Strictly Come Dancing fever is full-on over the next few weeks, with not only a Children in Need show coming up, but a Christmas Special too! Many of Strictly's most popular celebrities from over the years will be taking to the dance floor once again to compete in a one-off show, which will see pro dancer Neil Jones finally get a partner of his own. On Monday, Strictly Come Dancing revealed that Neil will be partnered with Countryfile presenter Anita Rani. Anita is no stranger to the show, having reached the semi-finals in 2015 with professional dancer Gleb Savchenko. The pair will be joined by legendary celebrity contestant Ann Widdecombe, who will reunite with her old dancer partner Anton Du Beke. The news of Anton's involvement will delight his fans, with the star having left the show in the first week this year after failing to impress the judges with dancer partner Susannah Constantine.
Neil Jones will be getting a celebrity partner for the Christmas Special - while Katya Jones is off the list
Strictly winner Caroline Flack, meanwhile, will be paired with Gorka Marquez, while Aston Merrygold will be partnered with Janette Manrara. EastEnders star Jake Wood will team up with new Strictly dancer Luba Mushtuk, while finally, Michael Vaughan will compete with Nadiya Bychkova. Many of the other pro dancers, including Neil's wife Katya Jones, are noticeably absent from the line-up, although many will instead star in the Children in Need special coming up at the end of the month.
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Neil will be partnered with former Strictly contestant Anita Rani
Fans have longed for Neil to be given a dance partner, and many expressed their disappointment when he wasn’t paired with a celebrity this year. Neil revealed back in August that he would be remaining as a backing dancer on the new series of Strictly. Remaining upbeat about the decision, Neil uploaded a short video on Instagram putting the rumours to rest. He said: "Hi guys. So we have had a fantastic few weeks of rehearsals and this week we finally met up with all of the celebrities– and I just wanted to say one thing - you are in for a treat!"
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The dancer continued: "Now, there have been a few rumours swirling around whether or not I will have a partner this year on Strictly, and I just wanted to let you know what was going on. Unfortunately, I won't be paired up this series, but don't worry because I will still be there every week in all the group numbers, in the music acts, and on It Takes Two – which I love!"
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