Belfast Telegraph

Louis Smith wins Christmas Strictly

Olympic gymnast Louis Smith has added another trophy to his collection after winning the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, in which Sir Bruce Forsyth returned to the ballroom.

The 25-year-old competed against fellow contestants from previous series - Rachel Stevens, Lisa Riley, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Chris Hollins and Russell Grant - in the TV special.

Louis, who partnered professional Aliona Vilani, was crowned King of the Christmas Ballroom after earning a perfect score of 40 points from the judges for a quickstep, to the song Jingle Bells.

The gymnast, who was Strictly champion in 2012, lifted the Christmas Silver Star trophy after the score from the judges was combined with the vote from the studio audience in the BBC One show.

Sir Bruce, who bowed out as the regular weekly host of Strictly this year, returned to present the Christmas show with Tess Daly and sing a version of Winter Wonderland, accompanied by professional dancers.

The Christmas special featured the judges in pantomime costume, with Bruno Tonioli as Buttons, acid-tongued Craig Revel Horwood as The Evil Queen, Darcey Bussell as the Fairy Godmother and head judge Len Goodman as Cinderella's father Baron Hardup.

Contestants also took on the roles of pantomime characters, with singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor as Sleeping Beauty, actress Lisa Riley as Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz, S Club 7's Rachel Stevens as Tinker Bell, Louis as Jack from Jack And The Beanstalk, TV presenter Chris Hollins as Dick Whittington and astrologer Russell Grant as the genie from Aladdin.

Louis said of his win: "It's a nice present, I am not going to lie! We've had such a fun time although the first week of rehearsals was hard.

"But since then we have just been chilling out, laughing and giggling, messing around on the dance floor, it's been really good fun."

The couples also performed a group number to All I Want For Christmas Is You, while the show ended with a pantomime finale featuring professional dancer Natalie Lowe as Cinderella.

:: Performances order and scores

Chris Hollins and Iveta Lukosiute, c harleston to Sleigh Ride (31)

Rachel Stevens and Tristan MacManus, Viennese waltz to Please Come Home For Christmas (38)

Russell Grant and Joanne Clifton, cha c ha cha to Could It Be Magic (29)

Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Aljaz Skorjanec, American smooth to White Christmas (39)

Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor, j ive to Step Into Christmas (32)

Louis Smith and Aliona Vilani, q uickstep to Jingle Bells (40)

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