Strictly Come Dancing is one of the BBC’s biggest export successes, with the UK and local versions – known as Dancing With The Stars – sold to more than 40 countries including the US, Spain and, in the past few weeks, Lithuania.
The series also does a nice line in tie-in merchandise such as DVDs and live tours, the latest of which kicks off in Birmingham on January 16th with 2018 winner Stacey Dooley doing the presenting duties.
As well as being a big money spinner for the BBC’s commercial division, the show is BBC One’s sole genuinely dependable ratings winner in the talent show genre – last year’s series averaged audience numbers of 9.5 million over its run while this year’s competition launched with a consolidated TV audience of 9.8m according to ratings firm BARB.
Achieving such numbers in a world of hundreds of channels and streaming services is no easy feat but Strictly’s producers have become experts in bringing viewers just the right mix of popular stars and left of field contenders to keep them tuning in – and voting – each week.
Research conducted by Betway shows that audiences are especially keen on voting for TV presenters and soap stars – these two groups account for 9 of the 16 winners to date with 5 and 4 wins respectively.
In fact soap stars are such popular contenders that of the 40 to have taken part in the show to date, 32 (80 per cent) of them have finished in the top 7 and 16 have made the top three, making this group far more successful than the sports stars or musicians who’ve entered the ballroom.
A contestant’s pre-existing popularity and familiarity also looks to be a clear deciding factor in their chances of winning the show – Betway’s number crunching shows that celebrities with the highest average score from the show’s resident judges have won just seven times.
Here’s the rest of their findings: