Menu

About the show

Keep dancing!

Put your dancing shoes on, Strictly is back!

It's glitz and glamour all the way as Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman launch the new series. Get on board the Strictly express as the journey begins for 15 new stars.

TV chef Ainsley Harriott, Call the Midwife Star Helen George, sports presenter and Olympic medallist Iwan Thomas and singer and presenter Peter Andre will be among the stars competing for the chance to lift the glitterball trophy.

Strictly’s legendary judging panel – head judge Len Goodman plus Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood – will be the group of dance experts that this year’s celebrities will be trying to impress.

Will it be ballroom bliss or murder on the dance floor?

Contestants

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Anita Rani

TV presenter

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year?

I always said if Strictly ever came knocking on my door, I would go for it! It is so different to who I am in real life. I love love love the programme and to have the opportunity to take part is a dream come true! I’ve never danced before and my only dancing skills are the ones I think I have in a club or at a wedding when I’ve had a few drinks.

Which judge do you want to impress the most and why?

I’d like to impress all the judges, they are all terrifying! I know some of the judges are nicer than others, mentioning no names – Craig! Ha ha! But if I could impress even one of them, I’d be happy.

What will be your biggest challenge during Strictly?

There are going to be a lot of challenges for me during Strictly. The outfits will be quite a challenge, dancing with a complete stranger will be a challenge but the dancing will be the biggest challenge!

Are you a competitive person?

I don’t know. I always want to do the best I can and be the best I can be in whatever I put my mind to. I’m certainly not competitive with the other people. I just want to go for it and learn and see how far I can get in the competition.

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Carol Kirkwood

TV weather reporter

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year?

I love Strictly and have watched it since series one when Natasha and Brendan won. I love the glitz, I love the glamour, I love the dancing and I love the music. I honestly love every single thing about it!

How do you rate your dancing skills?

I have no dance skills whatsoever. I’ve done some Scottish country dancing before which sounds way more glamorous than it is, but it’s only really been at weddings so as for formal dance training, I have none whatsoever. I will be asking for tips from my BBC Breakfast colleagues as many of them have taken part in Strictly before.

What are you looking for in a dance partner?

I want someone strong because I don’t want to flatten them and ruin their career after the first week. I also need somebody who is patient and will recognise that I don’t know my right and my left because that’s a big concern for me. My biggest challenge is going to be coping with nerves and remembering all the dance steps.

Are you a competitive person?

I’m quite competitive in the sense that I want to do well, I will be throwing everything I have at Strictly but I’m also a realist. I’m 53 and probably not the fittest person you are ever going to meet so I don’t fancy my chances but I’m going to give it everything I have. I would like to make it to the final and be holding that glitterball trophy, but whether I will or not is another story.

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Georgia May Foote

From Coronation Street

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year?

I have done such a long stint on Coronation Street that it’s nice to do something completely different and I absolutely love a challenge, so that is why I want to take part in Strictly this year.

How do you rate your dance skills and do you have any previous dance experience?

I absolutely love dancing but I don’t know how good I am because it’s been a while. I’m going to be a bit rusty for starters so I will be generous and give myself six out of 10 so then there’s room to improve. I used to dance when I was younger and used to go to dance school to do hip-hop and street dance which is massively different to ballroom. I used to freestyle too so the more precise and technical dancing is going to be quite difficult.

What will be your biggest challenge during Strictly?

The live shows because I’ve never really done anything like that before and making sure to stay calm. Also to remember everything because I know you can have one of those moments where your brain just goes completely blank. I do remember talking to my Coronation Street co-star Natalie Gumede the year she was in Strictly and she said it was so tiring and that you’ve got to keep yourself on the ball and get lots of sleep.

Are you a competitive person?

I am actually. I’m a bit annoying when it comes to card games and stuff like that. I think in a competition like this you kind of admire everyone else. You might watch someone do a dance and think that was stunning but I wouldn’t necessarily look at it and go ‘oh my goodness she’s going to win’. I’m not that sort of person and I admire people for doing really well. I would absolutely love to win but I’m just going to have to try my hardest and see where it gets me.

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Helen George

From Call The Midwife

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year?

I was really excited about taking on a new challenge because I did the marathon earlier in the year and when Strictly came around, I had been training so much for the marathon that I didn’t have any new physical goals to aim for, so it seemed like a really good idea to keep on going and learn a completely new skill.

Have you any previous dance experience?

I did ballet when I was younger, but I think that could be a bit of a hindrance as it is so different from all of the ballroom and Latin dances that I will have to do on Strictly. One of the reasons I think I wasn’t so good at ballet was because I get quite nervous and scared and I lost my confidence a bit, so I’m hoping I will get my confidence with dancing back during Strictly. We did learn a bit of swing dancing on Call the Midwife, which was really fun, and there was a lot of partner work so I got to do upside down lifts, so on Strictly I’m excited about being thrown around the room and things like that.

Which judge do you want to impress the most and why?

When I did do ballet years ago, Darcey Bussell was my hero! Firstly I can’t even believe that I’m going to be meeting Darcey Bussell, let alone dancing in front of her! I had posters of her up on my wall so it’s going to be completely intimidating.

What will be your biggest challenge during Strictly?

I’m going to be filming Call the Midwife at the same time as doing Strictly, so managing my time around both of them will be challenging. Also managing to sleep and eat and learn my lines, I need to be able to retain all of that information in my head. I am also quite a competitive person but mostly with myself, I demand quite a lot from me which isn’t always great and can be own worst enemy.

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Jamelia

Singer and TV presenter

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing?

I'm a huge fan of the show and I remember particularly watching last year and seeing Alison Hammond having an absolute ball and I thought, ‘do you know what, I want in!’ So I did it and here I am! Plus all of my aunties and my nan have been telling me to do Strictly Come Dancing for years!

What is your previous dance experience?

The experience I have is working with a choreographer for my pop videos but what any other pop artist will tell you, it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors. I wouldn't rate myself highly, I am not the most confident of dancers, but I love dancing and if dancing in my kitchen counts I'm very, very experienced!

What will be your biggest challenge during Strictly?

My biggest challenge I think is going to be learning the routines. When I was doing music videos I would rehearse relentlessly because I would always forget the steps. So that is something I haven't done for years, so getting back to the swing of learning routines, particularly for new styles such as salsa, I am petrified but also really looking forward to it. The advice I’ve been given from my daughters is that I need to remember to stretch – they have been so supportive and excited!

What are you looking for in a dance partner?

I want a dance partner who is patient and will make me laugh, because I like laughing and definitely someone who will be willing to push me. I think it is going to require a lot of hard work and all my attention but I am definitely willing to do it. I am competitive but I also feel that I need to be able to be confident and I would love to reach the final and even more, I’d love to lift the glitterball trophy!

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Katie Derham

BBC Proms presenter

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year?

I’ve been a huge fan of the show since it started and I’ve got two dancing daughters who love their sequins just as much as I do. We are very much a Strictly household so when this opportunity to do Strictly came up I obviously grabbed it with both hands!

Have you any previous dance experience?

I did ballet as a kid and I love to dance, but most of my dancing is done in the privacy of my own kitchen or throwing some shapes at a wedding reception, so I wouldn’t say I’m going to be any threat to the professional female dancers. I really want to work hard and I hope that my enthusiasm and my basic musicality will help me to learn fast.

Which judge do you want to impress the most and why?

I’ve been an enormous admirer of Darcey Bussell for a very long time. I love going to watch ballet so when she became a judge I immediately would listen to her words of wisdom very closely. I think she’s amazing and she is the most beautiful dancer. I think if I could impress Darcey I would feel very proud of myself indeed.

What will be your biggest challenge during Strictly?

I’m hoping that I’ll be in such good hands that it will all just happen. I’m not an actress and although I’ve watched so much performance in my professional life, and as a journalist I have to perform to a certain extent, what is going to be an interesting challenge for me is going into different characters each week. It’s not something I’ve been trained to do. I’m really up for it and I hope I’ll find a way of making it work for me.

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Kellie Bright

From Eastenders

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year?

I’ve always wanted to do Strictly, it’s been a secret desire and I love dancing! When I was a little girl I loved dancing so much and now to have the opportunity to dance again and also learn something new, because I’ve never done any ballroom or Latin before or even danced with a partner. It was just too good an opportunity to miss and I’m going to be 40 next year and I said ‘why not do this before I turn 40?’ It seemed like a good challenge at this point in my life.

Have you any previous dance experience?

I went to the Sylvia Young Theatre School so I danced throughout my school life. When I was younger, dancing was my life, I loved it so much but I started acting when I was nine so as soon as that kicked off, the dancing took a back seat. I have a basic knowledge of dancing, which I’m sure will help me on Strictly, but it’s been 23 years since I left school so I don’t know what I’m capable of. The biggest challenge will be my bendiness because I’m not naturally a bendy person and even as a child I couldn’t do the splits, so if I can manage to do the splits by the time I leave Strictly I’ll be a very happy lady!

What will be your biggest challenge during Strictly?

My biggest challenge is going to be all the other things going on in my life outside of Strictly – I have a family, I have a full on job at EastEnders that can be long hours and I’m doing a huge renovation to our house so I will be micro-managing all of them! Also feeling like I’ve got enough time to give everything my all because I don’t want to feel like I’m letting EastEnders down and I don’t want to feel like I’m letting Strictly down so I don’t think there’s going to be much time for sleeping.

Have you been given any advice ahead of the show?

I talked to Emma Bunton about taking part in Strictly because she’s a really good friend of mine. She said it was amazing and one of the best things she’s ever done. There have been lots of people at EastEnders who have taken part in Strictly and anyone I have spoken to have all said how much they loved it. I’ve not heard one person say a bad thing about it!

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Kirsty Gallacher

Sports news anchor

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year?

I’m taking part because I absolutely love the show, I always have and always thought ‘oooh wouldn’t it be fun to do?’ It’s exciting and I love a challenge! I’m quite sporty and fit, but this is a very different discipline and it’s not something that I’ve done since I was a little girl when I did some tap and ballet. Everyone always tells me how amazing Strictly is so I couldn’t really say no!

Which judge do you want to impress the most and why?

It would have to be Craig because he’s damning really isn’t he? I don’t want him to say ‘you are a disaster!’ He’s quite cross, I think the other judges are a little bit kinder and see the fun in it but Craig expects it to be correctly done.

What will be your biggest challenge during Strictly?

Getting over the nerves, having the confidence and not pulling faces when it goes wrong! It’s important not to give the game away because usually the public at home won’t necessarily know when I’ve done something wrong and I might need to ad lib a little bit so that will be hard. I am also quite competitive with sport, but dancing is a bit unknown to me so I don’t know my limitations yet and I don’t want to let my partner down. It would be a dream to win it but I’m not expecting that, maybe to get in the last four would be amazing!

Have you been given any advice?

Caroline Flack is a friend of mine and she said the whole experience is an adventure and life-changing. Gabby and Kenny Logan said the same and said it’s such a great journey, you have got to be a part of it and you will love it!

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Ainsley Harriott

TV chef

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year?

I think the time is right or at least, I hope so! Before now I have never been able to commit the time Strictly deserves mainly because a programme like Ready, Steady, Cook has a very intensive recording schedule, but having taken a breather after so many years doing my cookery shows, I felt I could at last try to give it a decent shot. Strictly is everybody’s favourite show!

How do you rate your dance skills?

I certainly love a boogie and once the music starts I’m usually one of the first out there on the dance floor. Although I haven’t had any formal dance training and something tells me I’m really going to notice the difference.

What are you looking for in a dance partner?

Patience! Apart from that, I’m looking to be able to form a friendly and professional relationship that will allow us both to do our very best.

Are you a competitive person?

To a degree and if I’m playing a game, I do my best to win. I do want it to be enjoyable and I’d rather have fun and lose than simply win for the sake of winning. I’d like to get far enough to have really learned something.

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Anthony Ogogo

Olympic medallist and professional boxer

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year?

In my last boxing match in July I injured my shoulder, which required an operation so I can’t box again until January. It will take me four or five months to recover so I thought ‘what am I going to do with this time?’ Then the chance to do Strictly came up and I thought what an amazing opportunity to take part in the biggest TV programme in the country and to have a load of fun and keep fit. If I wasn’t doing Strictly, I would be sitting on the sofa and watching TV which I didn’t want to do, so this is making me stay focused and train hard. And now I’m in the gym every morning working on my physique for the show!

Have you any previous dance experience?

None! My dancing experience is zilch so when I’m watching Peter Andre in rehearsals, I feel like a stiff ironing board and he looks sexy, smooth and is wiggling his hips. Even when we put on our outfits he looked so cool and like a Spanish bull fighter and I stood there in my little baby blue number feeling very awkward. I haven’t danced before but I think it will be fun, that’s another reason I’m doing Strictly, to learn a new skill and something different. It’s very rare to get the opportunity to do something as cool as what we are doing so I can’t wait!

What will be your biggest challenge during Strictly?

Most people at home won’t know that I’m starting the Strictly process with my arm in a sling so trying to work around that is going to be the biggest challenge. I want everyone to see how hard I want to work, how much I want to improve and hopefully they will be impressed by my progression.

Are you a competitive person?

Yes, without a doubt. I’m not one of those guys that has to beat their nephew at board games but when I’m passionate about something like boxing, I’m the most competitive person in the world. For example, during my last fight I dislocated my shoulder in the second round and I fought the next four and a half rounds with one arm so there’s no giving up or quitting with me. I want to win Strictly, I don’t think I will but I do want to try and win!

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Daniel O'Donnell

Singer

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year?

I love the show and it’s going to be a great challenge for me. When I have been asked before, I could never do it due to my busy schedule, but this year I decided to take a break from touring and I was finally able to say yes! I’m excited about taking part and I just hope I can get the steps together on the dance floor.

What will be your biggest challenge during Strictly?

Remembering the steps! When I dance on stage during my shows, I am never on the same spot two nights on a row so I obviously have to be a little bit more choreographed for Strictly and remember to be at the right place at the right time. I just hope I can remember everything and keep the energy up.

Who will be supporting you during Strictly?

I could have the whole of Ireland come down and support me! But my wife, friends and family will be there every week to cheer me on.

Are you a competitive person?

Yes! I want to win at golf and I want to win at cards so I’m sure I will want to win at dancing. I want to go as far in the competition as I’m good enough to go and if that’s all the way then I will be thrilled!

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Iwan Thomas

Sports presenter and Olympic medallist

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year?

I’ve always watched Strictly but I honestly can’t dance! I’m one of those blokes who watches the show and thinks fair play to anyone that does it. I’m taking part this year to see how good I can be and how much I can improve. I hate being rubbish at something so I think this is the place to learn. Strictly is a great show, everyone loves it and I love it! I love all the outfits and won’t need much persuasion to wear any glittery tight tops.

Have you ever danced before?

When I was a young kid, I could breakdance and I was quite good at school, which is weird because I don’t have any rhythm in any other type of dance. The last time I danced was for Let’s Dance for Sport Relief with a team of Olympians and we danced to Madonna’s Vogue. After that, I vowed I would never dance live on TV again because it was so scary! But here I am now on the biggest dance show on TV and will be facing my fears live every Saturday night, I can’t wait!

Are you a competitive person?

Yes I am mega competitive, although I’m playing it down because I truly can’t dance! I’ll be disappointed in myself if I don’t improve a lot. I did Celebrity MasterChef a few years ago and I was told I was bad on the first day, which made me angry with myself and the next day I came back more focused. I ended up being runner-up purely because I hate not being the best.

Who will be supporting you during Strictly?

My mates will be the first to tease me but then also be the first to knock on the door to come down and watch! I’ve got friends who have done the show before like Mark Foster and Darren Gough and hopefully they will give me some good advice.

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Jay McGuiness

Singer (The Wanted)

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year?

I’m taking part in Strictly to experience a challenge and to come back home to the UK as I have been living in Los Angeles recently. Also to meet new people and to be judged by Len which I think will make me a real man! A lot of people won’t know that I’m the only member of The Wanted that had danced beforehand at a college in Nottingham, but I did a lot of contemporary dance so I’m looking forward to now learning different types of dance that I’ve never done before.

What are you looking for in a dance partner?

I would like my dance partner to be firm and crack the whip, but also have a sense of humour as I will absolutely make the same mistake over and over again!

What will be your biggest challenge during Strictly?

I think my biggest challenge will be smiling, not because I’m not happy but because I’m not naturally a smiley person, so when it comes to one of the more enthusiastic dances I think I’m going to really struggle to bring that character out. I’m also going to struggle with having a strict routine again. I’ve been away from work and living in Los Angeles for a year as well as travelling, but now I have commitments to uphold and focus on, so that’s going to be a challenge.

Are you a competitive person?

I don’t know, sometimes. If I really get involved in something I can feel competitiveness creeping in, but for the most part I’m pretty relaxed. I would like to make it to halfway in the competition and then I can bow out with grace. Anything else is a bonus and anything less then I will try and not mention it.

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Jeremy Vine

Broadcaster and journalist

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year?

I turned 50 this year and although I’m not a natural dancer, I realised this is the time to do stuff you don’t naturally want to do. One of the key moments for me as a non-dancer was at a wedding. There were about a hundred couples and we were all dancing in a rubbish way and then suddenly this pair of 30-something’s came on the dance floor and did an amazing rumba or salsa and I thought I want to be able to do that. That was 15 years ago and now I’ve decided I really want to learn to dance too.

Have you ever danced before?

I danced in suspenders for Children in Need as a Rocky Horror take-off with BBC News presenters Andrew Marr, Sophie Raworth and Michael Buerk. I have also done a lot of 80s-style disco dancing, where you move your arms as if you are trapped in a lift, but the most moving thing that ever happened to me, was when I was a correspondent in South Africa and about 20 grannies asked me to dance with them during a Nelson Mandela event and they were awesome in the way they moved. I just got caught in the moment and forgot all my British inhibitions.

Have you been given any advice or helpful tips?

The tip I’ve been given by most people is to enjoy it. My wife thinks that sometimes the journalist in me – and this is a classic journalist thing – is that you tend to get very mission focused so you’re here to do something, you’ve got to get the story, broadcast it and then you go home. However Strictly isn’t really necessarily about the end product, it’s about the journey. My wife will be nervous watching me on Strictly, my eldest daughter is ready to be extremely embarrassed by her dad, but my younger daughter is very excited and will be screaming at the TV!

How far do you hope to make it in the competition?

I would like to get to at least one tense moment in the competition but I am so polite, I will just wave the others past me on their way to the trophy and later think to myself, I wanted that!

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Peter Andre

Singer and TV presenter

Why are you taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year?

It is the best show on telly and I have always wanted to take part in Strictly. I love performing on stage but this is a whole new area of dance, I have a lot to learn. I’m looking forward to impressing the judges, they are excellent at their craft and any criticism they give you is usually constructive.

What are you looking for in a dance partner?

I want someone who will be strict with me but will also have fun and enjoy our training. My biggest challenge is going to be remembering the moves as they are so technical and I wouldn't want to let my partner down.

Are you a competitive person?

I thought I wasn’t but I must be because I am very focused. I think the competition is more with myself and to prove whether I can still move like I did 20 years ago? Ha ha! But everyone always tells me to enjoy the experience as the whole thing will come and go very quickly.

Who will be supporting you during Strictly?

Hopefully all my family will come down to watch me dance and my kids are big fans of the show!

Get it on...

South African audiences have access to five BBC TV channels: BBC Entertainment, BBC Lifestyle, BBC Knowledge, CBeebies and BBC World News.

Hosts

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Tess Daly

The ever-glamorous Tess Daly returns to co-present her 13th series of Strictly Come Dancing.

After working around the world as a model and before landing her role on Strictly, Tess presented many other TV shows including Smash Hits TV, Children in Need and the Royal Variety Performance. She also presented BBC One’s celebrity singing talent show Just the Two Of Us alongside husband Vernon Kay.

In 2008, Tess won a special version of Strictly Come Dancing against Sir Terry Wogan, where she was partnered with a delighted Anton du Beke. As well as being a successful columnist Tess is also a published author with titles The Camera Never Lies and It’s Up To You, New York to her name.

Strictly Come Dancing Series 13

Claudia Winkleman

The ever-popular Claudia Winkleman joins Tess Daly to co-host Strictly Come Dancing 2015. Having co-presented the Sunday night results show alongside Tess Daly since 2010, this year Claudia will be providing first-hand reactions from the couples hot off the dance floor.

The Cambridge graduate, who previously hosted It Takes Two, has many a string to her entertainment bow. She is known for presenting a number of BBC shows including Comic Relief and Film 2014. Alongside her work as a journalist, she also presents a weekly Friday evening show on BBC Radio 2 – The Arts Show with Claudia Winkleman – delivering a feast of the finest offerings from film, theatre, arts, TV and music. Claudia is also presenter of the popular BBC Two programme The Great British Sewing Bee.

Meet the Judges

Strictly Come Dancing S15

Bruno Tonioli

Bruno Tonioli has worked with some of the biggest and best names in the industry such as Elton John, Duran Duran, Freddie Mercury, Tina Turner, Paul McCartney to name but a few! He splits his time between London and Los Angeles to record both Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars, two of the most successful shows either side of the Atlantic. In 2015, he also served as a guest judge on Dancing with the Stars in Australia.

Strictly Come Dancing S15

Craig Revel Horwood

Craig's work has taken him all over the world and along the way he has picked up a prestigious Olivier Award for his work on the West End musical Spend, Spend, Spend. Craig is constantly on the go choreographing and directing new stage projects - including the Strictly Live Arena Tour every year. Craig has also judged on the New Zealand version of Strictly Come Dancing.

Craig was born in a sleepy Australian town called Ballarat and when he was old enough, he moved away from his hometown to the bright lights of Melbourne where his dance career began. He appeared in productions including West Side Story, La Cage Aux Folles, Me and My Girl and many more.

He eventually headed to Europe where he joined the Lido Du Paris as a dancer in Panache and then as principle singer in Formidable at the Moulin Rouge, finding himself a year later in the UK tour of Cats in Edinburgh and Dublin. Craig also appeared in the original concert version of Jesus Christ Superstar. In the West End, Craig has performed in Cats, playing the part of Munkustrap, Miss Saigon and was an original cast member playing the part of Harry in Crazy For You. Craig has recently returned to his performing roots, playing Miss Hannigan in Annie.

Craig has directed numerous stage shows including most recently the hugely successful tour of Sister Act and the new Dusty Springfield musical Son of a Preacher Man.

Craig is now in his 16th series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Strictly Come Dancing S15

Dame Darcey Bussell

Prima Ballerina Dame Darcey Bussell DBE is a former Principal Dancer at The Royal Ballet.

Darcey became a Principal at The Royal Ballet in 1989 aged only 20 years old and remained at the company for her entire career. She also performed as a principal guest artist with leading companies around the world, retiring from ballet in 2007. She came out of retirement to dance the ‘Spirit of the Flame’ at the Olympics closing ceremony in 2012.

Amongst her many patronages, she is President of the Royal Academy of Dance and International patron of the Sydney Dance Company. Her extensive broadcast work includes presenting documentaries such as Darcey Dances Hollywood, the 'Looking for’ series and she has presented The Royal Ballet's popular worldwide cinema simulcasts since 2014.

Darcey first appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2008 when she performed a segment of Viva La Diva with Katherine Jenkins. She then appeared as a guest judge on the series in 2009, during which she and professional dancer Ian Waite danced a Jive together. Darcey joined the judging panel full time in 2012.

Strictly Come Dancing S15

Shirley Ballas

Head Judge Shirley Ballas is a British-born ballroom and Latin dancer and international coach who joined Strictly last year.

Originally from Wallasey, Shirley is a former British Open to the World Champion and European, German, United Kingdom, United States and International Latin American Champion. She retired from competitive dancing in 1996. Shirley is now an acclaimed and respected international coach to many of the top professional and amateur dancers as well as a highly renowned sought-after adjudicator for ballroom and Latin American competitions judging all around the world.

Nicknamed the ‘Queen of Latin’, Shirley is one of the top and most decorated professional dancers in the world. She is three-time British Open to the World Latin American Champion, 10-time United States Latin American Champion, and multiple-times British National Champion.