Strictly Come Dancing will return to Blackpool after a two-year absence and this year’s series will feature a special themed week to celebrate 100 years of the BBC, the broadcaster has announced.
The 20th series of the BBC show will see 15 celebrity contestants, including the TV presenter Helen Skelton, EastEnders actor James Bye, singer Fleur East and former England footballer Tony Adams, taking to the dancefloor.
In the BBC-themed episode, the Strictly couples will either dance to “a theme tune from an iconic BBC programme or in tribute to one of the BBC’s most loved services”, the BBC said.
The episode will also feature two routines by the Strictly professionals, one dedicated to the BBC’s natural history programming, and another that will see the professionals “crashing” some popular BBC shows.
The series, which launches on 17 September, will also return to the prestigious Blackpool Tower ballroom after a two-year break because of the Covid pandemic.
Strictly’s executive producer, Sarah James, said: “We know how much viewers love the Strictly themed weeks, so it’s fantastic to be able to announce a new one, celebrating the BBC’s centenary.
“It’s the icing on the cake to be able to confirm that we are returning to the iconic Blackpool Tower ballroom this year. We can’t wait to get back to Blackpool.”
Memorable moments from Strictly at the Blackpool Tower ballroom over the years include 2016’s entrance by the former shadow chancellor Ed Balls, who was lowered from the ceiling playing a piano before taking to the dancefloor to jive with Katya Jones to the Jerry Lee Lewis hit Great Balls of Fire.
The celebrity lineup this year also includes the Ted Lasso actor Ellie Taylor, Paralympics swimming gold medallist Ellie Simmonds, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps actor Will Mellor, Loose Women star Kaye Adams, and Coronation Street actor Kym Marsh.
They are joined by Bros singer Matt Goss, Kiss radio host Tyler West, Britain’s Got Talent finalist Molly Rainford, comedian and actor Jayde Adams, Wildlife cameraman and presenter Hamza Yassin, and BBC Radio 2’s Richie Anderson.
Anderson, a regular fixture as the presenter of the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast show’s travel bulletins, will dance as part of a same-sex partnership this year, following in the steps of Nicola Adams and Katya Jones who danced together in 2020, and Johannes Radebe and the Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite, who made the final in the 2021 series.