Fans were absolutely gutted when both Tyler West and Ellie Simmonds excited Strictly Come Dancing with plenty of cries on social media. But there is some good news for those who supported the pair during their time in the BBC One dance contest.
Tyler and Ellie will be making a comeback of sorts as they are among the first celebrities announced to join the hit show's returning UK arena tour. Will Mellor, who is preparing to perform in week 10 of the competition this weekend, will also join them when they hit the road early next year.
Janette Manrara is returning to host the tour and judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Anton Du Beke, who is appearing on the tour for the first time, will also be taking part across the 31 tour dates kickstarting on January 20 in Birmingham’s Utilita Arena.
The live show will waltz around the country at venues including Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena, Leeds’ First Direct Arena, Manchester's AO Arena, and Sheffield and Newcastle’s Utilita Arena, as well as London’s O2 Arena and the SSE Arena in Belfast, before culminating at the OVO Hydro in Glasgow on February 12.
Craig also is returning not only as a judge but also to direct the 2023 tour, which will feature celebrities and professional dancers from the current series of the BBC One show, together with the Strictly Live Band. Organisers said the tour was a “great way” to celebrate the 20th series of the programme, with fans being able to experience “everything they love about the TV show live on stage”.
The audience will get the chance to watch the celebrities perform their routines while having the power to decide who wins the Glitterball trophy at the end of each show, getting to vote for their favourite couple via text.
Each performance of the tour will host a British Sign Language interpreter, who will be displayed on two large screens either side of the stage so that attendees can book tickets and sit almost anywhere in the arena to enjoy the experience with family and friends, organisers said.
Paralympic swimming champion Ellie, who had fans in tears when she was the sixth to be eliminated from Strictly alongside pro dancer Nikita Kuzmin said: "Strictly was a such an incredible life-changing and emotional experience for me. It gave me a huge confidence boost and the feeling that anything is possible. So to be able to continue my journey on the tour next year is going to be amazing. I can’t wait!"
Kiss FM DJ Tyler, who lost his place in the contest after competing at Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom last weekend, said: "I never realised how much dance would change my life, but I can’t express how much I’ve loved it and fully embraced this opportunity to learn to dance with the best dance partner anyone could ask for in Dianne.
"I am so happy my Strictly journey isn’t over quite yet and I can’t wait to relive some of our favourite dances and live like a pop star on tour performing for audiences each night. I am buzzing to get on the road with the gang."
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