“Strictly Come Dancing’s” Christmas special line-up has been announced with the festive favourite set to feature the likes of former celebrity contestants Caroline Flack and Anita Rani. Politics and sport will also have representation on the programme that commonly tops the Christmas Day ratings, as Ann Widdecombe and ex- England cricket captain Michael Vaughan once again step into the spotlight.

Soap fans can look forward to EastEnders’ star Jake Wood reprising his time on the show, with the amateurs’ listing completed by singer-songwriter Aston Merrygold, a former runner-up on rival show “The X Factor” with his British boy band JLS.

Each pairing will be dancing with the show’s special theme in mind of ‘fairy tales and making dreams come true’ as they perform a suitably apt Christmas inspired routine.

Talented professionals on the show

Not forgetting the professional dancers of course, as the talents of Neil Jones, Gorka Marquez, Janette Manrara and the ever-popular Anton Du Beke look to keep their amateur pairings’ footwork up to the usual high standards expected by eager-eyed judges such as Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood. Fellow “Strictly” pros Luba Mushtuk from Russia and former dancing World Champion Nadiya Bychkova complete the pro contestants.

Part of the Christmas schedule

The show has become a staple diet in the BBC’s television schedules since 2004 and none more so than on 25th December, when families the length and breadth of Britain eagerly tune in with an expectation of some pantomime moments among the judging panel and plenty of sequined outfits on the show on the dancefloor.

BBC bosses will be hoping that the success continues this year as they battle with their rivals ITV for the biggest slice of the viewing figures.

Trusted presenting combination

Keeping proceedings in order will be the trusted presenting double act of Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman of course, who have ably picked up the baton after Sir Bruce Forsyth’s retirement from the show and subsequent death in 2017.

Many fans had perhaps been sceptical in the aftermath of not only Forsyth’s departure from the show (initially announced in 2013, although he did feature in a couple of specials afterwards), but also long-standing judge Len Goodman in 2016, but the quality show endures.

Special music guests

A Christmas special wouldn’t be complete without exceptionally special music guests though and this year’s show is no exception.

No less than The Kingdom Choir, who performed outstandingly at the recent Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle, will provide their gospel music accompaniment to the dancing proceedings.