Strictly Come Dancing: Memorable moments from the Blackpool Tower Ballroom

Strictly Come Dancing Blackpool Week  dance off 2022
Strictly Come Dancing Blackpool Week has seen some memorable moves. (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing Blackpool Week is always pretty special.

The annual trip to Blackpool's famous Tower Ballroom sees the celebrity contestants perform on the unique sprung dancefloor in a much wider space and front of a larger live audience.

It's a like a school trip for the Strictly stars as hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman get all giddy, the judges get nostalgic and the choreographers pull out all the stops.

Dancers take to the restored Blackpool Tower Ballroom dance floor after major restoration work on the famous sprung wooden floor on January 25, 2022 in Blackpool, England.  Today is the annual re-opening of the dance season at the ballroom and the first time dancers have used the restored floor. Over one hundred layers of lacquer were removed by specialists to reveal the beauty of 30,602 individual blocks of oak, mahogany and walnut which were then re-laquered and sealed. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Blackpool Tower Ballroom is a very special place to dance. (Getty Images) (Christopher Furlong via Getty Images)

Strictly first featured the Blackpool Week in the second series and it returned almost every year since series seven. For two years during COVID restrictions the trip to the ballroom had to be cancelled but in 2022 it came back with a bang.

So what have been the stand out routines from Strictly at the Blackpool ballroom? Here are a few that spring to mind.

Ann Widdecombe and Anton Du Beke

Anne Widdecombe and Anton du Beke made it to Blackpool Week. (Getty Images)
Ann Widdecombe and Anton du Beke made it to Blackpool Week. (Getty Images) (John Phillips)

Tory politician Ann Widdecombe, 76, took part in the show in 2010 and was paired with judge Anton Du Beke when he was still a professional dancer on the show.

Widdecombe proved not to be a very talented dancer, nor very graceful and she did not improve greatly each week.

Ann Widdecombe and Anton du Beke go through their routine at Blackpool's Tower Ballroom for ahead of the Strictly Come Dancing show tomorrow.   (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Ann Widdecombe and Anton du Beke rehearse their Strictly routine at Blackpool's Tower Ballroom. (Getty Images) (Peter Byrne - PA Images via Getty Images)

But Du Beke cleverly played on her comedy value, performing hilarious routines that kept viewers voting her in each week.

Their Blackpool routine unforgettably saw him spin her around by the limbs in her bright canary yellow dress, like a giant duster polishing the famous floor.

It was enough to save them from the dance off and Widdecombe survived one more week.

Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev

Pasha Kovalev and Caroline Flack dancing in the 'Strictly 2014' final. (BBC)
Pasha Kovalev and Caroline Flack dancing in the Strictly 2014 final. (BBC) (BBC)

Caroline Flack - who won Strictly in 2014 - is hailed as one of the best dancers ever to compete on the show.

The TV presenter - whose life was tragically cut short when she took her own life in 2020 aged just 40 - danced the Jive to Elton John's Crocodile Rock at the Blackpool Ballroom and scored 37 out of 40.

Flack wore a sequinned Union Jack dress for the London-themed dance and rocked her Girl Power at the historic venue.

Ed Balls and Katya Jones

Ed Balls and Katya Jones attend the photocall for the 'Strictly Come Dancing' live tour on January 19, 2017 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Mark Milan/WireImage)
Ed Balls and Katya Jones will always be remembered for their Gangnam Style routine on Strictly. (Getty Images) (Mark R. Milan via Getty Images)

Former Labour MP turned Good Morning Britain host Ed Balls was the comedy contestant of Strictly 2016.

Katya Jones played up to his strengths, and even though he was not the nest dancer he made it to Week 10, and will always be remember for his Gangnam Style routine.

But at Blackpool that year he also made a bit impression as Ed Balls Of Fire.

Balls was lowered onto the dancefloor pretending to play a flaming grand piano before jiving to Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire.

It was such a flaming success that even tough judge Craig Revel Horwood enjoyed it, and told Balls he was an inspiration to "all the couch potatoes at home doing nothing".

Stacey Dooley and a stick of rock

Stacey Dooley, Dr Ranj Singh, Joe Sugg, Graeme Swann, Aljaz Skorjanec, Pasha Kovalev, AJ Pritchard, Giovanni Pernice, Graziano Di Prima and Johannes Radebe attend the photocall for the 'Strictly Come Dancing' live tour at Arena Birmingham on 17 January 2019 in Birmingham, England. Picture date: Thursday 17 January, 2019. Photo credit: Katja Ogrin/ EMPICS Entertainment.
Stacey Dooley won Strictly in 2018. (Getty Images) (Katja Ogrin)

Stacey Dooley won the show in 2018 with her now boyfriend Kevin Clifton.

The documentary maker had everyone's jaws dropping onto the spring dancefloor in Blackpool week when she appeared straddling a giant stick of Blackpool rock before dancing the Salsa to Ooh Aah (Just A Little Bit)' by Gina G.

Dooley's routine included not one, not two but SIX lifts, including an incredible scissor jump over one dancer's head, another where she landed to sit on his shoulder.

Ooh Ah, quite a big deal actually!

Fleur East and Vitto Coppola

Fleur East and Vito Coppola earned the first perfect 40 of the series. (BBC)
Fleur East and Vito Coppola earned the first perfect 40 of the series at Blackpool Week in 2022. (BBC) (BBC/Guy Levy)

Fleur East had Blackpool Ballroom Jumpin' when she performed her astonishing Couples Choice dance with partner Vito Coppola in Blackpool Week in 2022.

The former X Factor contestant and TV presenter made the judges lose their breath with her powerful performance to a medley of songs by her favourite band Destiny's Child.

East channelled Queen Beyonce in her moves and achieved the first perfect 40 score of the series.

Judy Murray and Anton Du Beke

Dot Com Children's Foundation Strictly Ballroom - charity dinner held at Mansion House. Featuring: Judy Murray, Anton Du Beke Where: London, United Kingdom When: 16 Sep 2014
It was a jolly holiday in Blackpool for Judy Murray and Anton Du Beke in 2014. (Alamy) (WENN, WENN Rights Ltd)

Anton Du Beke became Dick Van Dyke for the night in 2014 - dancing to Let's Go Fly A Kite from Mary Poppins.

Again he used entertainment value to keep partner Judy Murray in the competition for as long as possible - but didn't resort to comedy.

Their Viennese Waltz impressed the judges, even though Murray was not the best of dancers, as she worked so hard to float around the floor.

Judge Bruno Tonioli said at the time: "She really went for it and did a wonderfully good, solid performance and not a comedy turn. She really put the effort in and it was stunning."

Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff

Kristina Rhianoff and Simon Webbe attends a photocall to launch the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2015 at Birmingham Barclaycard Arena on January 15, 2015 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Tony Woolliscroft/WireImage)
Kristina Rhianoff and Simon Webbe made it to the final in 2014. (Getty Images) (Tony Woolliscroft via Getty Images)

Blue singer Simon Webbe steamed up the Blackpool Ballroom when he and partner Kristina Rihanoff performed their sizzling Argentine Tango to Sting's Roxanne.

Boyband star Webbe had not been doing particularly well in the contest up until then, but emerged as an underdog in Blackpool week when he wowed the judges with his ballroom technique.

Blackpool proved the making off the couple as they went on to make it all the way through to the final.

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