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Debbie McGee wins Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Christmas Special

The radio presenter and former magician’s assistant scored a perfect 40 for her Quickstep with partner Kevin Clifton.

Debbie McGee
Credit: BBC

Debbie McGee has been crowned the winner of the Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Christmas Special.

This year’s version of the annual festive spectacular saw six fan favourite Strictly contestants – Debbie McGee, Chizzy Akudolu, Gemma Atkinson, Joe Sugg, Mark Wright and Richard Arnold – return to the ballroom floor to celebrate the magic of Christmas. They were joined by presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, as well as judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Bruno Tonioli and head judge Shirley Ballas.

Radio presenter and former ballet dancer McGee, who is best known for being the magician’s assistant to her late husband Paul Daniels, scored a perfect 40 from the judges for her Quickstep with partner Kevin Clifton to Michael Bublé’s version of Jingle Bells. Their score left them joint top of the leaderboard, alongside vlogger Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell who also scored 40 points for their Street Commercial routine to Sleigh Ride by District 78.

Debbie McGee and Kevin Clifton

Credit: BBC

Meanwhile, Gemma Atkinson and partner Gorka Marquez performed a Jive to John Mellencamp’s version of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and Mark Wright and Janette Manrara danced a Salsa to Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses. They were followed by Chizzy Akudolu and Graziano Di Prima, who performed a Cha Cha to Shirley Bassey’s Get The Party Started, and Richard Arnold and Luba Mushtuk who danced a Foxtrot to You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch by Sabrina Carpenter.

After the judges gave their verdict on each couple’s individual routine, the leaderboard for the evening was:

  • Debbie McGee and Kevin Clifton – 40
  • Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell – 40
  • Chizzy Akudolu and Graziano Di Prima – 36
  • Mark Wright and Janette Manrara – 35
  • Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez – 35
  • Richard Arnold and Luba Mushtuk – 32

When the judges’ scores were combined with the studio audience’s votes, Debbie and Kevin were declared the winners and lifted the famous Strictly Silver Star trophy. It’s Kevin’s first Christmas Special victory, following his first win in the main Strictly Come Dancing competition with Stacey Dooley in 2018.

The win was also McGee’s first on Strictly Come Dancing after she reached the Grand Final with Giovanni Pernice back in 2017, losing to Joe McFadyen and Katya Jones.

Debbie said of her win: “I wasn’t expecting it! It’s just amazing but you know, everybody has been fantastic – I think it’s everybody’s because we all had a great time, everyone did such great dances.”

The show opened with a spectacular group performance featuring the 2019 Christmas cast and Strictly’s troupe of professional dancers, filmed at Leeds Castle in Kent. Pop star Liam Payne also joined the show for a performance of his song All I Want For Christmas, featuring a special dance routine from Johannes Radebe and Nadiya Bychkova, and the show concluded with a Christmas party spectacular dance featuring all the couples and judges.

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One for its 18th series in autumn 2020.

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