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Strictly Come Dancing announces Christmas countdown episode

EastEnders star Jake Wood in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special
(Image credit: BBC / Guy Levy)

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special 2020 might not be happening, but there is something for fans to look forward to

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special 2020 looks unlikely to happen because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The BBC had planned for there to be a Strictly Come Dancing special as usual this year, however the pandemic has ruined that part of their Christmas TV (opens in new tab) plan. It’s not been officially confirmed that there won’t be a festive special on Christmas Day, but it’s looking unlikely.

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Christmas special

Debbie McGee took part in last year's Strictly Christmas special (Image credit: BBC/Guy Levy)

However, it’s not all bad news for Strictly fans as the BBC has announced a replacement show.

Strictly: The Christmas Countdown will see the BBC1 hit reveal the 25 most memorable dances of all time as voted for by the viewers.

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will front the run down. And they will be joined by the judges and professional dancers as they count down to see what will be voted the most memorable Strictly dance of all time.

It might not the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special 2020 everyone had hoped for, but it does sound like a lot of fun. Viewers will have to decide whether they most love the perfect 40 scores, the trophy-winning routines or just the dances which made them laugh most.

The news comes as the BBC announced recently that filming has started on the Call the Midwife Christmas 2020 special (opens in new tab).

Filming had been halted back in March on Call the Midwife, but filming has now restarted and that means we will get an episode on Christmas Day as usual.

Meanwhile, Strictly Come Dancing 2020 (opens in new tab) will be going ahead as normal, although the practicalities of filming it during a pandemic has meant the run is shorter than usual. Among the names rumoured to be taking part are Myleene Klass and Made In Chelsea Star Jamie Laing, who was forced to pull out last year after suffering an injury during rehearsals.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special 2020 is unlikely to happen. But Strictly: The Christmas Countdown is going out! (See our TV guide nearer the time for all your Christmas telly viewing).

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.


Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 


David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.


Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!