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Strictly Christmas Special star Debbie McGee says she had a major advantage returning to the show

Debbie and Kevin are the winners!

Francesca Shillcock

After returning to the ballroom once again for the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special, Debbie McGee lifted the Glitterball trophy as she was crowned the winner alongside Kevin Clifton. Competing with other fellow Strictly alumni including Mark Wright, Joe Sugg and Gemma Atkinson, Debbie was crowned champion after a glittering, festive quickstep to Jingle Bells.

And it seems that Debbie felt pretty confident heading back in to the ballroom due to reaching the final in 2017, and performing with the area tour. Speaking to HELLO! and other reporters prior to the show, Debbie explained what it was like dancing with a new partner and how her previous stint in the competition gave her an advantage.

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Debbie and Kevin performed a quickstep before lifting the Strictly Christmas trophy

"I think it's easier [training with a new partner] because you've been through the whole thing [before]. I had four months on the series, then I did the arena tour. So going with a new partner is easier because you're not a complete novice," she explained. The 61-year-old continued: "You've done all the techniques through the series and I think that's an advantage. Because we haven't had much time to rehearse. So it would have been much more difficult if Kevin had to really go into detail every single thing." And it's clear it paid off!

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In 2017, Debbie sailed through the competition alongside professional partner Giovanni Pernice, but were beaten to the title by Joe McFadden and Katya Jones. After reaching the final, the radio and stage performer then went on to star in the arena tour along with the other stars of series 15.

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Debbie reached the final in 2017 with Giovanni Pernice

This year's Strictly special also featured performances from Chizzy Akudolu, Richard Arnold, Mark Wright, Joe Sugg and Gemma Atkinson. With Joe and Gemma being former finalists themselves, it's clear that the competition was going to be a close one, but Debbie and Kevin took the top spot.

WATCH: The Strictly Come Dancing pro tour interviews

The win also comes as a bonus for Kevin Clifton after he won the show in 2018 alongside Stacey Dooley, and also won this year's Strictly Come Dancing Children in Need special.

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