Who is Denise Lewis? Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special contestant guide

If you don't remember her from series two, you might have caught her providing expert commentary as an athletics pundit


Gold medal winning Olympic heptathlete Denise Lewis will return to the dance floor for the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special, having come runner-up in Strictly’s second series in 2004.


Who was her original Strictly partner?


Lewis previously paired up with Ian Waite, who has now taken a step back from competing and serves as the dance expert on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two.

Back in 2004, she made a promising start in the competition, coming top of the leader board for the first few weeks. But she was eventually beaten into second place by Jill Halfpenny, she of the famous jive.

Less than two weeks after finishing Strictly Come Dancing, she and Waite returned to the dance floor for the Strictly Come Dancing Champion of Champions special, which saw finalists from the first two series competing against each other. Halfpenny won again.

Is she a contender?

Lewis was good from the start, scoring 31 in her first week. The only dance where she struggled was the jive, but on the whole she excelled in both Latin and ballroom. A Quickstep to Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman in the final earned Lewis and Waite their highest score of 38.

But it has been 14 years since Lewis was on Strictly – so it will be interesting to see whether the muscle memory kicks in and it all comes flooding back.

What has she been doing since Strictly?

Retired heptathlete Lewis, 44, is now a regular athletics pundit for BBC Television and took part in the coverage for London 2012 and Rio 2016. She has also enjoyed forays into TV presenting, hosting Right on the Money and Secret Britain.

Who will Denise Lewis be dancing with in the Christmas special?

Lewis will be dancing with Anton Du Beke – one of only two professional dancers still remaining from 2004 (the other is Brendan Cole).


This year’s Christmas special will air on Christmas Day at 6.45pm on BBC1