Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special 2021: Anne-Marie, Fred Sirieix and Mel Giedroyc to take to the festive ballroom

It’s a staple of the festive TV calendar - but who’s set to take part in the Strictly Christmas special, when can we watch it and who's performing?

By Sophia Moir Published: 15 December 2021 - 11.18am
BBC Mel Giedroyc and Neil Jones on the Strictly Christmas special 2021

It’s a staple of the Christmas Day TV calendar on BBC One, alongside the Queen’s Speech and a festive edition of Call The Midwife. 

And this year’s Strictly Come Dancing all-star Christmas special is no exception, as six brand new celebrities take to the dancefloor to perform a dance routine inspired by the holiday season.

Celebs including Anne-Marie and Fred Sirieix will join forces with one of the show’s professional dancers to impress the judges - and the voting audience - in the hope of lifting the coveted trophy.

Here, we reveal who’s in the Strictly Christmas line-up, when you can watch it on TV, who’s performing on the show and what they'll be dancing.

Feeling festive? Read more about Superworm and Around the World in 80 Days on BBC One this Christmas, and check out our Christmas Listings Guide.

Who’s in the Strictly Christmas special celebrity line-up?

Jay Blades

Luba Mushtuk and Jay Blades BBC

Jay Blades MBE is a modern furniture restorer and presenter. He is best known for presenting The Repair Shop, Jay’s Yorkshire Workshop, Money For Nothing and Jay Blades’ Home Fix. 

In addition to his television work, Jay spends time running workshops and motivating disadvantaged people in the community.

Jay says: “I’m super excited, times two! One, because I’m going to learn a new dance apart from the ‘Dad’ dance, and two because I’m going to be on Strictly! It’s a show that I’ve always admired, and I can’t wait to see how I perform!”

Jay will be paired with Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer, Luba Mushtuk and they will Jive to the Only Fools and Horses theme tune, Hooky Street.

Fred Sirieix

Fred Sirieix and Dianne Buswell BBC

Fred Sirieix is a TV personality, author and maître d'hôtel, known for his role on Channel 4's First Dates and the spin-off show, First Dates Hotel. 

He also presents BBC Two's Remarkable Places To Eat and stars in ITV’s hit series Gino, Gordon And Fred.

Fred says: “I absolutely love Christmas so I’m delighted to be taking part in the Strictly Christmas special and to be partnered with the magnificent Dianne. 

“I hope my dance moves bring some Christmas joy to everybody watching at home and don’t make the judges say, ‘bah, Humbug!’”

Fred will be paired with Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer, Dianne Buswell and they will dance the Quickstep to Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin’ Stevens.

Mel Giedroyc

Mel Giedroyc and Neil Jones BBC

Mel is an actress, comedian, writer, television and radio presenter. She has presented BBC’s Children in Need, Let It Shine and Eurovision - You Decide. 

Along with her comedy partner Sue Perkins, she co-hosted seven series of The Great British Bake Off and together they starred in the TV comedy series, Hitmen.

Mel says: “I don’t think I’ve been this excited about Christmas since I got my first guinea-pig from Santa in 1978.”

Mel will be paired with Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer, Neil Jones. They will perform the Couple's Choice dance to Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice.

Moira Stuart

Moira Stuart and Aljaz Skorjanec BBC

Moira Stuart is a multi-award-winning newsreader, and programme presenter on TV and radio. Her career in radio and television spans five decades. 

During more than 40 years at the BBC she presented almost every news bulletin, including the flagship Six O’Clock News and Nine O’Clock News, various programmes and documentaries, as well as news bulletins on the BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Breakfast Show. 

She joined Classic FM in February 2019 where she hosts Moira Stuart Meets… and Moira Stuart’s Hall of Fame Concert .

Moira says: “I’m really looking forward to the Strictly Christmas special. I've loved dancing for as long as I can remember. In fact it even helped me try to keep warm in my early coldwater flat..."

Moira will be paired with Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer, Aljaž Škorjanec. They will dance the Salsa to Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

Anne-Marie

Graziano Di Prima and Anne-Marie BBC

Anne-Marie is an award-winning, platinum-selling pop singer. She is a nine x BRIT Award nominee, including Best British Female Solo Artist. 

In 2021, Anne-Marie released her acclaimed second studio album ‘Therapy’, released her debut book, You Deserve Better, and became a winning coach on ITV’s The Voice.

Anne-Marie says: “I’m excited to take part in the Strictly Christmas special. I love the show, and who would turn down a dance with Graziano?!”

Anne-Marie will be paired with Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer, Graziano Di Prima. They will dance the Cha Cha to Feliz Navidad.

Adrian Chiles

Jowita Przystal and Adrian Chiles BBC

Adrian Chiles is a broadcaster and writer. He has presented a number of TV shows across the BBC and ITV ranging from football to business programmes and documentaries to talk shows. 

Adrian is also a presenter on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Adrian says: “Discouragingly, every one of my family and friends with whom I’ve shared this news, has reacted with horror. They can’t believe that I’m doing it, and neither can I. Thoughts and prayers with whichever poor dancer is lumbered with me.”

Adrian will be partnered with professional dancer, Jowita Przystal. They will dance the American Smooth to that seasonal standard, White Christmas.

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Who are the judges for the Strictly Christmas special?

The judges for the Strictly Christmas special 2021 are Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke, and Head Judge Shirley Ballas.

Anton Du Beke admitted that he’s  "slightly disappointed" to be on the judging panel for the Christmas special - but only because he'd like to dance on it.

He gushed: "I LOVE the Christmas special – it’s marvellous, the songs are great and the costumes are amazing. I’m slightly disappointed that I’m judging as I’d love to be dancing in it because I love it so much."

The show will be pre-recorded (rather than live) so the audience in the studio will vote for the winner.

Who’s performing on the Strictly Christmas special?

Sheridan Smith Getty

Gary Barlow and Sheridan Smith were supposed to be performing their festive single 'How Christmas is Supposed to Be' on the show.

However The Sun reports that Smith has pulled out of the performance at the last minute, just days after she was involved in a car crash near her Essex home.

A production source said: “The Beeb were given notice quite late in the day that Sheridan wouldn’t be able to film on Tuesday (December 7) after all.

“So it’ll just be Gary performing on his own. They’re gutted.”

Who are the previous winners of the Strictly Christmas special?

2004 Jill Halfpenny & Darren Bennett

2005 Darren Gough & Lilia Kopylova

2006 Colin Jackson & Erin Boag

2007 Darren Gough & Lilia Kopylova

2008 Jill Halfpenny & Darren Bennett

2009 Ali Bastian & Brian Fortuna

2010 John Barrowman & Kristina Rihanoff

2011 Charlie Brooks & Vincent Simone

2012 J.B. Gill & Ola Jordan

2013 Rufus Hound & Flavia Cacace

2014 Louis Smith & Aliona Vilani

2015 Harry Judd & Joanne Clifton

2016 Melvin Odoom & Janette Manrara

2017 Katie Derham & Brendan Cole

2018 Aston Merrygold & Janette Manrara

2019 Debbie McGee & Kevin Clifton

In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a competition was not able to take place so a countdown of the top 25 most memorable dances in Strictly history took place instead. Strictly 2015 champions Jay McGuinness’s and Aliona Vilani’s Week 3 Jive was voted the most memorable dance.

When can I watch the Strictly Christmas special 2021?

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special will air on BBC One on Christmas Day at 7.10pm. You can catch up on BBC iPlayer after it’s aired.