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I took my Strictly superfan mum to the live tour and it surpassed our expectations

The Strictly tour is the perfect mother-daughter night out  

Several dancers and celebrities
Katie Daly
Lifestyle Writer
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It doesn't get much glitzier than a Strictly Saturday. Well, other than seeing all the magic in the flesh at the Strictly live tour, that is. 

I took my super-fan mum to the Strictly live tour on Friday night and sat in a box at the O2 arena sipping a glass of crisp white wine while the likes of finalists Bobby Brazier, Layton Williams, and Ellie Leach partied the night away was the perfect start to any weekend.

hands holding wine in front of stage© Katie Daly
We commenced the evening of glitz and glamour with a glass of wine

The show starred 2023's most accomplished celebrity contestants including the finalists alongside Angela Rippon, Annabel Croft, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, and Angela Scanlon with their respective pro partners Kai Widdrington, Graziano Di Prima, Jowita Przystał, and Carlos Gu. 

strictly tour floor lit up blue© Katie Daly
A perfect mother-daughter night out

With each couple taking to the floor to perform two of their best numbers from last season the night was peppered with dazzling pro numbers where you got all the magic of a Strictly Saturday live show but on a grander and more glittery scale. 

Big screen at the o2 showing strictly logo© Katie Daly
Big screens showed the moves up close

Former Strictly pro Janette Manrara took to the floor as the evening's host and major props to her for not only presenting the entire show with just the odd glance at her cue cards but also for swapping out her presenting hat for her dancing shoes towards the end of the evening to show she is a woman of many talents. 

Janette Manrara in front of shiny backdrop© Instagram
Janette Manrara is presenting the tour this year

The ever-charismatic judges Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke, and Craig Revel-Horwood offered their expertise following every performance and their undeniable chemistry added an extra sprinkle of light-hearted humour that kept the 10,000-strong audience entertained all night long. They also treated the audience to a cameo dance moment to close the show. Chef's kiss. 

Shirley Ballas in black shift dress© Instagram
Shirley is back on the judging panel with Craig and Anton

Supporting each of the numbers and appearing in the fabulous pro numbers, including the fan-favourite Barbie routine, were pros Nadiya Bychkova, Katya Jones, Karen Hauer, Neil Jones, Nancy Xu, Robbie Kmetoni, and Jake Leigh.

Dianne in barbie costume© Instagram
Dianne goes on as Barbie

Due to scheduling issues, both Annabel Croft and Krishnan Guru-Murthy were given the opportunity to take on a new challenge and dance with a different pro partner than who they had competed with last season, and rise to the challenge they did.

krishnan and ellie back stage© Instagram
Krishnan with reigning champ Ellie are having a fabulous time on tour

Retired tennis player Annabel Croft performed a breathtaking American Smooth to The Righteous Brothers' 'Unchained Melody' with Graziano Di Prima in the absence of her former partner Johannes Radebe. She epitomised grace as she moved around the floor with ethereal ease. 

Annabel on dance floor with Graziano Di Prima© Katie Daly
Annabel Croft took to the floor with Graziano Di Prima

Lauren Oakley is off performing in fellow Strictly pro Giovanni Pernice's live tour which meant her celeb partner Channel 4 newsreader Krishnan Guru-Murthy had the honour of dancing with 2022 champion Jowita Przystał. The pair kicked off the celeb dances with a sensational Cha Cha Cha to 'Boom Shak-A-Lak' by Apache Indian getting the crowd off their feet and bopping along. 

Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington stood back-to-back© Shutterstock
Angela and Kai are a fan-favourite pairing

Then there was Ask Me Anything presenter Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu's Charleston which was lighthearted and springy - we can see where Angela's childhood Irish dance training came in handy! And who could forget Angela Rippon's daring leg extension which I'm sure has amazed the crowd on each night of the tour which kicked off on 19 January. 

Dianne and bobby on strictly tour stage© Getty
Dianne and Bobby's close friendship shows in their dancing

It was fabulous to see the season's finalists in action. EastEnders star Bobby Brazier showed off his notorious Samba hips in his number with Dianne Buswell to Candi Staton's 'Young Hearts Run Free' whilst Everybody's Talking About Jamie star Layton Williams backflipped into next week (literally) alongside Nikita Kuzmin in his Moulin Rouge-inspired Paso Doble.

Ellie and Vito on dance floor talking to janette© Katie Daly
Reigning champs Ellie and Vito took to the floor

 And we can't forget reigning queen of the ballroom former Corrie star Ellie Leach who performed a Paso Doble to 'Insomnia' by Faithless followed by a contrasting American Smooth to 'Ain't That A Kick In The Head' by Robbie Williams with her partner Vito Coppola. Her glimmering pink gown with a floaty skirt and feathered shoulders was certainly one to remember.

Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola standing together© Shutterstock
Ellie shared a touching family story

The actress stood in front of the judges and let the crowd in on the most heartwarming of anecdotes following her Strictly victory last December. "My dad, I think has watched the final like 25 times, the whole thing," the champion said. "And he's placed the glitterball in the middle of the dining table and when everyone comes around he always wants a selfie with it like it's his!". 

dancers on strictly tour floor© Katie Daly
A night to remember

A special mention has to go to the musical element of the night. An evening of fabulous dancing would not be complete without the support of the tour's incredible live singers including Tara McDonald, Tommy Blaize, and Andrea Grant accompanied by the live band conducted by Allan Rogers.

The Strictly glam squad (clockwise L-R) - Tracey Jones, Megan Marshall, Summer Dyason, and Liv Davey© Instagram
The Strictly glam squad (clockwise L-R) - Tracey Jones, Megan Marshall, Summer Dyason, and Liv Davey

Can we also have a moment for the backbone of the entire production which is the hair and makeup team? I had the pleasure of sitting down with the head of hair and makeup on the tour Tracey Jones as well as one of the tour's makeup artists Summer Dyason earlier this month to learn about the secrets of their magical beauty looks. 

Nadiya with Old Hollywood curls © Instagram
Nadiya's Old Hollywood curls were stunning

It's a case of the bigger the better with Strictly hair and makeup and each look brought the dance to life with the help of the costumes which captured the mood of every number and allowed every performer to move with ease.

Jowita in blue costume© Instagram
Jowita is dancing with Krishnan on tour

An evening in the ballroom and Latin world for any Strictly-loving mother-daughter duo is a guaranteed winner. If you find yourself sitting down every Saturday leading up to Christmas for a touch of Strictly magic then why not extend the fun into the New Year and go and see your favourites on tour?

The female dancers from strictly tour© Getty
The Strictly girls wore stunning glitzy dresses

The atmosphere in the arena was electric from start to finish and it was wonderful to be immersed in the unbridled joy that is the hit ballroom show for an evening. "Fab-u-lous," says Craig. I couldn't have put it better myself.

Strictly tour moments that got a perfect 10 from my mum

  1. The feel-good factor - a night of Strictly is an escape into a fabulous world covered in glitter
  2. The live music - singers that can sing The Righteous Brothers through to Joel Corry are getting a 10 from us
  3. Annabel Croft's American Smooth dress - a cobalt number that from the neck down was dripping in diamantés with a skirt that had her floating on air. Truly spectacular.
  4. Angela Scanlon's Argentine tango - full of conviction and poise with a sprinkling of sass. What's not to love?
  5. Dianne Buswell's Viennese Waltz dress - a peach gown with a billowing skirt and a torso covered in rhinestone-encrusted flowers. The epitomise of elegance.

DISCOVER: Queen Camilla is 'Strictly's greatest fan' as she vows to take up tap dancing 

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