BBC One’s hugely popular entertainment show Strictly Come Dancing returns to TV screens later this month with a new exciting celebrity line-up and a host of breathtaking dance routines guaranteed to leave audiences spellbound. And Strictly's Live Tour is no different - this must-see event for fans of all ages brings the magic of the TV show to an arena near you.
This year's tour will star TV Judges Len Goodman and Craig Revel Horwood. They will be joined on the judging panel by former Strictly professional dancer and winner of the 2006 series, Karen Hardy. The tour will also feature a brand new host, Countryfile's Anita Rani, who was a semi-finalist in the 2015 series and a contestant on this year’s live tour.
Former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls*, sports presenter Ore Oduba and actress Lesley Joseph are the latest celebrities announced to appear on the Strictly Come Dancing Live UK Tour. Ed, Ore and Lesley will join fellow celebrities Louise Redknapp, Danny Mac and Daisy Lowe on the 10th anniversary tour, alongside tour host Anita Rani, and the new tour judging panel of Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Karen Hardy.
Craig Revel Horwood will direct the tour for the seventh year, creating all of the showbiz sparkle, breathtaking choreography and incredible live music that Strictly is famous for - audiences can experience everything that they love about the TV show live on stage.
Head Judge Len Goodman said: “The live tour always has such a great atmosphere and the 10th anniversary tour will definitely be one to remember, especially as this will come as I complete my final year on the TV series as Head Judge. Rest assured audiences, this tour will be a ten from Len!”
Craig Revel Horwood added: “I am very pleased to be back on tour with legendary Len and also welcoming Karen to the tour’s judging panel. This 10th year is going to be bigger and better than ever before. We’ll be pulling out all the stops to make sure that this anniversary tour is the best yet!”
Guest Judge Karen Hardy said: “I couldn’t be more excited to be joining Len and Craig in the judging hot seat. Having seen the fantastic line-up for this year's TV series, I know that audiences around the country are going to be in for a real treat. I can't wait to get started!”
Host Anita Rani said: “I had such a great experience on the series and the tour, that I jumped at the opportunity to come back and host the tour. I had a taster as tour host last year when I stood in for Mel Giedroyc, which was so much fun. I'm really looking forward to being back in front of the lovely Strictly audiences to celebrate 10 years on the road!”
This entertainment extravaganza will star many of the celebrities and professional dancers from the hugely anticipated 14th BBC One series, as they take to the dance floor and recreate their most popular TV dance routines. Details of celebrities and professional dancers appearing on tour will be announced over the coming months.
The judges will provide their invaluable wisdom, advice and scores at each performance on tour. But not only are the celebrities and their dance partners competing for the judges’ scores, they will also be battling to win votes from the arena audiences, who can text vote via their mobile phones and ultimately have the power to decide who wins the coveted Glitterball Trophy at the end of each show.
The 30 show spectacular will open at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham on 20 January 2017. The tour will then visit the biggest entertainment venues across the UK: Metro Radio Arena Newcastle, Sheffield Arena, The SSE Arena, Glasgow, Motorpoint Arena Nottingham, First Direct Arena Leeds, Manchester Arena, Liverpool’s Echo Arena, The SSE Arena, Wembley, before culminating at The O2, London on 12 February.
The tour has received rave reviews since it began in 2008 and this year's live shows were no exception. The Sunday Telegraph heaped praise on the production and gave it a 5 star review, saying: “the Strictly juggernaut shows no sign of slowing down”. The Mail On Sunday and Metro agreed, both awarding glowing 4 star reviews. The Mail On Sunday said: “the overall standard of dancing was the highest I can recall”.
Last December an audience of nearly 12 million viewers tuned in to watch the nail-biting Strictly Come Dancing Grand Final on BBC One, when The Wanted singer Jay McGuiness was crowned the winner with his professional dance partner Aliona Vilani. The television format, internationally known as Dancing with the Stars, is one of the most successful TV formats ever created and has been sold into over 50 countries around the world.
*Please note that due to prior commitments, Ed Balls will not be appearing at Manchester Arena (4th – 5th February).
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