Who is Dave Arch, Strictly Come Dancing music maestro?

Without Dave Arch, there’d be no Strictly. Here’s everything you need to know about the man behind the Strictly conductor’s baton.

The BBC’s talent show Strictly Come Dancing is without a doubt the country’s most popular celebration of dancing. But you can’t have dancing without music.

One of Strictly’s characteristics is its use of live music to accompany the pro dancers and their celebrity partners as they whirl around the floor

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And the man in charge of Strictly’s musical offering is Dave Arch, whose full job title is musical director and arranger for Strictly Come Dancing, and he makes sure everything goes smoothly on show night.

Who is Dave Arch?

Dave grew up near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire and had his musical training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

He played piano in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and continues to play jazz piano at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.

As a musician, he is a pianist, but he has also worked as a conductor, composer and arranger across film and TV, as well as for adverts and live concerts. He also dabbles with violin, guitar and bass.

As a pianist or keyboardist he has worked on films including The Imitation Game, Interstellar, Gravity and The Grand Budapest Hotel, as well as five of the Harry Potter movies.

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He’s also recorded with legendary artists including Paul McCartney, Tina Turner and Elton John.

Dave composed the signature tune for 90s game show Wipeout among others. He has also worked on adverts for major brands, including BA, BMW, Weetabix and Heinz.  

As well as being musical director for Strictly, Dave has also been musical director for rival broadcaster ITV’s productions of the last six Royal Variety Performances.

In 2016 he released a debut album featuring all of his own compositions – entitled Coming Home.

Dave has previously described his musical favourites as Beethoven, Stravinsky, Keith Jarrett, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder and Jimi Hendrix.

On Strictly Come Dancing, he is accompanied by the Strictly Come Dancing band, along with singers Tommy Blaize, Andrea Grant, Hazel Fernandes, Lance Ellington and Hayley Sanderson. 

Photo credit: BBC

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