the current climate, it feels like a gift."

Strictly Come Dancing will return for season 22 later in 2024.


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