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Daily Record
Daily Record
Lucy Needham & Nicola Roy

Where Strictly winners are now - West End fame to heartbreak, babies and tragedy

This weekend, the Strictly Come Dancing final will hit our screens with Fleur East, Molly Rainford, Hamza Yassin and Helen Skelton all battling it out to win the Glitterball trophy.

The finalists will take to the dancefloor one final time for 2022 to perform three dances each with the hopes of being crowned the winner of this series.

Previously, a Strictly win has led to some amazing opportunities - including a stint in the West End, impressive sponsorships and even some romance at the end of the competition.

In anticipation of the final, the Mirror has taken a look back at the previous Strictly winners and what happened after they took home the trophy.

Rose Ayling-Ellis - 2021

Rose was the first ever deaf contestant to appear on the show (Getty)

Rose and her partner Giovanni captivated audiences from their very first dance.

The first ever deaf contestant to take part on the show, the former EastEnders actress wowed the judges and the public with her determination and refusal to let her disability get in the way of her talents.

They achieved consistent high scores and even the first perfect 40 score of the series, with an emotional couples' choice dance being one of the most poignant TV moments of the year - even winning a BAFTA for it.

She then quit EastEnders and soon after bagged a role on the West End stage, playing Cecila in an adaption of As You Like It.

Her personal life has also undergone an upheaval, as Rose and her boyfriend of seven years Samuel Arnold called it quits in September just as the latest series of the reality show kicked off.

Bill Bailey - 2020

Bill dubbed himself as the "joke act" of the series (Instagram/@otimabuse)

This comedian was the "very unlikely" winner of the show back in 2020.

After thinking he was going to be the "joke act" of the series, he ended up with a loyal army of fans - including Janet Jackson - thanks to his impressive routines with partner Oti Mabuse.

He also made history as the oldest ever winner of the competition.

After picking up the trophy, he returned to his role as a comedian and announced a UK tour of his En Route To Normal stand-up show.

He also made his live TV presenting debut on Steph's Packed Lunch when he covered for regular host Steph McGovern on her self-titled Channel 4 show.

And when not in front of the camera, qualified zoo-keeper Bill has spent the last year at his home in west London taking care of the exotic birds he fosters.

Kelvin Fletcher - 2019

Kelvin and Oti won the competition in 2019 (BBC/Getty)

The Emmerdale actor was drafted in at the last minute to replace Made In Chelsea's Jamie Laing, who was forced to pull out after injuring himself.

Just three months after his Strictly win, Kelvin 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.

He was also due to appear in the Strictly live show, but because of Covid hitting, he couldn't go ahead with either role.

The star admitted he was "sick" of not hearing good news after he was rejected for 10 roles, but went on to land his own farming documentary show charting his bid to make a profit from 120 acres of land with no past experience.

Stacey Dooley - 2018

Stacey and Kevin have been together since dancing on Strictly (BBC)

The documentary maker fell for the infamous "Strictly curse" after her time on the show, breaking up with her long-term partner.

And just a few weeks later, she confirmed she was dating her dance partner Kevin Clifton. It's been four years and the pair are still together, and are even expecting a baby.

In terms of work, Stacey has since made her reality TV debut presenting BBC Three's Glow Up: Britain's Next Make-Up Star.

But she hasn't shied away from making documentaries, as she filmed several after her Strictly stint - including Stacey Meets the IS Brides - and launched her successful 'Stacey sleeps over' series.

Joe McFadden - 2017

Joe and Katya won the series in 2017 (

The Holby City actor took home the trophy after gaining huge popularity towards the end of the series, with partner Katya Jones.

He topped the leaderboard just once throughout the whole series but still saw off stiff 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

Ore's career has gone from strength to strength since appearing on Strictly (

Presenter Ore has had a sparkling career since his 2016 win with professional dancer Joanne Clifton.

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 then made his West End debut in January this year when Curtains landed a permanent spot in London - shortly before the theatres were sadly forced to close due to the Covid pandemic.

But he didn't let this stop him, as he's since landed presenting roles on The One Show and This Morning.

He has also been able to show off his acting skills, playing the role of news anchor Akintola in BBC One drama Noughts + Crosses, and is currently starring as Brad Majors in a theatre production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Jay McGuinness - 2015

Jay and Aliona captivated audiences from their first dance (PA)

The Wanted singer wowed viewers with his impressive Pulp Fiction jive, which he repeated in the final with partner Aliona Vilani.

He went on to show off his newfound dance skills in the London Palladium show Rip it Up the 60s alongside fellow Strictly stars Harry Judd, Aston Merrygold and Louis Smith.

Earlier this year, he reunited with fellow The Wanted bandmates for a farewell tour before the tragic death of Tom Parker.

Caroline Flack - 2014

Caroline's death hit the Strictly community hard (Birmingham Mail)

Tragic Caroline described her time on Strictly as 'the best experience of my whole life.'

She went on the show after being replaced as host of The Xtra Factor following a tough breakup, but ended up impressing the judges and the public as she danced with partner Pasha Kovalev.

They landed three perfect scores of 40 in the finale with her performances, that included a spine-tingling show-stopper to Angels by Robbie Williams.

The routine was movingly repeated in a special tribute to Caroline following her death.

The former Love Island host took her own life at the age of 40 in February 2020.

The news sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry with BBC bosses paying tribute on the official Strictly social media page at the time.

Abbey Clancy - 2013

Abbey and Aljaz were crowned the winners in 2013 (Rui Vieria/PA wire)

Abbey fought off stiff 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 bagging the trophy, she was announced as the new host of the revived series of Britains' Next Top Model - nine years after she started her own career on the reality show.

She also went on to land a collaboration with high-street retailer Lipsy, who she continues to release collections with today.

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

Louis Smith - 2012

Louis appeared on the show after competing in the London 2012 Olympics that year (Des Willie/BBC/PA Wire)

After his success in the London 2012 Olympics, Louis went on to compete in Strictly that 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 viewer's hearts and went on to win the show with Flavia Cacace.

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

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.

He went on to perform alongside Love Island's Amber Davies in hit West End show Bring It On.

Harry Judd - 2011

Harry and Aliona won in 2011 (© BBC)

The McFly drummer and his partner Aliona took home the trophy in 2011, much to the delight of Harry's bandmates.

He then took his new dance skills to the Strictly tour, winning a whole new legion of fans after showing off his impressive six pack and bulging biceps in his steamy routines. This lead to Harry releasing fitness book Get Fit Get Happy to share his top tips.

The following year was also a big one for him as he tied the knot with wife Brittany 'Izzy' Johnston who he now shares two children with.

Kara Tointon - 2010

Kara and Artem were secretly dating when they won the show (BBC)

Kara and partner Artem Chigvinstev kept viewers on the edge of their seats all series thanks to their undeniable chemistry.

They were secretly dating when the time came to pick up their Glitterball trophy, and were together for four years until their split in 2014.

During that time, Kara starred as Eliza Doolittle in the West End production of Pygmalion, receiving rave reviews from critics, before landing a slew of other theatre and TV roles.

She is engaged to Marius Jensen who she welcomed second son, Helly with in January 2021.

The pair are also parents to three-year-old Frey.

Chris Hollins - 2009

Chris and partner Ola were triumphant in 2009 (BBC)

There was an uproar when Chris bagged the Strictly trophy over Hollyoaks actor Ricky Whittle, who had been the favourite to win all series.

But it was the BBC sports correspondent 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 landed a big theatre role after Strictly (BBC)

Holby City actor Tom was a natural on the dancefloor in the capable hands of Camilla Dallerup in 2008.

S Club 7 singer 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 new found 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 found huge success after Strictly (PA)

Maybe one of the biggest Strictly success stories, Alesha Dixon had been dropped by her record label before appearing on the show and was reeling from the breakdown of her marriage with MC Harvey.

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

She left the role after three years but ended up as a judge on Britain's Got Talent on ITV instead.

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

Mark Ramprakash went back to cricket (BBC Pictures/PA wire)

Partnered with Karen Hardy on the BBC One dance show, Mark 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, ending up as batting coach with the England Lions in India.

Darren Gough - 2005

Darren danced his way to victory in 2005 (Press Association)

Darren's Strictly journey was a tough one at times, after ending up at the bottom of the leaderboard for 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 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 got the first ever perfect 40 of the series (BBC)

The EastEnders star made history as the first Strictly star to ever reach a perfect 40.

Riding a wave of success, Jill 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

Natasha was the first ever winner of Strictly (Unknown)

Strictly was so successful in its first year that it ended up airing two series.

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 Brendan Cole, Natasha 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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