Strictly Come Dancing
|Strictly Come Dancing|
|Created by||Fenia Vardanis
|Voices of||Alan Dedicoat|
|Theme music composer|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||11|
|No. of episodes||136 (as of 21 December 2013)|
|Running time||30–105 minutes|
|Original channel||BBC One|
|Original run||15 May 2004– present|
|Related shows||Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two|
Strictly Come Dancing is a British television show, featuring celebrities with professional dance partners competing in Ballroom and Latin dances. The title of the show suggests a continuation of the long-running series Come Dancing, with an allusion to the film Strictly Ballroom. The format has been exported to over 40 other countries (see Dancing with the Stars), and has also inspired a modern-dance themed spin-off Strictly Dance Fever.
The show has run on BBC One since 15 May 2004, primarily on Saturday evenings with a following Sunday night results show (with certain exceptions). The eleventh series ended on 21 December 2013 and a further ten stand-alone Christmas specials have also been produced, in consecutive years from 2004 to 2013. Nine charity specials have also been produced since 2008. Since the fourth series, the show has also been aired in high definition on BBC HD, and BBC One HD from series 8.
- 1 Format
- 2 Main series results
- 3 Specials
- 4 Strictly Come Dancing Live!
- 5 Statistics
- 6 Controversies
- 7 Ratings
- 8 Awards
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The show pairs a number of celebrities with professional ballroom dancers who each week compete against each other to impress a panel of judges and the viewing public in order to survive potential elimination. Through telephone voting, viewers vote for whom they would like to stay, the results of the poll being combined with the ranking of the panel of judges. For example, with four contestants left, the judges' favourite would receive four points, second favourite three points, and so on, and similarly with the viewers' rankings. The profits from the telephone lines were donated to Sport Relief in series 1, and to Children in Need from series 2 to 5.
The show is broadcast live on BBC One on Saturday evenings, and is currently presented by Tess Daly. Sir Bruce Forsyth presented the live shows alongside Daly from 2004 to 2013, announcing his departure in 2014. He will continue to present special editions of the show. For some of the second series, Natasha Kaplinsky stood in temporarily for Tess Daly while she took maternity leave, Claudia Winkelman has hosted the results show and editions that Forsyth had missed from 2010-2013. The judging panel initially consisted of Bruno Tonioli, Arlene Phillips, Len Goodman and Craig Revel Horwood. Alesha Dixon took Phillips' place from series 7 to 9, after which she left the programme to judge Britain's Got Talent which led retired ballerina Darcey Bussell replace Dixon and remains a judge alongside Tonioli, Goodman and Revel Horwood. Goodman and Tonioli commute weekly between Hollywood and London to judge both the American and British versions of the show simultaneously. Each judge gives the performance a mark out of ten, giving an overall total out of forty. The voice-over announcer is Alan Dedicoat. During series four, an hour-long highlight show was shown on Sundays at 19:00 on BBC Two, and during series five and six, the results show moved to Sunday evenings, although it was filmed on Saturday and then broadcast "as live" on the Sunday.
The singers on the show are Tommy Blaize, Hayley Sanderson, Lance Ellington, Andrea Grant and formally the well known UK dance music vocalist Tara McDonald. The music director is David Arch. Tommy Blaize has been part of Strictly since its beginning. David Arch joined in the fourth series and Hayley Sanderson in the fifth.
The show was broadcast from a specially constructed set at the BBC Television Centre, moving to the Elstree Studios in 2013. However, in the first two series, shows were also filmed at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool, where the original Come Dancing series was filmed in the 1970s.
In the second series, two shows were filmed at the Tower Ballroom, show five and the Grand Final which was broadcast live on 11 December 2004. In 2005 though the BBC announced that they would not be returning to the venue for the third series due to "logistical problems". In October 2008, Craig Revel Horwood called for the series to return to the Tower Ballroom, saying, "the atmosphere was electric. It's huge and has so much history. The Tower Ballroom puts a lot of pressure on the professionals and the celebrities to perform to the best of their potential. What a wonderful place to go live to 12 million people. We have got to get the BBC to bring Strictly Come Dancing back to Blackpool." Eventually, the show did return to the Tower Ballroom, for series 7, where Blackpool-born Craig Kelly was eliminated. The episode was aired live on 7 November 2009. Strictly Come Dancing returned to Blackpool for the 2010 and 2011 series. Then after series 10 when Strictly Come Dancing didn't go to Blackpool, they announced that they would return for series 11.
- Presenter of Strictly Come Dancing
- It Takes Two Presenter of
|Presenter||Series 1||Series 2||Series 3||Series 4||Series 5||Series 6||Series 7||Series 8||Series 9||Series 10||Series 11||Series 12|
|Sir Bruce Forsyth+|
+ Between series eight and eleven, Sir Bruce Forsyth only hosted the main show.
* Tess Daly only appeared from week six onwards during series two due to maternity leave. Natasha Kaplinsky served as a temporary replacement for the first five weeks
^ From series eight onwards, Claudia Winkleman has presented the results show of the main Strictly Come Dancing alongside Daly and occasionally the main show replacing Forsyth. She also presented It Takes Two alongside the results show for series eight
|2004||1||Justin Lee Collins||Strictly Come Dancing On Three|
|2004||2||Natasha Kaplinsky||Main show||Maternity cover for Tess Daly|
|2008||6||Fearne Cotton||Children in Need Special|
|2009||7||Ronnie Corbett||Main show||Guest host, Week 9|
|2008–10, 2012–13||Kate Thornton|
- Judging panel
- Guest judge(s)
|Judge||Series 1||Series 2||Series 3||Series 4||Series 5||Series 6||Series 7||Series 8||Series 9||Series 10||Series 11||Series 12|
|Craig Revel Horwood|
+ Goodman is the Head Judge, however in week six of series nine when he was away Revel Horwood served as temporary head judge
* Bussell served as a Guest Judge throughout weeks twelve to fourteen for series seven
^ Grey served as a Guest Judge for week six during series nine as a cover judge for Len Goodman
Professional dancers and their partners
- Winner of the series
- Runner-up of the series
- Third place of the series
- First elimination, or joint first elimination of the series
- Withdrew in the series
Although Ian Waite and Karen Hardy no longer dance competitively on the show, they do still make regular appearances on companion programme It Takes Two. Waite and Darren Bennett both participated in the professional dance troupe in series 8.
Brendan Cole and Anton du Beke are the only two professional dancers who have taken part in all ten series of the show. Anton has never won the competition; Brendan won the first series with Natasha Kaplinsky.
Only four professionals have managed to win the title in their first series of being a Strictly professional. Those four are Brendan Cole (Series 1), Darren Bennett (Series 2), Artem Chigvintsev (Series 8) and Aljaž Skorjanec (Series 11).
In series 11, Aliona Vilani (who had previously been announced as leaving the show) was a replacement for Natalie Lowe who was injured before the series started. The producers of the show announced this on 2 September 2013.
As of September 2013, the professional pairs are:
|Brendan Cole||Aliona Vilani|
|Pasha Kovalev||Anya Garnis|
|Robin Windsor||Kristina Rihanoff|
|Anton du Beke||Iveta Lukosiute|
|James Jordan||Ola Jordan|
|Aljaž Skorjanec||Janette Manrara|
|Kevin Clifton||Karen Hauer
In 2013, due to injury, Natalie Lowe had to withdraw, meaning Aliona Vilani dances in her replacement with Brendan Cole. Due to the odd number of couples, there will always be an extra male professional, therefore Chigvintsev dances with different female professionals.
As of series four, coaches are Jaclyn Spencer and Chris Marques (aka Cuban Groove) for Salsa and Mambo, and Jenny Thomas and Ryan Francois for Swing, Jive, Rock n Roll and The Charleston. The Argentine Tango coaches in series three were Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone, both of whom have subsequently competed in the show.
In Series 5, a new system was introduced called the Dance Off. The Dance Off is performed by the two couples with the lowest scores following the judges' scores and public vote. After performing their dance again, the judges are asked one-by-one who they would like to save, and the couple with more votes remains in the competition. If there is a tie, head judge Len Goodman has the deciding vote.
The results show is recorded on the Saturday night directly after the live show and incorporates the result of the viewers' votes which are completed by 21:30. This was confirmed by the official BBC website in 2008:
Throughout the Sunday results show the presenters refer to 'last night' in reference to the main show, due to the timing of the Sunday programme, and Tess Daly's dress is changed to present an illusion of a second live broadcast.
For Series 7, the Sunday results show was axed and put back to Saturday nights as a result of a revamp of the show.
From Series 8, the dance off was axed with the public having 50% of the decision of who is to be eliminated, the other 50% coming from the judge's scores. The result show is shown on Sunday evenings.
In Series 10, the dance off was reintroduced and has continued since.
Strictly: It Takes Two
During the run of Strictly Come Dancing, Strictly: It Takes Two is broadcast each weeknight on BBC Two. The series was previously hosted by Claudia Winkleman; but, due to her pregnancy in 2011, she has had to leave the series, and Zoë Ball took over from Series 9.
The show features reviews of the performances during the previous Saturday's show, and interviews with, and training footage of, the couples preparing for the next show. The judges and other celebrities also provide their opinions on how the couples are doing. It Takes Two replaced Strictly Come Dancing on Three, hosted by Justin Lee Collins, which ran on BBC Three during the first series. BBC Two Scotland airs the programme on four nights only, running their own Gaelic-language programming on Thursdays instead.
Main series results
Series 1 (2004)
15 May to 3 July 2004, in order of elimination. Eight professional dancers – Erin Boag, John Byrnes, Brendan Cole, Camilla Dallerup, Anton du Beke, Kylie Jones, Hanna Karttunen and Paul Killick – were introduced in this series.
Series 2 (2004)
23 October to 11 December 2004, in order of elimination. This series introduced five new professional dancers – Darren Bennett, Nicole Cutler, Lilia Kopylova, Hazel Newberry and Ian Waite. John Byrnes, Kylie Jones and Hanna Karttunen did not return to the series. Also, Hazel Newberry never returned to the show. This series also received the lowest ever score in Strictly Come Dancing history.
Series 3 (2005)
This series ran from 15 October to 17 December 2005. Over five million votes were cast, approximately three million of which were for the eventual champions, Darren Gough and Lilia Kopylova. Over ten and a half million viewers tuned into the final show, and the whole series raised £1.5 million for Children in Need.
In this series, five new professional dancers were introduced into the series – Andrew Cuerden, Matthew Cutler, Hanna Haarala, Izabela Hannah and Karen Hardy. Nicole Cutler, Paul Killick and Hazel Newberry did not return.
The celebrities that took part in this series were as follows:
Series 4 (2006)
The show ran from 7 October to 23 December 2006. Over 12 million votes were cast, raising £1.5 million for Children in Need. A peak of 13 million viewers tuned into the final show of series four to see Mark and Karen crowned 2006 Strictly Come Dancing champions.
This series introduced four new professional dancers – Flavia Cacace, James Jordan, Ola Jordan and Vincent Simone. Andrew Cuerden, Hanna Haarala and Izabela Hannah did not return to the series. This series also saw the return of Nicole Cutler, who had taken part in Series 2 but not in Series 3.
The couples in order of elimination:
Series 5 (2007)
The fifth series of Strictly Come Dancing began on BBC One on 29 September 2007, with Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly returning as presenters. For the first and only time, the line up of professionals was unchanged from the previous series. The first programme was a catch-up show and preview to the new series, before the start of the competition on 6 October, which ran for 12 weeks. The show featured 14 new celebrities, who were paired with 14 professional dancers. In a change to the previous format, the results show was recorded on Saturday and broadcast on Sunday, rather than shown live later on Saturday. In addition to this, the two couples who were at the bottom of the table after the viewers' vote were subject to a dance-off, where they reprised their routine, for the judges to decide who left. Head Judge Len Goodman had the casting vote in case of a tie. The series raised just over a million pounds for Children in Need.
Series 6 (2008)
A sixth series of the show was confirmed after the dancers' pay dispute was called off in late June 2008. The series lasted for 14 weeks, which is the longest series so far. The series involved three new professional dancers, Brian Fortuna, Hayley Holt and Kristina Rihanoff. Nicole Cutler did not return to the series.
In July 2008 it was reported that current EastEnders cast members were banned from taking part in the competition due to the length of the series.
The sixth series began on 13 September with a behind-the-scenes look at the new series, followed by the first live show on 20 September.
On 19 November 2008, John Sergeant announced that he would be leaving the show because he believed he may "win it".
Series 7 (2009)
The seventh series of Strictly Come Dancing ran from 18 September until 19 December 2009. Tess Daly signed a two-year deal to continue presenting the programme for at least the 2009 and 2010 series'.
On 9 July 2009, former competitor Alesha Dixon was confirmed to be joining the judging panel for this series, and that Darcey Bussell would be a guest judge towards the end of the series run. Dixon replaced Arlene Phillips who moved to The One Show as a Strictly Come Dancing expert. It has been reported in the media that many of the show's professional dancers are furious at Phillips being replaced by Dixon. They apparently feel that they "will be judged by someone who knows less than they do about dancing". Bosses at the BBC have also been accused of sexism, as none of the male judges on the show had been replaced. But as well as that, the BBC received over 5,000 complaints along with the Deputy Prime Minister (at the time) who accused the BBC of agism. Dixon's fans were also unhappy as she had to cancel a number of dates on her autumn tour in order to do the programme.
Series 8 (2010)
The eighth series of Strictly Come Dancing began with a launch show on 11 September 2010, then three weeks later the live shows started on 1 October 2010. Three new professional dancers have been announced, The celebrities were revealed on 8 September 2010 and the professional partners were revealed during the launch show.
Series 9 (2011)
Strictly returned with a launch show on 10 September 2011, with the final in December at the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool. Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly returned to front the main show, and Claudia Winkleman presented the Sunday night results show along with Daly.
For Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two, a new presenter joined the team. Claudia Winkleman had to pull out of the 2011 series as it would be difficult to do a daily programme so soon after giving birth. Zoë Ball was chosen to replace her.
The professional line-up was announced on 15 June 2011 with most of the Series 8 professionals returning, except for Jared Murillo who was replaced by Siberian dancer Pasha Kovalev. The celebrity line-up was announced on 6 September 2011 on The One Show and the couples were paired up for the first time on the launch show.
Series 10 (2012)
The tenth series began on 15 September 2012 with a launch show to reveal the celebrity/professional partnerships, and the live shows began on 5 October.
Katya Virshilas was the only professional dancer not returning to this series, and she was replaced by "Burn the Floor"'s Karen Hauer. The full line-up was revealed on 10 September during The One Show.
Series 11 (2013)
On 1 June 2013, it was announced that Aliona Vilani, Vincent Simone, Flavia Cacace, and Erin Boag would all leave this series. Aljaž Skorjanec, Emma Slater, Janette Manrara and Iveta Lukosiute, who partnered Johnny Ball in the first few weeks of series 10, would all join the cast. However, it was confirmed on 22 August 2013 that Anya Garnis and Kevin Clifton would join the series, replacing Slater. On 2 September 2013, it was announced that a foot fracture injury meant Natalie Lowe would not be able to participate this series, and she has been replaced by returning professional Aliona Vilani.
Series 12 (2014)
The show will return in Autumn 2014. This series will be the first not to be presented by Sir Bruce Forsyth after announcing his departure from the live shows on 4 April. However, Forsyth will continue to present special editions of the show, such as Children in Need and Christmas specials. A replacement for Forsyth has yet to be announced.
The Christmas specials have been broadcast each year since 2004. The first special was broadcast the week before Christmas 2004, in 2005 it was broadcast on Christmas Eve and from 2006 every year have been broadcast on Christmas Day. Every Christmas Special from 2004 has been hosted by Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly and he will continue to host these editions from 2014 after he has left the live shows.
Strictly Ice Dancing
Strictly Ice Dancing was broadcast as a one-off special on 26 December 2004; with Carol Smillie, Jessica Taylor, Scarlett Alice Johnson, Marcus Patric, David Seaman, and Rowland Rivron paired with professional skaters. This was won by David Seaman (who was a late replacement for Paul Gascoigne) and his partner Zoia Birmingham.
In order of elimination, the competitors were:
Strictly Ice Dancing was identical to the ITV format Dancing on Ice, although details of Dancing on Ice were revealed before Strictly Ice Dancing was commissioned.
Strictly African Dancing
A further one-off special was broadcast on BBC One on 9 July 2005 as part of the BBC's Africa Lives season. It featured six celebrities of African descent performing traditional African dances with a professional troupe. The contestants were Tunde Baiyewu, Tupele Dorgu, Robbie Earle, Antonia Okonma, Louis Emerick, and Tessa Sanderson. The programme was presented by Natasha Kaplinsky and Martin Offiah, and the winner was Robbie Earle. Professional dancers Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova, who have appeared on Strictly Come Dancing since the second series, also appeared on this special to perform a traditional African Samba.
In order of elimination:
Sport Relief Does Strictly Come Dancing
A Strictly Come Dancing one-off special for Sport Relief was broadcast on 14 March 2008, with Craig Revel Horwood, Arlene Phillips and Len Goodman judging. Five former Strictly contestants related to sport partnered a new celebrity.
The results were as follows:
The ranking of the bottom three couples was not announced – they were eliminated from the competition in a random order.
A BBC spokesperson commented: "Sport Relief features Strictly Come Dancing with a difference."
Strictly Come Dancing did an underwater special for Sport Relief 2012. The contestants were Strictly Come Dancing 2011 champion Harry Judd and runner-up Chelsee Healey. The judges were Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Mark Foster. It was presented by Claudia Winkleman.
After the initial scores resulted in a draw, Len (as Head Judge) had the deciding vote. He chose Chelsee and Pasha therefore they won the contest.
Strictly Come Dancing did a paralympian's special for Sport Relief 2014. The contestants were David Clarke, Hannah Cockroft, Nathan Stephens and Martine Wright. The judges were Goodman, Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Lee Pearson, however no scores were given. It was presented by Tess Daly.
Children in Need
A Strictly Come Dancing one-off special for Children in Need was broadcast on 14 November 2008, with Fearne Cotton presenting and Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Arlene Phillips and Craig Revel Horwood judging.
The results were as follows:
The dancers performed alongside Alesha Dixon singing The Boy Does Nothing at the start of the show and also Ricky Whittle was seen backstage, supporting the Hollyoaks cast who performed and Alesha told him to go back to rehearsals. The presenters and judges didn't appear in this unlike the previous year when judges rated Terry's performance.
A Strictly Come Dancing one-off special for Children in Need was broadcast on 19 November 2010, with Tess Daly presenting the show and Craig Revel Horwood, Len Goodman, Terry Wogan and Pudsey Bear judging.
The results were as follows:
In November 2011, BBC newsreaders Sian Williams, Sophie Raworth, Susanna Reid and Emily Maitlis performed a group dance to Katy Perry's "Firework". Susanna and Robin won with three of the judges' votes. Angela Rippon also made an appearance in the dance, alongside the women. Susanna then went on to compete as a contestant in the eleventh series of the show in 2013.
A one-off special for Children in Need 2012 was broadcast on 16 November 2012 with Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly hosting, and judges Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli. Fan favourites Ann Widdecombe and Russell Grant made a special appearance in a parody of The Queen's Olympic opening ceremony scene with Daniel Craig as James Bond, and danced an "Angels and Demons" routine with their partners Anton du Beke and Flavia Cacace. Bruno voted for Ann and Anton, but Craig, Darcey, and Len all chose Russell and Flavia, who took home the Pudsey-on-a-glitter-ball trophy.
A one-off special was broadcast for Children in Need 2013 on 15 November 2013. Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly hosted the show, and was judged by Len Goodman, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli. The show featured professional ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, who were partnered with James Jordan and Aliona Vilani. Bussell voted for Chris and Aliona, but Tonioli and Goodman voted for Jayne and James, who won the show and took home the Pudsey-on-a-glitter-ball trophy.
The Weakest Link Special 2008
On 27 December 2008, a special episode of The Weakest Link was broadcast on BBC One featuring participants of Strictly Come Dancing. The game was won by series 6 celebrity Mark Foster, who beat professional dancer Anton du Beke in the final. Participants in order of elimination were:
Strictly Come Dancing Live!
The Live Tour! 2008
Strictly Come Dancing went on tour at the beginning of 2008 for the first time. The tour was hosted by Kate Thornton, and judged by Craig Revel Horwood, Arlene Phillips, and Len Goodman. Bruno Tonioli was not a judge in this competition due to him being in Los Angeles. The tour began on 18 January 2008 in Glasgow and finished on 19 February 2008 in Birmingham.
Celebrity dancers taking part were:
The results of the tour are as follows:
The Live Tour! 2009
The couples and results of the tour were as follows:
Gethin Jones and Julian Clary were paired with new professional partners – Jones' partner Camilla Dallerup danced with her series six celebrity Tom Chambers, whilst Clary's partner (Erin Boag) did not take part in the tour, as she and her professional partner Anton du Beke were on their own Cheek To Cheek tour of the UK.
The DVD was released on 9 November 2009.
The Live Tour! 2010
The judging panel consisted of four members:
The following celebrities and professional dancers starred in the tour:
Two other pro dancers danced on the tour:
Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals Tour 2010
Ten professional show dancers took part in the first Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals Tour between April to July 2010. It featured:
The Live Tour! 2011
The Strictly Come Dancing 2011 UK tour returned to UK arenas during January and February 2011. Zoë Ball joined as host. Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman returned as judges. The celebrities and professionals who participated were:
The Live Tour! 2012
The Strictly Come Dancing 2012 UK tour began its run on 20 January and finished on 26 February. The venues hosting the tour were:
The celebrities and professionals who participated were:
Ian Waite performed with Natalie on the tour, but did not partner a celebrity.
The Live Tour! 2013
Kate Thornton returned as host; Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman returned as judges. Iveta Lukosiute also performed on the tour, but did not partner a celebrity. Louis Smith and Ola Jordan were the overall champions of the tour, with the most wins.
The Live Tour! 2014
The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 UK Tour will begin on 17 January 2014 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham and end at The O2 Arena on 7 February. The tour will be hosted by former contestant Lisa Riley, with Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Len Goodman returning as judges.
The following celebrities and professionals have been confirmed to take part:
Natalie Lowe will also feature on the tour, but will not partner a celebrity.
This is the first series of The Live Tour! in which all of the celebrities dance with their original partners.
On twenty-seven occasions, a perfect 40 out of 40 has been awarded inside the main series (including three perfect 50 out of 50s in Series 7). Lisa Snowdon and Brendan Cole, Pamela Stephenson and James Jordan, Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev, and Natalie Gumede and Artem Chigvintsev hold the record for most perfect scores with three forties. On another five occasions, a couple scored 40/40 on a Christmas Special. The Samba and Rumba are the only two dance styles not to have received the perfect score.
The lowest score the judges have ever awarded was 8/40 (1,1,3,3) to Quentin Willson and Hazel Newberry for their Cha Cha Cha. Nine individual ones have been awarded in the entirety of Strictly Come Dancing, with eight of those coming from Craig Revel Horwood and the other coming from Arlene Philips. Ann Widdecombe holds the current record for the most ones, receiving ones off Revel Horwood for her Salsa, Samba, and Rumba. The biggest margin between two singular judges scores is five, awarded to Jason Wood and Kylie Jones for their Rumba (2,5,7,5), Christopher Parker and Hanna Karttunen for their Tango (2,6,7,6), Scott Maslen and Natalie Lowe for their Rumba (4,9,7,8), and, most recently, Mark Benton and Iveta Lukosiute for their Cha Cha Cha (3,8,8,7).
Ricky Whittle and his partner Natalie Lowe hold the record for the most tens with 28. However, if the four tens given by Darcey Bussell during her tenure as a fifth judge are removed, he is behind Rachel Stevens and her partner Vincent Simone and Harry Judd and his partner Aliona Vilani with 25 each. They are followed by Natalie Gumede and Artem Chigvintsev with 24, Alesha Dixon and Matthew Cutler, and Abbey Clancy and Aljaž Skorjanec with 22, Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev with 21 and Lisa Snowdon and Brendan Cole, Kimberley Walsh and Pasha Kovalev and Denise van Outen and James Jordan with 20.
Gumede and Chigvintsev also have the best average score from the judges out of all contestants on every series being 36.9/40 for their dances. Alesha Dixon and Matthew Cutler, and Ricky Whittle and his partner Natalie Lowe follow, with averages of 36.5 and 35.9 respectively. Quentin Willson, Diarmuid Gavin and Nicholas Owen hold averages of 8.0, 13.8 and 14.0, the lowest of any celebrities so far.
Highest and lowest scoring performances
The best and worst performances in each dance according to the judges' marks (out of 40) are as follows (not including scores earned on Christmas specials).
For a more accurate comparison Darcey Bussell's scores have been subtracted from the totals of the Series 7 quarter-finalists where relevant; specifically Ali Bastian's American Smooth, Chris Hollins' Charleston and Ricky Whittle's Quickstep. Bussell scored all of them a ten. Whittle's Showdance has not been omitted as it did not receive the perfect score from Bussell, and therefore cannot be considered the same standard.
Please note that in addition to Bussell's scores as a guest judge being subtracted, the Lindyhop, Dance Fusion and Rock 'n' Roll have been removed as they were only danced in one series. The Swing Marathon from the series 8 semi-final and week 9 of series 9 is also not included as it was not scored on the usual scale.
Oldest and youngest contestants and series winners
TV presenter Johnny Ball, who was 74 when he competed in 2012, is the oldest contestant; he was two years older than magician Paul Daniels, who was 72 when he competed in 2010. Actress Louisa Lytton, who was 17 when she competed in 2006, remains the youngest contestant. TV presenter Chris Hollins, who was 38 when he competed in 2009, is the oldest series winner and gymnast Louis Smith, who was 23 when he competed in 2012, is the youngest series winner.
In December 2008, the show hit the headlines when viewers were able to register telephone votes for a couple that effectively they could not save from the dance off irrespective of how many public votes were cast in their favour. Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup had finished bottom of the leaderboard, whilst the two other couples were tied above them; this meant they could not mathematically survive given the scoring system, however viewers were invited to call in to save their favourites at a cost of 15p per vote. This resulted in the elimination for that week being cancelled and all the votes being carried over to the final.
Arlene Phillips / Alesha Dixon
The decision to drop Arlene Phillips from the judging line-up for the 2009 series of Strictly Come Dancing led to much criticism being directed at the BBC by various UK newspapers, notably The Sun, running the axe as a headline story for its handling of older female television personalities. Accusations resurfaced that the BBC routinely discriminates against women in television based on their age. The most notable examples of purported age discrimination in the BBC include the release of newsreader Moira Stuart in 2007 and the retirement of Anna Ford in 2006. Other high-profile BBC personalities such as Selina Scott and Kate Adie accused the BBC of age discrimination towards women.
The axing of Phillips led to an unprecedented intervention from the government's Minister for Women and Equality, Harriet Harman. During a session in the House of Commons, Harman responded to questions stating that she believed the decision to drop Phillips was motivated by age discrimination and called on the BBC to ensure that she would be taking part in the new series. The BBC has not formally responded to this request, but has repeated its comments that the decision was not due to age. The appointment of Alesha Dixon to the judging panel prompted 5,000 complaints to the BBC, and her judging debut was met with hostility among viewers and tabloids alike but she was subsequently believed by some to be a successful judge, giving both praise and constructive criticism. Dixon was lured away from the show after Series 9 by ITV to join the judging panel of Britain's Got Talent, Phillips was a popular media choice to replace her but the role instead went to occasional guest judge Darcey Bussell.
In 2009, a scandal embroiled the show involving professional dancer Anton du Beke, who in an off air conversation commented "Oh my God, you look like a Paki." to his dance partner of Moroccan descent Laila Rouass for which he has subsequently unreservedly apologised. Whilst both of the people involved insisted that the comments had been intended as humorous banter, the news nevertheless prompted numerous complaints filed by viewers calling for du Beke to be removed from his position.
All numbers are from BARB. Series averages exclude Christmas special and launch show.
The show has won a highly prestigious Rose D'Or award for 'Best Variety Show', beating off competition from reality shows from twelve other different countries. It has also won two awards for 'Best Reality Show' at the TRIC Awards and two at the TV Quick Awards for 'Best Talent Show'. It has also received three BAFTA Award nominations.
In the Guinness Book of World Records 2010 edition, the format of Strictly Come Dancing was named the most successful television show with the format being sold to more than 38 countries worldwide.