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'Strictly Come Dancing' Christmas 2021 special line-up and everything we know

Strictly Come Dancing judges Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse
(Image credit: ITV)

Strictly is entering its final few weeks, but don't worry, because a seasonal special of the much-loved dancing competition — Strictly Come Dancing Christmas 2021 — is heading to our screens in December.

The Christmas TV news was first confirmed by It Takes Two host Rylan Clark-Neal, who said: "It's official — the Strictly Christmas special is coming back to your screens, guys" during a recent episode of the spin-off programme. So it's sure to brighten up those cold, cosy winter nights in and we can't wait to see it!

Here's everything we know about the special so far...

'Strictly Come Dancing' Christmas 2021 release date

The BBC has confirmed it will air on Christmas Day (see our Christmas TV Guide for a full rundown of everything on), with the episode pre-recorded so those involved can also enjoy some celebrations at home!

They revealed: "Marking the end of the latest incredible series of sparkles and show-stopping moments, Strictly Come Dancing returns with a special one-off programme on Christmas Day, recording in advance on Tuesday 7 December."

Which celebrities are taking part?

Here's all the confirmed celebrities so far...

Jay Blades

Jay Blades

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jay Blades is the first confirmed name to take part in this year's Christmas special. He is a modern furniture restorer and presenter, known for his work on BBC shows The Repair Shop and Money for Nothing. He will be paired with professional dancer Luba Mushtuk.

Speaking about the news, Jay said: "I’m super excited, times two! One, because I’m going to learn a new dance apart from the ‘Dad’ dance, and two because I’m going to be on Strictly! It’s a show that I’ve always admired, and I can’t wait to see how I perform!"

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Fred Sirieix

Fred Sirieix

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fred Sirieix will be competing in this year's Christmas special. He is a TV personality, author and maître d'hôtel, known for his role on Channel 4's First Dates and ITV’s hit series Gino, Gordon and Fred. He will be paired with professional dancer Dianne Buswell.

He said of the opportunity: "I absolutely love Christmas so I’m delighted to be taking part in the Strictly Christmas special and to be partnered with the magnificent Dianne. I hope my dance moves bring some Christmas joy to everybody watching at home and don’t make the judges say “Bah, Humbug!”

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Mel Giedroyc

Mel Giedroyc

(Image credit: Getty images)

Former Bake Off host Mel Giedroyc will be paired with Strictly professional dancer, Neil Jones when she takes part in the festive competition. Since leaving Bake Off, Mel has worked on Sky's comedy series Hitmen and her own programme Mel Giedroyc: Unforgiven.

Speaking about the opportunity, Mel said: "I don’t think I’ve been this excited about Christmas since I got my first guinea pig from Santa in 1978."

When asked if she had any worries, Mel added: "Few things. I’ve got to come clean, I’m worried about the bunions, the hernia, the pelvic floors, and going totally blank..."

Moira Stuart OBE

Moira Stuart

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former BBC newsreader Moira will be paired with professional dancer, Aljaž Škorjanec. Following her departure from BBC Television News, she joined Classic FM and became a weekend radio presenter.

Moira says of the special: "I’m really looking forward to the Strictly Christmas special. I've loved dancing for as long as I can remember. In fact it even helped me try to keep warm in my early coldwater flat..."

Anne-Marie

Anne-Marie

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Singer Anne-Marie will be paired with Strictly professional Graziano Di Prima when she takes to the dance floor for the special episode. As well as being a nine time BRIT Award nominee she is also a voice coach on ITV's singing competition The Voice.

Speaking about taking part, Anne-Marie said: "Anne-Marie says: “I’m excited to take part in the Strictly Christmas special. I love the show, and who would turn down a dance with Graziano?!"

Adrian Chiles

Adrian Chiles

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Adrian Chiles is the sixth confirmed contestant, and he'll be partnered with professional dancer, Jowita Przystal. He is a  broadcaster and writer, known for working on BBC2's Match of the Day 2 and ITV Football

Speaking ahead of the announcement, Adrian said: "Discouragingly, every one of my family and friends with whom I’ve shared this news, has reacted with horror. They can’t believe it I’m doing it, and neither can I. Thoughts and prayers with whichever poor dancer is lumbered with me."

Who's on the judging panel?

Strictly Come Dancing's festive edition will see this year's four judges reprising their roles, so Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke, and Head Judge Shirley Ballas are all taking part.

They'll also have the help of a voting audience to help them crown a winner.

Is there a trailer?

Not yet, the Christmas special hasn't been filmed. Watch this space!

Lucy Buglass

Lucy is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2016 with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is also a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema, setting up her own website Lucy Goes to Hollywood in 2017 to review films in her spare time. Her favourite genres are horror, thriller and anything crime related. When she's not writing about film and TV, you'll likely find her playing video games, reading, and trying her hand at podcasting.