Strictly Come Dancing 2021: Rose Ayling-Ellis, AJ Odudu to appear in live tour; plus Christmas special routines REVEALED

AJ Odudu will finally get to perform her unseen finale showdance during Strictly Come Dancing's live UK tour in the new year.

The 33-year-old TV presenter and her professional partner, Kai Widdrington, had to pull out of the dance competition's final after Odudu suffered an ankle injury, which meant she never got to perform her routine to Naughty Boy's Runnin'.

The tour will also feature 2021 Strictly champions actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and her partner, Giovanni Pernice, and the runners-up, Bake Off star John Whaite and professional dancer Johannes Radebe.

Meanwhile, the routines for the Christmas special routines have been revealed.

First Dates star Fred Sirieix has revealed he will be dressed as a festive turkey and will fly through the air during the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special.

And Jay Blades will join partner Luba Mustuk and dance the jive to the Only Fools And Horses theme song, Hooky Street.

Other celebrities taking part include First Dates host Fred Sirieix, comedian Mel Giedroyc, pop star Anne-Marie, newsreader Moira Stuart and TV presenter Adrian Chiles.

Read our Strictly live blog below for the latest news and gossip…

  • Joseph Gamp

    Who is Oti Mabuse?

    Oti Mabuse is a 31-year-old professional dancer who rose to fame on BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing.

    She was born in Pretoria, South Africa and unlike many of the Strictly family, Oti did not start her path to professional dancing from a young age.

    Oti studied civil engineering at university before embarking on a career in professional dancing, following in the footsteps of her sister Motsi – nine years her senior – who is a professional ballroom dancer.

    Since the start of her career, Oti has earned various awards including first place in the German Championship Freestyle Latin competition.

    She joined the show in 2015 for its thirteenth series and was partnered with boxer Anthony Ogogo but unfortunately did not make it past week three.

    Oti was then partnered with Hollyoaks hunk Danny Mac, and the duo were the show's standout performers, topping the leaderboard seven times on their way to the finals.

  • Joseph Gamp

    AJ to perform unseen finale dance during live tour

    AJ Odudu will finally get to perform her unseen finale showdance during Strictly Come Dancing's live UK tour in the new year.

    The 33-year-old TV presenter and her professional partner, Kai Widdrington, had to pull out of the dance competition's final after Odudu suffered an ankle injury, which meant she never got to perform her routine to Naughty Boy's Runnin'.

    The tour will also feature 2021 Strictly champions actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and her partner, Giovanni Pernice, and the runners-up, Bake Off star John Whaite and professional dancer Johannes Radebe.

    Dragon's Den star Sara Davies and Aljaz Skorjanec, TV presenter Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin, and CBBC host Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu from this year's line-up are also taking part in the tour.

    Judge Craig Revel Horwood, who directs the tour, said: "I was hugely disappointed that AJ and Kai missed the Strictly final.

    "But audiences on the arena tour are in for a big treat, as they will get to see the showdance that AJ and Kai would have performed on Saturday night.

    "Plus all the other celebs and pros have some a-maz-ing dances planned – it's going to be fab-u-lous!"

  • Joseph Gamp

    Janette Manrara calls Rose Ayling-Ellis ‘remarkable’

    Janette Manrara described Rose Ayling-Ellis, 27, as “probably one of the most remarkable human beings I’ve ever met”.

    She told GMB hosts Adil Ray and Charlotte Hawkins: “Because as a dancer, you breathe through and you move through listening to the music, so to see that that feeling and that kind of artistry can be created with someone that cannot hear anything, it’s just so special.

    “It goes to show you that dancing is more than just listening to a song that you like, it’s a feeling, it’s an emotion, it’s a vibrancy…

    “And Rose I think is such an example to all the people that want to do something that they think is impossible.

    “And to see her pick up the glitter ball with Giovanni at the weekend, I think they are more than worthy winners and she is by the way, the loveliest, funniest, kindest person backstage you could ever meet as well, so not only is she brilliant on camera, but behind the scenes she just lit up everybody’s day.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Jay Blades' NY resolution is to do more 'formal dancing'

    Blades said one of his New Year resolutions is "definitely to do more formal dancing".

    "Me and my fiancee want to go to ballroom lessons, I want to learn the waltz and Argentine tango," he added.

    Blades and Mustuk will be dancing the jive to the Only Fools And Horses theme song, Hooky Street.

    Other celebrities taking part include First Dates host Fred Sirieix, comedian Mel Giedroyc, pop star Anne-Marie, newsreader Moira Stuart and TV presenter Adrian Chiles.

    The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special airs on Christmas Day on BBC One at 5.10pm.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Jay Blades reveals family's reaction to Strictly Xmas special

    Jay Blades has said his friends and family "laughed" when they discovered he was taking part in the Strictly Christmas Special.

    The TV star, who hosts popular BBC One series The Repair Shop, will dance in the festive special with Strictly professional Luba Mushtuk.

    Asked about the reaction of his friends and family, Blades said: "Cor blimey, they couldn't believe it, they laughed. I can do the Dad Dance, but I can't dance formally!"

    He added that he enjoyed the training and the challenges that came with learning new dance routines.

    Mushtuk officially became a Strictly pro in 2018 and has served as an assistant choreographer on the show since 2016.

    She said: "He (Jay) is a great student, I absolutely adore him, he is such a gentleman.

    "There is a part of the choreography where he needs to push off of me, and he has such a hard time doing it as he says I am a lady! But it has been wonderful."

    The pair even thought of Christmas presents they could give each other.

    "I would buy you a first-class ticket to go and see your parents in Russia, for you to sit down and hug them," said Blades.

    Mushtuk said: "I would love to give you and your girlfriend a dance lesson together."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Who will be judging the Strictly live tour?

    The live tour judging panel will consist of Shirley Ballas, Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli, who was absent from the recent series due to uncertainty around travel restrictions between the UK and the US, where he is based and is also a judge on the American series Dancing With The Stars.

    Former Strictly professional and It Takes Two presenter Janette Manrara will be the tour's host.

    The tour's run of 33 shows is due to start in Birmingham on January 20 and end at London's O2 Arena on February 13.

  • Joseph Gamp

    What dances will the celebs perform on tour?

    As well as their showdance, Odudu and Widdrington will also perform an American smooth on the tour.

    Ayling-Ellis and Pernice will dance their emotional couple's choice routine which featured 10 seconds of silence in tribute to the deaf community, as well as an Argentine tango.

    Whaite and Radebe will recreate their dramatic paso doble and their final showdance to You've Got The Love by Florence + The Machine.

    Davies and Skorjanec will perform a quickstep and a foxtrot, Stephenson and Xu a Charleston and Argentine tango, and Ramsay and Kuzmin a waltz and their couple's choice dance to Revolting Children from the musical Matilda.

    They will be joined by The Wanted singer Max George, who competed on Strictly in 2020 and will return to the dancefloor for the live tour with a new professional partner, Katya Jones.

    As well as the couples' dances, fans will also enjoy some dazzling group performances by the professional dancers.

    Pro dancers Nadiya Bychkova, Amy Dowden, Neil Jones, Jake Leigh, Cameron Lombard, Luba Mushtuk and Jowita Przystal will all perform in the dance extravaganza, which will feature live music from the Strictly singers and band.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Craig says AJ's dance will be fab-u-lous, darling

    Judge Craig Revel Horwood, who directs the tour, said: "I was hugely disappointed that AJ and Kai missed the Strictly final.

    "But audiences on the arena tour are in for a big treat, as they will get to see the showdance that AJ and Kai would have performed on Saturday night.

    "Plus all the other celebs and pros have some a-maz-ing dances planned – it's going to be fab-u-lous!"

  • Joseph Gamp

    AJ Odudu to perform unseen finale dance on Strictly live tour

    AJ Odudu will finally get to perform her unseen finale showdance during Strictly Come Dancing's live UK tour in the new year.

    The 33-year-old TV presenter and her professional partner, Kai Widdrington, had to pull out of the dance competition's final after Odudu suffered an ankle injury, which meant she never got to perform her routine to Naughty Boy's Runnin'.

    The tour will also feature 2021 Strictly champions actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and her partner, Giovanni Pernice, and the runners-up, Bake Off star John Whaite and professional dancer Johannes Radebe.

    Dragon's Den star Sara Davies and Aljaz Skorjanec, TV presenter Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin, and CBBC host Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu from this year's line-up are also taking part in the tour.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Who is Oti Mabuse?

    Oti Mabuse is a 31-year-old professional dancer who rose to fame on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing.

    She was born in Pretoria, South Africa and unlike many of the Strictly family, Oti did not start her path to professional dancing from a young age.

    Oti studied civil engineering at university before embarking on a career in professional dancing, following in the footsteps of her sister Motsi – nine years her senior – who is a professional ballroom dancer.

    Since the start of her career, Oti has earned various awards including first place in the German Championship Freestyle Latin competition.

    She joined the show in 2015 for its thirteenth series and was partnered with boxer Anthony Ogogo but unfortunately did not make it past week three.

    Oti was then partnered with Hollyoaks hunk Danny Mac, and the duo were the show’s standout performers, topping the leaderboard seven times on their way to the finals.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Strictly fans spot brilliant detail in Rose’s celebratory snap 

    Rose Ayling-Ellis has made sure she stayed true to her word as fans spotted a brilliant detail in a celebratory snap.

    One photo showed AJ and Rose on Saturday night after Rose won the Glitterball trophy.

    AJ looked stunning in a silver dress with her boot protecting her ankle and foot also full of sparkle, while Rose wore sequined mini dress with feathers down the sleeves.

    But it’s what the new Strictly winner teamed with the dress that had fans talking.

    One fan said: “Love these pictures especially the boots that rose is wearing from her samba.”

    Another commented: “She’s got her white boots, like she said she would. You are so gracious AJ. Great to see the two of you together. All three finalist couples were inspiring”.

    While a third added: “She said she loved those boots. You are both amazing have loved every second of this series.”

  • Louis Allwood

    11 Million were tuned in to watch Rose take the trophy

    Some 11 million people tuned in to watch soap star Rose Ayling-Ellis make history as the first deaf winner of Strictly Come Dancing.

    The actress triumphed in the BBC One show alongside partner Giovanni Pernice, defeating Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite and his partner Johannes Radebe, the first all-male pairing on the show.

    An average of 11 million people watched the final, giving BBC One a 57.8% share in the overnight ratings.

    The show peaked with 12.3 million watching.

    Ratings have increased over the series and the numbers for the final mark a significant increase on the launch show in September, which was watched by an average of seven million viewers.

    Disability equality charity Scope has described Ayling-Ellis’s participation in the show as a “massive step forward” for disability representation.

  • Louis Allwood

    Who is Oti Mabuse?

    Oti Mabuse is a 31-year-old professional dancer who rose to fame on BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing.

    She was born in Pretoria, South Africa and unlike many of the Strictly family, Oti did not start her path to professional dancing from a young age.

    Oti studied civil engineering at university before embarking on a career in professional dancing, following in the footsteps of her sister Motsi – nine years her senior – who is a professional ballroom dancer.

    Since the start of her career, Oti has earned various awards including first place in the German Championship Freestyle Latin competition.

    She joined the show in 2015 for its thirteenth series and was partnered with boxer Anthony Ogogo but unfortunately did not make it past week three.

    Oti was then partnered with Hollyoaks hunk Danny Mac, and the duo were the show's standout performers, topping the leaderboard seven times on their way to the finals.

  • Louis Allwood

    Dan Walker shares video of nasty fall

    Dan Walker has shared a terrifying video of an accident that saw him rushed to hospital for a brain scan.

    The BBC breakfast star took to social media with the clip from September – which saw him run head first into a glass door in a hotel lobby.

    Dan, 44, was rushed to hospital and given a brain scan after he smashed his head on the closed glass door ahead of the show’s launch in autumn.

    He shared a video of the moment who got the injury – which almost saw him pull out the series before it had already gone – to his Instagram following.

    The footage shows Dan running towards the hotel door after realising he had left his wallet in the back of a taxi that had dropped him off there.

    Not noticing the glass door was closed, the TV star could be seen rebounding off the glass and falling to the floor as hotel staff rushed to his aid.

  • Louis Allwood

    Roses scores during the final

    Rose and Gio scored an almost perfect score during the final, finished on 119, the same as their competitors, Johannes Radebe and John Whaite.

    The pair kicked the night off with their movie week Quickstep, performing with beaming smiles and fancy footwork.

    It got them an impressive 39 points, and Giovanni followed it by telling Rose it had been a dream to dance with her, calling her a “friend for life”.

    Their second dance stunned the judges and audience at home with their powerful part-silent routine.

    There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as the pair briefly cut the music to Clean Bandit’s Symphony and put the spotlight on Rose’s deafness.

    Judge Motsi Mabuse said it was so special and a beautiful dance, while Shirley Ballas said she was an “inspirational young lady”.

  • Louis Allwood

    Claudia disappointed AJ & Kai weren’t in final

    AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington were forced to withdraw from the competition. 

    This happened just before the final after AJ suffered an injury that left her on crutches.

    Claudia was clearly disappointed that AJ and Kai would miss out on the chance to compete in the final.

    She posted a snap of them on Instagram and wrote: “Am so sad for the brilliant @ajodudu and @kaiwidd sending them both so much love.”

  • Louis Allwood

    Rose and Giovanni had judges in tears

    Strictly’s Rose and pro Gio had both fans and judges in tears as they performed a powerful part-silent routine.

    There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as the pair briefly cut the music to Clean Bandit’s Symphony and put the spotlight on Rose’s deafness.

    Judge Motsi Mabuse said it was so special and a beautiful dance, while Shirley Ballas said she was an “inspirational young lady”.

    Anton Du Beke got choked up during his critique and became lost for words.

    The routine earned them the first full marks of the final.

  • Louis Allwood

    AJ Odudu fuels romance rumours 

    The duo's sizzling chemistry has been the talk of the series, leading to much 'are they, aren't they' chatter.

    Three days on from the tear-filled series final that saw AJ, 33, miss out with injured ankle ligaments, the telly presenter admitted she is missing her instructor, 26.

    Sharing a series of fun snaps of her riding on Kai's back, she said: "Just missing @kaiwidd being my personal mode of transport TBH. I really did have his back. 😆✨."

    Followers were more convinced than ever that the duo are dating, with one commenting: "Aren’t you two together! C’mon did we all imagine the blazing romance?"

    Another posted: "if you’re not together, i’ll hand deliver you both oscars i swear."

    A third said: "Keep checking to see if you’ve got married yet to each other xx."

  • Louis Allwood

    Strictly fans say same thing about Rose & Giovanni’s connection

    STRICTLY Come Dancing’s Rose and Giovanni danced their way to the top last night, winning the Glitterball trophy.

    Fans have all said the same thing, as pro dancer Giovanni Pernice gushed over his celeb partner, Rose Ayling-Ellis.

    He spoke about how it had “been a dream” to dance with her.

    The intimate chat between the pair made fans emotional and they couldn’t help notice how close the pair had become.

    “I’ve said this before but the way Giovanni looks at Rose is love. Pure and simple,” one moved fan wrote on Twitter.

    Another added: “When Gio looks at Rose so adoringly.”

    And a third commented: “This is what awe and pride looks like – Giovanni in Rose. I have never cried at #strictly but this was a first – really beautiful. You go for it girl.”

  • Louis Allwood

    Strictly judge Motsi Mabuse breaks silence on ‘disappointment’

    Rose Ayling-Ellis was announced the winner of the hit BBC dancing show over the weekend, after beating John Whaite.

    Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse has broken her silence after fans of the show claimed she had “barely concealed dislike for the result”.

    During the final, Motsi told Rose: “This is a person who’s shown us we are capable of doing anything we set our mind to and that was your space too.”

    But as the result was announced, viewers spotted Motsi appeared to look disappointed with the result.

    Lainey wrote on Twitter: “Jaysus…..Motsi’s face when Rose and Giovanni were announced winners …..she was not impressed at all. #Strictly2021”

    Bobby said: “Oh I went back and saw Motsi’s face. Shame she couldn’t be truly happy for them for all the obvious reasons.”

    Motsi took to Twitter to react to claims of being unhappy with the result.

    She wrote: “Even after such an emotional and fantastic final people still will find a way for hate! Imagine sitting in the living room and interpreting this?

    “It’s a shame! Thank you for all the love and support I received, they override this comment by the thousands.”

  • Louis Allwood

    Strictly news you may have missed from the weekend

    • Strictly 2021 winner Rose Ayling-Ellis set to become one of BBC’s biggest stars
    • Strictly’s Rose Ayling-Ellis looks unrecognisable in unearthed music video
    • Giovanni grips onto the glitterball trophy as stars head home after the finale 
    • Strictly bosses may give Anton du Beke a pay rise – if he agrees to return
    • Louis Allwood

      Strictly’s Oti Mabuse joins Dancing on Ice

      HERE is a first look at Strictly's Oti Mabuse as part of next year's Dancing On Ice judging panel.

      The new pic sees the dancer with a huge smile on her face standing next to fellow judges Ashley Banjo, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

      She said: "As a professional dancer I have always had so much respect for the skating professionals on Dancing On Ice.

      "It is an exceptional skill that is also so beautiful to watch. I'm feeling really enthusiastic about joining the panel alongside the legendary Torvill and Dean and Ashley Banjo.

      "I can't wait to see the celebrities thrive as they learn how to ice-skate and to champion the professional skaters as they create incredible choreography.

      "Having been on both sides of the table, I know a little bit about how they’ll be feeling. It's more than an honour and I already can’t wait to join the family."

    • Louis Allwood

      Oti and out

      Last year’s Strictly winner Oti is joining Dancing on Ice as a judge.

      Oti, who won with Bill Bailey, will replace John Barrowman, 54,  on the series after he was axed following allegations he exposed himself on the sets of BBC’s Doctor Who and spin-off show Torchwood.

      South African-born Oti will sit on the expert judging panel alongside Olympic ice-skating greats Jayne Torvill, 64, and Christopher Dean, 63, and also Diversity’s Ashley Banjo, 33, when filming begins next month.

    • Louis Allwood

      Will he return?

      Leading bookmaker Coral makes Anton Du Beke odds-on at 1-2 to return as one of the professional dancers on Strictly Come Dancing in 2022.

      Du Beke is 6-4 to retain his position on the judging panel when the dancing show returns next year.

      “Our betting suggests Anton will return to the dance floor on Strictly next year as a dancer. He has fitted in well on the judging panel, however, we think he may have to wait a little longer for a permanent position on the table,” said Coral’s John Hill.

    • Louis Allwood

      Tilly Ramsay is on A-list celeb dating app

      Tilly Ramsay has joined A-list dating app Raya, The Sun can exclusively reveal.

      Tilly, 20, and her professional partner Nikita Kuzmin previously sparked romance rumours as they competed in the BBC1 dancing competition.

      But the pair have always insisted they are simply "best friends" – and Nikita, 23, proved he and girlfriend Nicole Wirt are still going strong as the pair reunited this week.

      And Gordon Ramsay's daughter is apparently keen to further shut down any rumours of a romantic relationship by joining the celebrity app.

      We're told Tilly isn't looking for anything serious but wants to go on a few dates and see what happens.

      A source said: "She joined ages ago and wasn't using the app as she was concentrating on Strictly."

      Source: Read Full Article