Where are the winners of Strictly Come Dancing now?
Strictly Come Dancing’s star-studded list of winners includes the likes of Caroline Flack, Alesha Dixon and Louis Smith.
As the flagship dancing show returns for a 17th series, we look back at some of the BBC One show’s most talented and best-loved winners.
Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole – July 2004
The former BBC presenter was the first ever winner of Strictly.
She was way ahead of her fellow competitors, collecting the highest marks for eight of the 10 dances featured in the first series.
In the final, she finished 39 points ahead of the runner-up, EastEnder star Christopher Parker.
New Zealand-born Cole’s relationship with fellow professional dancer Camilla Dallerup ended soon after series one.
She called off their engagement, kicking off the so-called “Strictly curse” which has seen a host of celebrity contestants and dancers split from partners either while competing on, or following, the show.
Darren Gough and Lilia Kopylova – 2005
The no-nonsense Yorkshire cricketer bowled everyone over when he appeared on the show back in 2005.
Incredibly, he won series three despite never finishing top of the judges’ leaderboard.
But it was Gough’s journey that captivated the voting public; from a blokey sports figure noticeably embarrassed to be seen in sequins, Gough embraced his inner-Fred Astaire with a vengeance.
The sportsman’s terrific Paso Doble to Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by The Animals earned 36 points, a perfect way to cap his win.
Alesha Dixon and Matthew Cutler – 2007
It’s no exaggeration to say Strictly changed the former Mis-Teeq singer’s life. Up to her series five win, she was best known as a has-been pop star.
Tentative at first, Dixon grew in confidence; her bubbly personality made her just as much a favourite with the public as her fantastic Latin routines.
In 2009, the BBC sparked an outcry when Dixon replaced Arlene Phillips on the judging panel.
Far from convincing when it came to technical assessments of the dancing celebs, Dixon quit Strictly for Simon Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent in 2012.
Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev – 2010
There was magic in the air whenever ex-EastEnders star Tointon danced with Strictly professional Chigvintsev during series eight in 2010.
Irrespective of the routine, whether it was ballroom or Latin, this couple were a perfect match on the dance floor.
Her poise and his athleticism drew gushing praise from the judges and loads of votes from the viewers week after week.
Tointon later performed in the West End, and most recently appeared in The Man In The White Suit at the Theatre Royal Bath and Wyndham’s Theatre.
Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace – 2012
The gymnast won silver and bronze on the pommel horse for Britain at the 2012 Olympics, and went on to win the BBC dancing contest later that year.
He then announced his retirement from the sport and was appointed an MBE for services to gymnastics.
But less than a year later, he was back in the gym training in a bid to return to international competition at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
He topped off the year by winning Strictly for a second time during a panto-themed Christmas special.
Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev – 2014
Flack got her TV break playing Bubbles on the sketch show Bo’ Selecta! before going on to host spin-off show The Xtra Factor for three years.
But a winning turn on Strictly in 2014 saw her career reignited.
The next year she secured the job that has defined her public image since: hosting ITV2’s Love Island.
Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton – 2018
The investigative documentary maker waltzed to victory in last year’s edition of Strictly.
After lifting the glitterball trophy, Dooley was struck by the “Strictly curse” and split with her boyfriend Sam Tucknott.
Only later did Dooley and her professional partner Clifton admit to being an item.
Since winning Strictly she has gone on to present an episode of Panorama titled Stacey Meets The IS Brides, and a reality show about up-and-coming make-up artists called Glow Up.