10 things you need to know about Strictly Come Dancing

From oodles of fake tan to spring beginnings, here are some surprising facts and figures about everyone’s favourite dance show.

2017’s edition of Strictly Come Dancing will be the hit show’s 15th series. Celebrities such as Alexandra Burke, Debbie McGee and Simon Rimmer will be lacing up their dancing shoes hoping to be lifting the famous glitterball trophy shortly before Christmas.

[Read more: Strictly 2017 – Alexandra Burke completes celebrity line-up]

There will also be three new professional dancers this year. Following the departures of Natalie Lowe, Oksana Platero and Joanne Clifton, Dianne Buswell, Nadia Bychkova and Amy Dowden are being added to the roster of professional dancers.

Fan favourites Anton du Beke, Brendan Cole and Kevin Clifton will all be back too. There will be another new face, however, in the form of Shirley Ballas, who will be taking Len Goodman’s place behind the judging table as new head judge.

Here are a few more Strictly facts and figures that may surprise you:

1.The show gets through a lot of fake tan…

It’s important for Strictly pros and celebs to look the part. One fundamental feature of this is the spray tan. While some celebs have been a little hesitant to begin with – we’re looking at you Jeremy Vine – almost all of them get into the bronzed groove by the end of the show.

So much so that the show gets through 57 litres of fake tan every series.

10 things you didn't know about Strictly

2. …And a lot of rhinestones

It’s not only a fake tan that helps the contestants look good – the amazing costumes play a big part too. A reported 170,000 rhinestones and crystals can be used on costumes during a series of Strictly.

[Read more: 6 things you didn't know about Darcey Bussell]

Each dress can take up to 10 metres of fabric to create. Dresses can take weeks to make, and are often created by specialist supplier DSI London – although costumes can also be turned around quickly to meet show deadlines.

After the show finishes the dresses are sold to dance companies and professionals around the world.

3.Not to mention a fair few hairpins

The hair and make-up department also goes through a fair few components. Since the show began it has used 31,000 hairpins to secure the contestants hair.

Not only that, but each series 504 cans of hairspray are used to make sure everything stays neatly in place.

10 things you didn't know about Strictly Come Dancing

4.Strictly has been exported to a lot of other countries

Strictly Come Dancing started on the BBC in 2004 as a celebrity version of classic dance show Come Dancing – combined with the glamour of 90s dance film Strictly Ballroom.

The format has been so successful that it has been exported to more than 50 countries around the world. Many of Strictly’s pro dancers have featured in international versions of the show – new pro Dianne Buswell has featured on Dancing With The Stars Australia, for example. In fact, most of the international versions of Strictly are called variations of Dancing With The Stars rather than Strictly Come Dancing – but the format looks familiar wherever you go.

[Read more: Who is Shirley Ballas? All about Strictly's new head judge]

5.The first series of Strictly was on in the spring

Although Strictly comes around every autumn like clockwork, it originally aired in the spring. The first-ever series of Strictly aired between May and July in 2004 and featured eight celebrity contestants – compared to the 15 contestants in Strictly 2016.

Won by Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole, the first series of Strictly was such a success that the BBC produced a second series the same year. Series two ran from October to December 2004 and featured 10 contestants.

The show has been an autumnal show ever since.

6.Strictly’s filmed at Elstree Studios

Until 2013 Strictly was filmed in the BBC Television Centre in White City. When that closed, filming transferred to Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire.

Once a series, the show also films at the legendary Tower Ballroom in Blackpool.

7.The winners don’t keep the trophy

Winners might raise the legendary Glitterball Trophy aloft at the end of each series of Strictly, but they don’t get to keep it.

Previous winners have confessed that instead they get a small replica to take home with them.

8. Four pro dancers won in their debut year…

Brendan Cole has the distinction of being the first-ever pro dancer to lift the Glitterball trophy – he won the first series of Strictly with celebrity partner Natasha Kaplinsky.

Three other pro dancers have won Strictly on their debut series: Darren Bennett in series two with Jill Halfpenny; Artem Chigvintsev in series eight with Kara Tointon, and Aljaz Skorjanec in series 11 with Abbey Clancey.

[Read more: 6 things you didn’t know about Strictly's Craig Revel Horwood]

9. …But only one pro dancer has won twice

However, only one pro dancer has lifted the Glitterball Trophy twice on Strictly and that is Aliona Vilani.

She first won in series nine with Harry Judd before lifting the trophy for a second time in series 13 with another boy-bander, Jay McGuiness.

As for Kevin Clifton, he’s made it to the final four times – every year since he started Strictly – but never won the trophy.

10. There have been 591 perfect 10s handed out so far

As of 2016’s series 14, the judges have reportedly handed out 591 10s within the normal show – not including specials.

Of the judges who have been with the show from the start, Bruno has given out the most 10s at 203 while, unsurprisingly, exacting Craig has given out only 51.

Of the dancers, Pasha Kovalev and Kevin Clifton have both received the most amount of 10s – at 61 each. Double champion Aliona is the woman pro dancer with the most number of 10s at 42. 

Photo credits: Ray Burmiston/PA Wire, PA, BBC

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