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Strictly Come Dancing singer reveals behind-the-scenes secrets from Elstree studios

Tommy Blaize has worked on the BBC show since its launch

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 Celebrities and Professional Dancers in week five
Emily Horan
Entertainment Editor
October 29, 2023
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As Strictly Come Dancing's star singer, Tommy Blaize has stood beside TV's most famous dancefloor to sing countless celebrities and professionals through their routines since the show's first series in May 2004. 

Two decades on, the Liverpudlian vocalist is now one of the four original stars left on Strictly, along with presenter Tess Daly, judge Craig Revel Horwood and dancer turned judge Anton Du Beke

"There's definitely that thing between us when we pass each other and just think: 'We're really old aren't we?'" Tommy tells HELLO! with a laugh as he joins us for this exclusive interview, in which he shares all the sparkling stories from his time on the show and reveals why now is the right time to step into the spotlight with his own tour.

Shirley Ballas and Tommy Blaize
Shirley Ballas with Strictly's star singer Tommy Blaize

While the singer shares a close bond with the whole cast, he particularly feels a connection with head judge Shirley Ballas. "As a fellow Scouser and someone who started in showbiz at a young age and around the same time, we've always had that extra connection. Shirley has such a positive influence on the show and always likes to encourage the celebrities with her critiques."

This series, Tommy is tipping actor Bobby Brazier as the one to watch: "He's phenomenal and such a lovely bloke."

Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell break silence on Amanda Abbington's exit:

Tommy is nothing short of a Strictly secret weapon, with his soulful voice enjoyed by millions and helping create some of the show's most memorable moments. His own favourite memory is from 2008, when broadcaster John Sergeant and his professional partner Kristina Rihanoff danced the paso doble. 

"When John dragged Kristina across the dancefloor, you could see all of us singers with our mouths agape in the background," he says. "There's been many wonderful moments like that."

While he's more used to letting the dancers take centre stage, Tommy is both "nervous and excited" at stepping into the spotlight when his first ever solo tour kicks off next spring. "I thought it was time to get up off my butt and stop being lazy when Strictly's not on," he says, laughing. "People listen to me every Saturday night so this will give them a nice chance to put a face to the music." 

Over the 51 shows – which will be "just me at the piano and maybe a bit of guitar and my friend on percussion" – Tommy will treat the audience to his favourite songs as well as anecdotes from his five-decade career.

Anton du Beke and Tommy Blaize
Anton du Beke and Tommy Blaize have been on Strictly since its launch in 2004

Born in Liverpool, he started out aged nine, singing soul in clubs around England's northwest with his siblings Tony and Darrin as The Blaize Brothers.

Over the years, Tommy has performed with some of the world's greatest artists, including Queen, Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder. A highlight was touring with Robbie Williams

"Robbie was a Strictly fan and he came down [to perform on the show] in 2013. In 2014, he offered me to come along and do his Swings Both Ways world tour," smiles Tommy.

He even sang at the wedding of Sir Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster in 2007, telling us: "I'm a big fan of Rod so to be asked to sing – it doesn't get better than that."

Adds Tommy: "When Penny did Strictly [in 2009], she looked at the orchestra and asked me: 'Did you sing at my wedding?' Rod came in and she said: 'There's Tommy from the wedding!' It was quite funny."

Tommy Blaize© gavin wallace
Tommy's tour kicks off in March 2024

Along with fellow singers Andrea Grant, Jesse Smith and Hayley Sanderson, Tommy's role on Strictly is arguably one of the most important, with the pressure on to execute a pitch-perfect and impeccably timed performance. 

If they miss a beat or change a lyric it risks throwing the dancers' choreography off. 

Claudia Winkleman and Tommy Blaize
Backstage with Strictly host Claudia Winkleman

Filming the live shows every weekend is a marathon effort. Tommy spends his weekdays learning up to 18 songs and then travels to London from Liverpool for rehearsals on Friday. On Saturday morning, each of the dancing couples rehearse to the music twice, followed by a full dress run in the afternoon before going live in the evening. Even after the end of that night's show, the team carries on until 11pm to pre-record the results show. 

"You're just hoping you've got enough left in the tank to sing the songs for the dance-off!" he says. 

Tommy Blaize tours the UK March-June 2024. For details and tickets visit 

Every Strictly Come Dancing winner so far

Rose and Giovanni with the Glitterball in 2021
Rose and Giovanni lifted the Glitterball in 2021
  • 2004: Natisha Kaplinsky (partner Brendan Cole)
  • 2004: Jill Halfpenny (partner Darren Bennett) 
  • 2005: Darren Gough (partner Lilia Kopylova) 
  • 2006: Mark Ramprakash (partner Karen Hardy) 
  • 2007: Alesha Dixon (partner Matthew Cutler) 
  • 2008: Tom Chambers (partner Camilla Dallerup) 
  • 2009: Chris Hollins (partner Ola Jordan) 
  • 2010: Kara Tointon (partner Artem Chigvintsev) 
  • 2011: Harry Judd (partner Aliona Vilani)
  • 2012: Louis Smith (partner Flavia Cacace)
  • 2013: Abbey Clancy (partner Aljaž Škorjanec) 
  • 2014: Caroline Flack (partner Pasha Kovalev) 
  • 2015: Jay McGuiness (partner Aliona Vilani) 
  • 2016: Ore Oduba (partner Joanne Clifton) 
  • 2017: Joe McFadden (partner Katya Jones)
  • 2018: Stacey Dooley (partner Kevin Clifton)
  • 2019: Kelvin Fletcher (partner Oti Mabuse)
  • 2020: Bill Bailey (partner Oti Mabuse) 
  • 2021: Rose Ayling-Ellis (partner Giovanni Pernice) 
  • 2022: Hamza Yassin (partner Jowita Przystał)

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