Since its launch in 2004, Strictly Come Dancing has become a significant programme in British popular culture, with millions of fans tuning in to watch the most popular dance competition in the country.
The premise of the show is simple. Celebrity contestants are paired up with professional dance partners and must perform a new dance routine every week based on a different dance style.
Faye Tozer and Stacey Dooley are the current favourites to win this year’s competition according to the Strictly Come Dancing 2018 odds after some strong dances in movie week, but face strong competition from Ashely Roberts..
It obviously takes great skill and determination to win the competition, but there have been some winners over the years which have stood out.
Natasha Kaplinsky & Brendan Cole
The first ever winners of the Strictly Come Dancing competition. Although Kaplinsky claimed that she was forced to enter the show by the BBC, the journalist and television presenter performed exceptionally throughout the competition, with professional dancer Brendan Cole, getting the top score in all but two of the weeks.
It was rumoured that Kaplinsky and her dancing partner enjoyed a fling during the series, and their chemistry showed on the dance floor as their well-executed dance routines received praise from the judges every week.
Over the years the standard of dancing has increased, the routines that were performed during the series still stand up with the best throughout the history of the show.
Alesha Dixon & Matthew Cutler
Former Mis-Teeq singer Alesha Dixon would end up winning the 5thseries of Strictly Come Dancing along with professional dancer Matthew Cutler.
Like the majority of Strictly winners, Alesha and her partner often recorded high scores throughout the series, getting the highest scoring dance 9 times! The two did face elimination in the quarter-final, but managed to survive thanks to the judges’ votes.
The victory ended up ‘re-launching’ her career, controversially replacing Arlene Phillips as a main judge two years later, and then becoming a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, and launching three new albums.
Louis Smith & Flavia Cacace
Series 10 of Strictly Come Dancing is arguably the best ever series of the show, racking up its highest ever ratings. Olympic 2012 silver-medallist Louis Smith ended up winning the series with partner Flavia Cacace. Prior to the series starting, controversy surrounded the show when it was reported that three of the contestants (Kimberley Walsh, Denise van Outen and Dani Harmer) all had previous dance experience.
Even though Denise and Kimberley recorded much better scores than the Olympic gymnast throughout the series, Smith ended up winning the competition.
Abbey Clancy & Aljaž Škorjanec
Although Peter Crouch showed off his dancing skills for his country after scoring a goal, his wife, Abbey Clancy, can claim that she is a better dancer after winning Series 11 of Strictly Come Dancing. Throughout her time on the show, Clancy rarely put a foot wrong and constantly recorded the highest scores each week.
The closest her, and professional dancer Aljaž Škorjanec, came to elimination was in Week 6 where they ended up in the bottom two. Despite this, they were saved by the judges and bounced back to win the competition.
Video Source: BBC on youtube.com
Kara Tointon & Artem Chigvintsev
Series 8 was the first time that the Strictly Come Dancing set was completely revamped, and it also produced arguably one of the best winners we’ve seen in the history of the show. The Eastenders star briefly appeared in the 2008 Sports Relief Edition of the show, with her samba winning the Glitterball Trophy.
It wasn’t until 2010 when it was announced that Tointon would be appearing as a contestant on the main show, partnered with Artem Chigvintsev.
Compared to some of the previous winners, there was a lot of passion when they performed a Latin routine and genuine tenderness whenever they danced ballroom. According to long-time fans of the show, no partnership has ever looked quite as natural as they did.
These winners are just five of the many victors which have won the competition over the years. It’s no easy feat to perform some of the toughest dance routines every week to a good standard in front of judges who know everything there is to know about dancing and choreography.