Strictly's all-star Christmas special - Anne-Marie and Graziano Di Prima
Strictly Come Dancing returns to the Ballroom for an all-star Christmas special as six celebrities take to the floor in a bid to be crowned Christmas Champion 2021
"I love Christmas and Anne-Marie is my present this year! She is amazing and takes on board every suggestion. We’re going to enjoy every step." — Graziano
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Hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, the festive foursome on the judging panel are, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke, and Head Judge, Shirley Ballas.
Taking to the dancefloor this year is Adrian Chiles with his professional partner Jowita Przystal; Anne-Marie and Graziano Di Prima; Fred Sirieix and Dianne Buswell; Jay Blades and Luba Mushtuk; Mel Giedroyc and Neil Jones; Moira Stuart and Aljaž Škorjanec.
The Christmas special will start with a sensational group routine featuring the celebrities and their professional partners, alongside some of their fellow Strictly professionals.
And, as well as dancing, there’s plenty of music, with two very special performances from Jamie Cullum and Gary Barlow.
Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Christmas Day at 5.10pm.
Q&A with Anne-Marie and Graziano Di Prima
How are you feeling about being a part of the Strictly Christmas special?
Anne-Marie: I love dancing, not that I do it a lot, or even on my shows, but I love it and doing something like this is really fun, especially when it is for Christmas! I am in heaven! I love the glitter, the baubles, the crackers!
Graziano: I love Christmas and Anne-Marie is my present this year! She is amazing and takes on board every suggestion. We’re going to enjoy every step.
Anne-Marie: Because I am so competitive I want to be the best, so I am trying really hard, but I have to remember it’s for fun!
What made you want to take part?
Anne-Marie: I love Strictly, I love the outfits, I love watching it, I just have never had time to do a full series so this felt perfect!
Graziano: Then she found out she would be partnered with me, so even better!
What did your friends and family say?
Anne-Marie: My mum is more proud of this than anything I have ever done. She is a massive fan. She is so shy but she will be in the audience wearing a sparkly top, I am so proud.
Tell us about your partnership, what’s training been like?
Anne-Marie: On the first day we connected about morals and what kind of people we are. It got deep quick, but it was nice to connect on another level rather than just the job in hand. But Graziano is obviously a really good dancer, and it is always great to learn from the best.
Is Anne-Marie a good student? What kind of teacher is Graziano?
Graziano: She is amazing! She is never happy with anything she does, I tell her it’s amazing, and she wants to go again and again. She is such a perfectionist.
Anne-Marie: Learning from someone who is so brilliant at what they do, is the best. I feel like he learnt so much about me so quickly, he knows exactly when I need motivation.
How do you feel about being ‘Strictly-fied’ festive style?
Anne-Marie: My dream! I am a magpie, i used to hate all this stuff, my sister was constantly trying to get me to let her do my make up. Then suddenly I transformed, now I love it. I love anything glitter and sparkly!
What would you buy each other for Christmas?
Graziano: I offered a dance lesson with me in the new year!
Anne-Marie: He said he shaves his own beard, so probably an appointment at the groomers.
How do you rate your chances of being crowned Christmas champions? Who do you think your biggest competition is?
Anne-Marie: I think they all are. Mel’s routine is so much fun, it depends what the audience wants!
Graziano: They are all really different, so it really depends what people want.
How do you rate yourself as a dancer?
Anne-Marie: I did jazz, tap and ballet until I was 11 years old, but then I went into karate. When I perform on stage I never rehearse, I just freestyle, which usually ends up in me running and kicking, maybe bringing some of that karate training back? So although I can pick up the moves, it's the feminine side of me and the confidence that I have found the hardest to connect with.
What’s your favourite Christmas movie and why?
Anne-Marie: Probably Elf, I have never seen Home Alone which people find weird.
What song gets you up dancing at festive parties?
Anne-Marie: Fairytale Of New York is a good one, or Last Christmas gets me!
Graziano: I love Last Christmas too
Brussel sprouts - yay or nay?
Anne-Marie: In America they do them really good, they char them and put some special sauce on which makes them lovely, but here we boil them and they are rank!
Graziano: I have never tried them, maybe today is the day?
Best and worst Christmas present you ever received?
Anne-Marie: I remember getting a dance mat, I was well happy, I was so addicted to it.
Graziano: I used to love football, I got a ball for Christmas and I was playing in the kitchen and I fell down and broke my front tooth.
Anne-Marie: Why is that your best present?!
Graziano: Because I loved football! One of my worst is crafts, like paint by numbers or something.
Anne-Marie: I love those! Re-gift them to me, and jigsaw puzzles!
Which judge are you most keen to impress?
Anne-Marie: All of them, hopefully! Craig is the one to impress.
Graziano: Motsi is there for the emotional feeling, Shirley is into the technicality, Anton goes with the flow, Craig is the toughest!
What are the Christmas traditions in your household? How will you be spending Christmas Day this year?
Anne-Marie: We open one present on Christmas Eve, when it strikes midnight, as I am so impatient. Then on Christmas Day, we used to run into my parents room and open the stockings, which sounds like a childhood thing but we actually did this until quite recently. Then we have lunch and watch EastEnders!
Graziano: I can’t wait to go and see my family, they have just moved to Venice, so it will be a different Christmas but I am very excited. Mum makes a full feast, I can’t wait to see her preparing pizza in the morning.
Any New Year’s resolutions? Will you be taking your new found dancing skills into the new year?
Anne-Marie: I would love to incorporate dance into my next tour, I love it. I might not take the cha cha onto the stage, but I would love to continue to dance.
Graziano: I’m excited to go on tour and I’m hopefully getting married next year, so a big year!
Source BBC One
December 21, 2021 5:52am ET by BBC One