Strictly as we know it … – Ultra Ballroom

Strictly as we know it …

We all know that Christmas is approaching when strictly starts to hit our screens. We make it a weekly event…some people even have scorecards and let’s not forget the frantic texting between friends as we all become ballroom experts!

So what is the history of this show in the format that we now know? What is the appeal and how does it manage to draw us into a world of sequins and glamour and inspire us to get up and dance? What has made this the single most popular TV series across the globe?


The idea …

Strictly Come Dancing was a concept inspired by the Australian film Strictly Ballroom and with the idea of providing a more up to date and exciting format of the previous Come Dancing TV series that had finished in 1998.

The idea was straightforward… celebrities were matched with professional dancers, each week they performed a Latin or Ballroom dance and as the weeks went by they were voted to stay by the public and the two couples with the least votes had to take part in the dreaded dance-off each week! There was a live band, two hosts and a lineup of three judges… it was the perfect formula for success.

The idea really appealed to the viewing public – it had everything – great entertainment, education (we all become judges as we watch, don’t we?) the expert feedback from the judges, humour …. Shall we all take a moment to remind ourselves of Anton and Ann Widdecombe, and then there is the glamour – so much glamour, sparkle and fake tan! What is not to love??

Since the series began in 2004 Sixteen stand-alone Christmas specials and nineteen charity specials have also been produced. The format of Strictly as it has become known has been sold across the world and is the single most successful television series globally.

Over the years we have seen some changes, the show was originally hosted by the TV entertainment legend Bruce Forsythe alongside Tess Daley, they were a partnership from 2004 to 2014 when he retired and Claudia Winkleman took over.

The Judges have changed over the years too – From the original Bruno Tonioli, Arlene Phillips, Len Goodman and Craig Revel Horwood only Craig remains.

This year Anton du Beke is leaving the dance floor and joining the judges – cannot wait!!

The revived and renewed Strictly has been responsible for a massive upsurge in Ballroom dance lessons, and viewing figures every year are a testament to its popularity. We are drawn into the journey of the celebrities and it becomes a must-see part of our week. We get an insight into the workings of the show, the make-up and the costumes courtesy of the offshoot programme “Strictly it takes two” so it draws us in and keeps us interested till the nail-biting emotional roller coaster of a final.

Strictly is a phenomenal TV success … it’s family-friendly, it’s glamourous, it’s a competition … it’s everything you need in Saturday night entertainment! I am sure it will continue to inspire and maybe enough to sign up to Ultra Ballroom and become the star of your very own glamorous event!!

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