Belfast Telegraph

Second time lucky? Strictly Come Dancing crowns winner of the Christmas Special

This year’s festive champion has achieved Strictly success after missing out a few years back.

Katie Derham has claimed Strictly Come Dancing glory as she was named the winner of the Christmas Special two years after she missed the chance to lift the Glitterball trophy.

The TV and radio presenter was named the winner of this year’s festive episode alongside professional dancer Brendan Cole.

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The pair’s Viennese waltz was praised by the judges – Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Darcey Bussell – who awarded them a score of 37 points.

The judges’ scores were combined with votes from the studio audience to determine who would lift the Silver Star trophy.

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Ballas said the routine, which saw the couple start in a giant snow globe, was “absolutely beautiful, everything was fabulous for me, I loved it”.

Derham made the finale of the show in 2015, but was the first person eliminated during the final, coming in fourth position.

She returned alongside five other previous Strictly couples which included Olympic athlete Colin Jackson, who returned to perform a rumba 12 years after he first featured in Strictly.

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Jackson, who was partnered with Strictly newcomer Amy Dowden, said he was delighted that the pair were Strictly’s first all-Welsh couple.

The sprinter and hurdling champion reached the Strictly final in 2005, but landed in second place to that year’s victor, cricketer Darren Gough.

His returning rumba was awarded 36 points by the judges, with Tonioli commenting: “You were like a rumbalicious, snake-hipped, Welsh wonder. It was hotter than Christmas in the tropics and I loved it”.

Ex-footballer Robbie Savage also turned up the heat for the judging panel as he returned to perform an American Smooth with dance partner Dianne Buswell.

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Savage made the quarter finals when he appeared on Strictly in 2011 and was awarded 31 points for the routine he performed during that series.

The sports star also notoriously broke his nose while doing a knee slide as part of a jive during his previous stint on the show.

Talking ahead of his Christmas performance, he joked: “This time I’ve got a new partner, Dianne, no more knee slides. I’m savage by name, but smooth by nature this Christmas”.

The couple equalled his previous score as the judges awarded them 31 points.

Head judge Ballas said Savage’s dance was “just as handsome as you are”.

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Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special

Tennis coach Judy Murray last appeared on Strictly in 2014 and managed to better her previous high score of 24 points as she scored 31 from the judges for her Christmas Charleston.

Murray, mother to tennis stars Sir Andy and Jamie, partnered with Strictly professional Neil Jones, who is the husband of this year’s professional half of the winning duo, Katya Jones.

Broadcaster Jeremy Vine teamed up with his professional dance partner from 2015, Karen Clifton, to perform a quickstep.

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Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special

Their efforts earned them a low score of two points from Revel Horwood, who then switched it to a higher score of seven after being chastised by fellow judge Bussell.

Before dishing out his scores, Revel Horwood said: “All I want for Christmas is to never see that dance again”.

Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh was also re-united with her previous Strictly partner. She was a finalist in the BBC One series in 2012 with Pasha Kovalev.

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Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special

Their reindeer themed jive was fabulously festive and saw them earn the highest score of the night from the judges, 39 points.

The episode also included a segment which saw the Strictly judges, professional dancers, previous celebrity contestants and other guests attend a tea at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Duchess of Cornwall.

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National Osteoporosis Society tea party

Camilla, who is the president of the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS), hosted the event to highlight the benefits of older people staying active.

The show was opened with a group dance featuring the vocal talents of the Trinity Boys Choir and the cast of the Christmas special.

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National Osteoporosis Society tea party

Other highlights included a performance by the Kaiser Chiefs and this year’s Strictly contestants, including winner Joe McFadden, in the audience.

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