Strictly Come Dancing Announces Exciting Plans As Show Celebrates Its 20th Birthday

Today marks 20 years since the first episode of Strictly began airing on BBC One.
Strictly hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly
Strictly hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly
BBC/Guy Levy

Strictly Come Dancing has announced it will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in style.

Wednesday marks 20 years since the first episode of Strictly began airing on the BBC, back when Tess Daly was co-hosting with the late, great Sir Bruce Forsyth and the judging panel was made up of Craig Revel Horwood, Dame Arlene Phillips, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman, who died in April 2023.

To coincide with Strictly’s big birthday, the BBC has announced a one-off special will be airing later in the year celebrating the show’s impact in the last two decades.

Fresh from Strictly’s win at the TV Baftas over the weekend, a BBC press release has teased that the “unmissable one-off programme” promises “a journey through 20 years of unforgettable entertainment featuring iconic performances and plenty of heart-warming interviews with past celebrity stars, professional dancers, and judges”.

This nostalgic special hopes to “showcase why Strictly Come Dancing has captured the hearts of the nation for the past 20 years”, and helped it become one of the broadcaster’s “best known and well-loved programmes”.

Kalpna Patel-Knight, the BBC’s Head of Entertainment, enthused: “Strictly Come Dancing is more than just a TV show, it has become an integral part of British culture, bringing families together and inspiring viewers of all ages to embrace the joy of dance.

“Throughout its 20-year history, the show has launched careers, sparked trends, and touched the hearts of millions with its dazzling performances, emotional journeys, and unforgettable moments and we will be showcasing it all in this very special programme.”

Meanwhile, as well as this one-off special, Strictly will be returning for its 22nd series later in the year, with actor Nicola Peltz Beckham, boxer Tommy Fury and all-round national treasure Hannah Waddingham among those tipped to be taking part.

Last year’s series was won by Coronation Street actor Ellie Leach and her partner Vito Coppola, beating Layton Williams and fellow soap star Bobby Brazier in the live final.


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