Strictly Come Dancing

New professional dancers join the Strictly Come Dancing line up

The three new professional dancers are all champions in their own right from the world of Ballroom and Latin dancing.

Dianne Buswell from Australia, Nadiya Bychkova from Ukraine and Amy Dowden from Wales will join the new series.

The three new professional dancers will replace Joanne Clifton and Oksana Platero who are leaving the series, along with Natalie Lowe who previously announced she would not be returning.

Shirley Ballas confirmed as Strictly Come Dancing head judge

Shirley Ballas (Credit: BBC)

Known as the Queen of Latin, Ballas is one of the most decorated professional dancers in the world, and is a three-time British Open to the World Latin American champion and 10-time United States Latin American champion.

Since retiring from competitive dancing in 1996, she has worked as a coach to top professional and amateur dancers, and as an adjudicator for ballroom and Latin American competitions around the world.

Dances with Balls: Katya Jones tells all about Strictly's most enthusiastic contestant

Strictly Come Dancing’s Len Goodman’s critique of Ed Balls’ The Mask-themed Samba spoke for the nation a few weeks ago. Ed Balls has defied expectations to become one of the most popular contestants on the show.

Despite coming bottom of the leaderboard throughout the series, Balls and dance partner Katya Jones have escaped elimination each week.

“Even those who didn’t like him before are warming to him now” Jones says. “He’s just a normal human who came in knowing nothing about dance, and he’s trying so hard.”

Strictly professional: Gorka talks Tameka, Charleston and elimination

Strictly

“Every ballroom dancer in the competition world, once they stop competing, they want to join the programme,” says Gorka Marquez.

Marquez is one of six new professionals who joined the Strictly Family in 2016, along with husband and wife dancing duo Katya and Neil Jones, AJ Pritchard, Chloe Hewitt and Oksana Platero.

Until the shock elimination last weekend, he was partnered with EastEnders actress Tameka Empson.

“I think the time wasn’t right for her because she was a good dancer. I think it was too early” he protests.

Final names complete Strictly line-up

Rutherford has just returned from the Rio Olympics where he won a bronze medal in the long jump final. He announced his taking part in the celebrity dance contest on BBC's The One Show alongside actors Lesley Joseph and Tameka Empson.

Joseph is most remembered for her role in the 1990's hit sitcom Birds of a Feather, where she played promiscuous neighbour Dorien, while Empson rose to prominence in her hidden camera comedy 3 Non-Blondes in 2003. She currently stars on EastEnders as the bubbly but vicious Kim Fox.

Len Goodman to leave Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing 2015 judges

The Head Judge of the BBC’s Saturday night hit has announced that the next series, his fourteenth, will be his last.

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are to present new series, and judges Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Darcy Bussell will also be returning.

The RTS-award winning show has not yet announced this year’s line-up of celebrity contestants who will be taking to the floor to win the glitterball trophy in the autumn.

Mr Entertainment shifts into top gear

Mark Linsey, BBC, BBC Television,

Mark Linsey’s career in television has progressed from producing An Audience with Freddie Starr to the heady heights of running BBC Television. As Acting Director of Television – following the abrupt departure of Danny Cohen – Linsey finds himself playing a critical part as Charter renewal gathers pace.

Ask how an executive with 30 years in entertainment shows might play such a crucial role, and this safe pair of hands reaches for the word “distinctive”.

Top entertainment TV for 2016

David Walliams, Lip Sync Battle, UK, Mel B, Professor Green

The year is coming to an end, it is time to remember fondly the past year’s television treats, and look forward to what 2016 will bring in TV entertainment.

 

Lip Sync Battle UK - Channel 5

This American import is being given a very special British makeover. Hosted by former Spice Girl Mel B and rapper Professor Green, the show will have all your favourite celebrities miming their hearts out for the studio audience’s votes. 

Lip Sync Battle UK starts on 8 January 2016

Bake Off rises to the top of 2015's most watched shows

Nadiya Hussain, Mary Berry, Bake Off, Paul Hollywood, Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc

Over half of the top 40 TV shows of 2015 aired on BBC One, according to research compiled by the Press Association from the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (Barb).

Despite an increase in viewers over the year, Channel 4 does not make the list, as BBC One fills 27 spots, and ITV takes the remaining 13 places. 

Strictly Come Dancing appeared 13 times in the list, making it the most consistently viewed show so far this year.

Lorraine Heggessey: Crises never go away

Lorraine Heggessey at the RTS London Christmas Lecture 2015

Top Gear was “an accident waiting to happen”, said Lorraine Heggessey, who told the audience enjoying her RTS London Christmas Lecture that she would have dealt with the programme’s presenter, Jeremy Clarkson, more quickly.

“Jeremy is a bit like a spoiled toddler,” she said. He had “crossed the line several times with quite racist remarks and got away with it”, added the former BBC and TalkbackThames executive.