Strictly Come Dancing is one of the most popular shows on our screens, and it’s had some amazing moments – high-scoring routines, romantic dramas, snipes and fallouts, giving me lots of inspiration for my latest novel Strictly Christmas Spirit.
The show has also had some real ground-breaking moments. Let’s find out what firsts Strictly has achieved since it began in 2004.
First disabled contestant – Jonnie Peacock MBE
Jonnie Peacock was the first visibly disabled person to compete on the show, in 2017. He was partnered with Oti Mabuse and danced his way to the Blackpool round scoring some impressive results along the way. Jonnie is a runner, an amputee who won gold at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics, and bronze at the 2020 Paralympics.
First deaf contestant – Rose Ayling-Ellis
Taking part in this year’s competition, Eastenders actress Rose wants to challenge misconceptions about the way deaf people experience music. Partnered with Giovanni, Rose relies on counting and remembering the beat of the music to be able to perform to it. She’s doing really well and could be a potential winner!
First all-male couple
Again, breaking ground in this year’s series is John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, the first male couple on the show. John, a former winner of The Great British Bake Off, found out he was going to be partnered with Johannes when the pro dancer jumped out of a giant glittery cake!
First all-female couple
Just a year ago, Strictly saw its first all-female couple take to the dance floor – Olympic boxer Nicola Adams and her professional dance partner Katya Jones. Sadly, Nicola was forced to pull out after Katya tested positive for COVID-19, a shame as the couple were amazing together and were extremely popular with viewers.
First winner and the first perfect ten
Natasha Kaplinsky has the honour of being the first person to lift the glitterball trophy after winning the first season back in 2004 with her partner Brendan Cole. She was also the first celebrity to score a perfect ten.
Have I missed any? Let me know! I wonder what will happen next as the contestants continue to jive, waltz and salsa their way through this year’s competition.
If you’re a fan of Strictly and you like festive reads, do check out my latest novel, Strictly Christmas Spirit, part of my Spotlight Series of romances inspired by the nation’s fave TV shows!