BBC STRICTLY CHILDREN IN NEED 2019 LINE UP REVEALED 0 105

As exclusively revealed on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two this evening (Monday 28 October), EastEnders stars Ricky Champ, Louisa Lytton, Maisie Smith and Rudolph Walker OBE will be taking to the dancefloor alongside the Strictly professionals, as they go head to head to win the Pudsey Glitterball trophy for BBC Children in Need 2019.

Presented by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, the Strictly special will feature as part of the BBC Children in Need 2019 Appeal Night on BBC One on Friday 15 November.

Ricky Champ says: “I am so excited to be taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing EastEnders special. I’m looking forward to showing the world my moves. Bring it on!”

Louisa Lytton says: “It feels like a lifetime ago since I did Strictly Come Dancing so I am beyond excited to put my dancing shoes back on and return to the famous floor. It’s for a fantastic cause which makes it all the more special.”

Maisie Smith says: “I’m flattered to be part of such an iconic show! Strictly has been a family favourite in my house for years. I can’t wait to put my dancing skills to the test!”

Rudolph Walker OBE says: “I am thrilled to be taking part in this year’s competition and can’t wait to get started. Although at 80 years old, it’s probably best I don’t try to do the splits!”

Ricky will be dancing with Luba Mushtuk; Louisa will be dancing with Gorka Marquez; Maisie will take to the floor with Kevin Clifton and Rudolph will be partnered with Nancy Xu. The stars will compete in a group number, choreographed by former Strictly professional Trent Whiddon, in a bid to be crowned champions.

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STRICTLY 2019: CHRISTMAS STARS REVEALED 0 74

Six of the most-loved Strictly contestants from previous series are returning to the dance floor for an all-star Christmas extravaganza special, coming to BBC One on Christmas Day.

This year the ladies set to sprinkle some Christmas magic on the dancefloor are Chizzy Akudolu, Debbie McGee and Gemma Atkinson.

Chizzy says: “I am so excited to be coming back to Strictly this year, and being able to get back on the dancefloor once again! I’m still the biggest fan of Strictly so it’s wonderful to be back with old friends, in front of and behind the camera, and hopefully some new ones for Christmas. Bring on the sparkle, and maybe an odd 10 – it is Christmas after all…!”

Debbie says: “I thought all my dreams came true two years ago when I was asked to do the series, but to be one of the rare people to be invited back to do the Christmas Special is the icing on the cake. I can’t wait to be back dancing with my Strictly family”.

Gemma says: “I had the absolute best time on Strictly and it completely changed my life so I am absolutely overjoyed to be returning to the dancefloor this Christmas with a new challenge, and of course to be back with the gang!”

The gentlemen set to rock the dancefloor are Joe Sugg, Mark Wright, and Richard Arnold.

Joe says: “I’m really excited to have a go on the strictly ballroom floor again this Christmas. Strictly feels like a home away from home for me so I will be giving it my best shot and ending the year on a high.”

Mark says: “It’s been a while since I was on the dancefloor but I’m very much looking to forward to dusting off the dance shoes for Christmas! I can’t wait to be back – let’s get going!”

Richard says: “I can’t wait to get back out on the dance floor and throw shapes beneath the glitter ball once again. I just can’t promise you’ll recognise them or that they’ll be in any particular order. What I can promise is that one of us will be a professional.”

Each of the six couples will perform a Christmas inspired routine in a bid to be crowned Christmas champions 2019.

Hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, the show wouldn’t be complete without the festive foursome on the judging panel: Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Bruno Tonioli and Head Judge Shirley Ballas.

The judges will be on hand to score each couple and spread some cheerful joy, yet it will be down to the studio audience to vote for which dancing duo will win the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2019 and lift the famous Silver Star trophy.

The professional dancers and pairings will be revealed in due course.

WILL BAYLEY LEAVES STRICTLY AFTER INJURY 0 95

Sadly, due to the injury sustained last week, Will Bayley is leaving Strictly Come Dancing.

Executive Producer Sarah James said: “We are so sad that Will is unable to continue on the show. He is an incredible and talented person who has brought us some unforgettable moments this series – in particular his powerful and moving Couple’s Choice routine. He will be greatly missed and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Will Bayley said: “I’m gutted my Strictly journey has had to come to an end. I’ve loved being part of the show, and am so grateful for the phenomenal support we have received. I want to say a special thank you to Janette for believing in me and giving me the confidence to believe in myself. The things we achieved, from our Couple’s Choice dance through to the lifts in our Salsa, will stay with me forever. I’ve had the time of my life.”

Janette Manrara said: “Absolutely devastated that Will and I will not be able to continue dancing. We made some incredible memories that I will never forget, and I am pleased to have shared them with such an inspirational person, whom I can now call a friend for life.”

Will and Janette will be on It Takes Two tonight from 6.30pm on BBC Two.