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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Lucy Needham & Christopher Megrath

Every Strictly Come Dancing winner and their careers after the show

Some Strictly Come Dancing stars went on to the West End - whereas others sought out television careers after leaving the show with new skills.

This year's competition just wrapped and handed the glitter ball trophy over to none other than Countryfile star Hamza Yassin. He entered the show as a dark horse but proved his prowess on the dancefloor, undergoing some of the most technically challenging routines from the start.

The public loved Hamza and his professional partner Jowita Przystal and voted them both the winners of this year's show.

READ MORE: A Place in the Sun buyer 'speechless' as Jasmine Harman gives them a warning

The show has cast a vast selection of stars from all walks of life and in turn, has a diverse and interesting lineup of winners. From renowned cricketers to stand-up comics, the Strictly champion has often been one audiences never expected in the early stages.

Some stars reverted back to their roles before the ballroom but some went on to drastically change their careers. Here's what the Strictly Come Dancing winners did after winning.

Rose Ayling-Ellis - 2021

The EastEnders actress stormed to victory with their consistently high marks, stealing the hearts of the audience and also becoming the first deaf winner ever. She and her dance partner, Giovanni Pernice.

Away from the ballroom, she went on to be named one of the Bafta Breakthrough stars as she slowly slipped away from her role as Frankie Lewis in the BBC soap. Not long after her exit she made her West End debut in a production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

Rose, 28, split from her seven-year relationship with boyfriend Samuel Arnold amicably. Looking back on the year, she said it was one of the wildest yet exciting times of her life.

Bill Bailey - 2020

Bill Bailey and his professional partner Oti Mabuse (PA)

Comedian Bill Bailey was the very unlikely winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2021. After gearing himself up to be the 'joke act', he went on to impress the judges, viewers - and even Janet Jackson herself - with a series of flawless and innovative routines before eventually seeing off stiff competition from HRVY and Maisie Smith in last year's final.

At 55 Bill became the oldest winner in Strictly history while his victory also secured a history-making double win for partner Oti Mabuse. The comedian then went back to his roots, announcing a UK tour of his En Route To Normal stand-up show.

He also explored new avenues, making a live TV presenting debut on Steph's Packed Lunch when he covered for regular host Steph McGovern on her self-titled Channel 4 show.

Kelvin Fletcher - 2019

Emmerdale's Kelvin became the success story of Strictly 2019 after winning the series with Oti Mabuse when producers only drafted him in at the very last minute. The soap star was called up to replace Made in Chelsea's Jamie Laing who injured his leg in rehearsals and was forced to drop out.

Just three months after his Strictly triumph, Kelvin, 38, announced his first theatre role after landing a part as the Prince in a Sheffield production of Sleeping Beauty for a rumoured £100,000 fee.

His name also topped the bill at the Strictly live show. However, due to covid restrictions wreaking havoc on the entertainment industry in 2020, Kelvin was sadly unable to perform in either production.

Kelvin went on to admit that he struggled to find work after being rejected for 10 roles. The former Emmerdale star, best known for playing Andy Sugden, said he became "sick" of hearing the word 'no' following a string of auditions,

Stacey Dooley - 2018

Documentary-maker Strictly bagged a boyfriend as well as the glitterball trophy when she won the sixteenth series of the show with Kevin Clifton. Weeks later she confirmed swirling rumours that she was now dating her former dance partner - the thrice-married Grimbsy native Kevin.

Stacey's career also went off in a new direction as she made the switch from documentaries to reality TV by landing a role presenting BBC Three's Glow Up: Britain's Next Make-Up Star. However, she hasn't turned her back on the hard-hitting series that made her famous.

Stacey, 35, filmed a string of documentaries directly after Strictly - including Stacey Meets the IS Brides.

Joe McFadden - 2017

Katya Jones and Joe McFadden perform their Charleston toy soldier routine at Strictly Come Dancing Live, February 2018 (Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Holby City actor Joe, 47, was the surprise winner of series 15 after his storming final performances with Katya Jones positioned him as a last minute favourite among viewers.

He topped the leaderboard just once throughout the whole series but still saw off competition from Alexandra Burke, Debbie McGee and Gemma Atkinson to clinch the trophy. After his win Joe bagged a spot on the UK tour of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Ore Oduba - 2016

After winning the show with Joanne Clifton in 2016, presenter Ore went on to big things. He kick-started a career in musical theatre, starring in the UK tour of Grease - where he played the teen angel - before appearing alongside Jason Manford in Curtains the musical.

Ore, 37, then made his West End debut in January 2020 when Curtains landed a permanent spot in London - shortly before the theatres were sadly forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ore was not short of TV work after winning Strictly, going on to front the main coverage of Sport Relief and land hosting jobs on This Morning and The One Show. He showed off his acting skills, playing the role of news anchor Akintola in BBC One drama Noughts + Crosses.

Jay McGuiness - 2015

Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani perform their iconic Pulp Fiction routine during the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, January 2016. (Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

The Wanted star Jay, 32, sealed his place in Strictly history with his performance of that Pulp Fiction jive in Movie Week. A repeat of the much-loved routine with partner Aliona Vilani in the series finale helped push the duo towards the glitterball trophy that year.

Jay went on to show off his newly honed dance skills in London Palladium show Rip it Up the 60s alongside fellow Strictly stars Harry Judd, Aston Merrygold and Louis Smith. And he has kept up dancing having recently starred in the UK tour of Irving Berlin's White Christmas - including December dates at the Liverpool Empire.

Caroline Flack - 2014

Caroline described her time on Strictly as 'the best experience of my whole life.' Her time on the show came just after she had been replaced as the host of The Xtra Factor and following a difficult break-up.

From her first week, Caroline's enthusiasm for performing shone and she revealed to the public a very different side to her talents as the competition progressed. Dancing with Pasha Kovalev, Caroline landed three perfect scores of 40 in the finale with her performances, which included a spine-tingling show-stopper to Angels by Robbie Williams.

The routine was repeated in a special tribute to Caroline this year following her death. The former Love Island host died by suicide at the age of 40 in 2020.

The news sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry with BBC bosses paying tribute on the official Strictly social media page at the time. Caroline was then remembered by her co-stars and the judges in a special tribute episode last year.

Abbey Clancy - 2013

The first Scouse winner was Abbey Clancy in 2013 who teamed up with Aljaz Skorjanec (BBC)

The model wife of Peter Crouch reached a whole new audience with her impressive performances on the eleventh series of Strictly. Abbey, 36, saw off competition in the final from Coronation Street actress Natalie Gumede and Good Morning Britain's Susanna Reid to win the show with Aljaz Skorjanec.

After her triumph, Abbey was announced as the new host of the revived series of Britain's Next Top Model - nine years after she started her own career on the reality show. She also went on to land a lucrative collaboration with high-street retailer Lipsy, who she continues to release collections with today.

After welcoming daughter Sophia in 2011, Abbey and husband Peter went on to have three more children; Liberty Rose in 2015, Johnny in 2018 and Jack in 2019.

Louis Smith - 2012

Louis Smith added the glitterball to his extensive trophy cabinet in 2012. (BBC)

Following his success in the 2012 Olympics, gymnast Louis, 33, turned his attention to Strictly Come Dancing later that same year. His biggest rival Denise Van Outen was the top scorer for nine of the twelve weeks, but Louis managed to steal a place in viewers' hearts and went on to win the show with Flavia Cacace.

After his success on the dance show, Louis went on to represent Great Britain again at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro - where he finished second in the pommel horse behind teammate Max Whitlock.

But Strictly also helped his career in other ways. He appeared in the London Palladium show Rip it Up the 60s, alongside Harry Judd, Aston Merrygold and Jay McGuiness in 2018 and also starred in a 70s adaption of the show the following year.

Harry Judd - 2011

Harry Judd was crowned the Strictly Winner alongside Aliona Vilani in 2011 (BBC)

The McFly drummer was mobbed by his bandmates when the late Bruce Forsyth announced he had won the show with Aliona Vilani in 2011. Harry went on to put his new skills to good use by performing in a touring theatre show with some of his fellow Strictly male celebrities.

He also won a whole new legion of fans after showing off his impressive fitness levels and ballroom skills, leading Harry to release a book Get Fit Get Happy to share his top tips.

The year after starring in the BBC dance show was also a big one for the musician's personal life too as he tied the knot with his wife Brittany 'Izzy' Johnston who he now shares two children.

Kara Tointon - 2010

Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvinstev (BBC)

The sizzling chemistry between actress Kara, 39, and her Russian dance partner Artem Chigvinstev kept viewers captivated for weeks during the 2010 series. Their impressive dance skills and will they/ won't they friendship was enthralling to watch and by the time they got to lift the glitterball trophy they were secretly a couple.

The pair dated for four years before splitting in 2014. Kara's career had a boost from her Strictly appearance as she landed the leading role of Eliza Doolittle in the West End production of Pygmalion, receiving rave reviews from critics, before landing a slew of other theatre and TV roles.

Chris Hollins - 2009

Chris Hollins and Ola Jordan (BBC)

There was an upset in 2009 when Chris Hollins, 51, triumphed over Hollyoaks actor Ricky Whittle in the Strictly final. Ricky had been the judges' darling throughout the series after producing near faultless routines every week.

But it was BBC sports correspondent Chris and partner Ola Jordan who won the viewers vote - helped in part by their joyously toe-tapping Charleston. After winning Strictly, Chris left his role as a sports pundit on BBC Breakfast behind to co-present Watchdog.

He has since followed this up with hosting slots on The One Show, Food Inspectors and Secret Britain.

Tom Chambers - 2008

Tom Chambers partnered with professional dancer Camila Dallerup (BBC)

Holby City actor Tom, 45, was a natural on the dancefloor in the very capable hands of Camilla Dallerup in 2008. S Club 7 actress Rachel Stevens had been the bookies favourite that year, but Tom managed to win over viewers with an impressive Foxtrot and Salsa before the all-important vote.

Capitalising on his newfound popularity, Tom left Holby for BBC drama Waterloo Road but his biggest success came on the stage. Tom landed the role of Jerry Travers in the UK production of Top Hat after honing his skills on Strictly.

Alesha Dixon - 2007

Alesha Dixon & Matthew Cutler dancing the Viennese Waltz (BBC)

Perhaps one of Strictly's biggest-ever success stories is that of Alesha Dixon. The down-on-her-luck singer was reeling from the endof her marriage to MC Harvey and being dropped from her record label when she was invited to dance with professional Matthew Cutler on the show.

After impressing BBC bosses during her time on the competition, Alesha, 44, was invited to return to the show on the judging panel - replacing Arlene Phillips.

The move proved controversial amongst some viewers at the time who accused the BBC of ageism. Alesha quit the role after only three years but went on to land a spot on the panel of Britain's Got Talent over on ITV.

Strictly also helped reignite Alesha's stalled musical career as her second album The Alesha Show - released months after the show - went platinum and spawned four hit singles.

Mark Ramprakash - 2006

Karen Hardy and Mark Ramprakash (BBC)

Paired with Karen Hardy on the BBC One dance show, Mark, 53, looked a dead cert for the final after dazzling viewers with his sizzling week 9 Samba - which landed him a perfect score of 40. He became the second consecutive cricketer to win the show, following former England team mate Darren Gough.

Unlike many of his dancing competitors, Mark turned his back on showbiz after his triumph opting instead to return to his sporting roots. He was announced as batting coach with the England Lions in India before taking up the same role at Middlesex and later with England.

Darren Gough - 2005

Darren Gough and Lilia Kopylova in 2008 (Jason Skarratt)

Darren didn't have the easiest start to Strictly Come Dancing after winding up near the bottom of the leaderboard several weeks in a row. However, viewers kept their faith in the cricketer and partner Lilia Kopylova, with the pair surprising everyone by making it all the way to the final where they beat Colin Jackson and Zoe Ball to the trophy.

Two years later Darren, 52, returned for the Christmas Strictly Special and proved his enduring popularity as he went on to win again. Following his success, the sportsman took part in the live tour in 2008 before hanging up his dancing shoes for good.

He was appointed an MBE in the 2020 Birthday Honours for his services to cricket and charity.

Jill Halfpenny - 2004

Jill Halfpenny and Darren Bennet during the Strictly final at Blackpool Tower (Simon Bellis/PA)

The EastEnders star made history as the first Strictly star to ever reach a perfect 40. Jill's infectious Jive to Sir Elton John's I'm Still Standing is still regarded one of the greatest dances to be performed by a celeb at the Elstree ballroom.

Riding a wave of success, Jill, 47, quit her role as Kate Mitchell in EastEnders after five years on the soap before it was announced she was taking on the prestigious role of Roxie Hart in the West End musical Chicago.

After treading the boards, Jill went on to play Izzie Redpath in Waterloo Road and later Diane Mannin in In The Club.

Natasha Kaplinsky - 2004

Yes, that's right... Strictly was such a triumph in its debut year that the BBC aired two series within 12 months. Before Jill picked up the Glitterball Trophy in the autumn of 2004, Natasha did it first in the May-June series.

After her win with the bad boy of the ballroom Brendan Cole, Natasha, 50, went on to host the BBC's Six O'Clock news. In October 2007, she was recruited to help relaunch Channel 5 - earning herself the biggest fee ever paid to a UK newsreader in the process.

However, after just three years hosting Five News with Natasha Kaplinsky, the journalist moved over to ITV News. In her personal life, Natasha married her partner Justin Bower a year after her Strictly win with whom she shares two children.


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