Entertainment

First two contestants announced for Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas special

Rickie Haywood-Williams and Rosie Ramsey have been revealed as contestants in this year's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special.

DJ and presenter Rickie Haywood-Williams and podcaster Rosie Ramsey have been announced as the first two contestants for Strictly Come Dancing’s Christmas special.

Haywood-Williams will be partnered with professional dancer Luba Mushtuk as he seeks to claim victory in the festive version of the BBC One show.

He presented the Kiss FM breakfast show for 10 years before moving to the BBC where he hosts Radio 1’s Live Lounge show with Melvin Odoom and Charlie Hedges.

After the news was announced on Radio 1, he said: “I have watched Strictly over the years and always said I’d be too scared to do it.

“But here I am ready to go for it, sequins and all.”

Meanwhile, Ramsey will be partnered with Neil Jones, following in the footsteps of her husband and podcast co-host, comedian Chris Ramsey, who competed in the 2019 series of Strictly.

When her participation was revealed on BBC Morning Live, she told the programme: “I watched Chris do it in 2019. I was insanely jealous.

“So as soon as I got asked to do this, I just grabbed it with both hands.”

She went on: “(Chris is) giving me tips and he’s just kind of understanding that it is difficult, but he could not dance at all when he started and he did so so well.”

TRIC Awards 2022
Chris and Rosie Ramsey won Podcast of the Year at the TRIC Awards (Ian West/PA)

She added: “(The training is) really hard. I have got so much more respect for anyone who’s ever taken part in the show over all of the years. It’s a lot. It’s a lot of cardio, let’s put it that way.”

Ramsey said she used to dance in a cabaret band at holiday parks and was a Bluecoat at Pontins resorts.

She added: “I think, I can move my feet – let’s put it that way.”

Last year’s Christmas special was won by pop singer Anne-Marie after she wowed the judges with a cha cha to a version of Feliz Navidad by Gwen Stefani.

– The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Christmas Day.