Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Day special: first celebs announced

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special 2023 has it's first contestants

Strictly Come dancing judges 2023

by Nathan Katnoria |
Updated on

The 21st series of Strictly Come Dancing may be coming to an end in just a matter of weeks, but fear not Strictly fans, as there's also a Christmas special to look forward to before the year is over.

The first celebrity contestants taking part in the 2023 Christmas special have been announced and we absolutely cannot wait to see them take to the ballroom floor.

From a veteran EastEnders star to a familiar face for BBC Breakfast viewers, here are all the names taking part so far...

CHECK OUT Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special 2023 line-up


Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special 2023 line-up

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Dan Snow

History broadcaster, best-selling author and entrepreneur Dan Snow is the first celebrity taking part in this year's Strictly Christmas special and will be dancing with Nadiya Bychkova.

He says, "I am absolutely terrified about hitting the dance floor. But I love getting out of my comfort zone and I’ve always wanted to learn how to dance properly. So I thought it was now or never!”

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Sally Nugent

BBC Breakfast presenter Sally Nugent is another famous face taking part. She's been paired up with professional dancer Graziano di Prima.

Sally says, "I am thrilled and slightly terrified to be taking part in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special. I'm hoping the judges will be kind - and filled with Christmas spirit. And I hope everyone watching at home will enjoy a little bit of Strictly magic on Christmas night.”

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Jamie Borthwick

There have been tonnes of EastEnders stars on Strictly over the years and now Jamie Borthwick, who has played Jay Brown for the last 17 years, is following in their footsteps. He'll be dancing on the Christmas special alongside Nancy Xu.

Jamie says, "I am so excited to be joining the cast of this year's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special. From Walford to a Waltz, I can’t wait to learn a new skill and put my dancing to the test. I’m hoping to spread Christmas cheer and have a good laugh with my professional dancer…get me on that dancefloor!”

Keisha Buchanan4 of 6

Keisha Buchanan

Sugababes icon Keisha Buchanan may have just released a new single, 'When the Rain Comes’ but that hasn't stopped Keisha from partnering up with dancing king Gorka Marquez in a bid to win the disco ball on this year's Strictly Christmas special.

Keisha revealed, "I am so excited to be taking part, and over Christmas too, my favourite time of the year! I am looking forward to learning some new moves and embracing the dancefloor!”

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Danny Cipriani

Former English rugby player, Danny Cipriani will be taking to the dance floor alongside professional Jowita Pryzstal.
Chatting about his Strictly experience, Danny revealed, “I’ve always enjoyed the concept of Strictly Come Dancing, it wasn’t something I ever thought I’d do. After addressing my own ideas and beliefs, I am very much looking forward to expressing myself through dance with no limitations. Strictly brings joy to everyone’s living rooms, being a part of that for Christmas Day will be special.”

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Tillie Amartey

Actress Tillie Amartey is the final celeb to take part in Strictly, she will be dancing with Neil Jones in this year's festive episode.

Tillie admitted, “My family have been avid fans of Strictly since forever so no pressure! The nerves are real, but I am SUPER excited to bring some much-needed joy to the telly while I shimmy and sparkle my two left feet through the Christmas special!”

When is the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special on TV?

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Christmas Day - that's Monday 25 December 2023.

Who are the judges on the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special?

Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and Head Judge Shirley Ballas are all returning to judge the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special.

Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke judging Strictly
©BBC Pictures

Which professional dancers are taking part in Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special?

It has been announced that Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano di Prima, Nancy Xu, Neil Jones, Jowita Pryzstal and Gorka Marquez will be the main professionals in this years Christmas special. However, we're sure to see all of our faves like Giovanni Pernice, Katya Jones and Dianne Buswell appear on the show in the group dances.

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