Strictly Come Dancing 2020 FINAL: Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse are crowned WINNERS

Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse have been crowned the winners of Strictly Come Dancing 2020.

The comedian, 55, became the oldest champion in the show’s history as he scooped the Glitterball trophy on Saturday, and paid tribute to his professional partner for ‘turning him into a dancer.’

The victory also made Oti Strictly’s first ever back-to-back champion in the show’s history, and the dancer also praised her celebrity partner for being ‘a friend, father figure and brother,’ after they beat HRBY, Maisie Smith and Jamie Laing to the victory.

Victory! Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse have been crowned the winners of Strictly Come Dancing 2020 

As they prepared to lift the Glitterball trophy, Bill said: ‘It feels surreal, it feels extraordinary, it feels wonderful, I never thought we’d get to the final but I had the most extraordinary teacher, the most extraordinary dancer, who believed in me right from the beginning and she found something in me and turned me into a dancer.’

Oti fought back tears as she said: ‘I think you are amazing, remarkable Bill Bailey, you just put your heart into everything. You’re in your world, but I love your world and I always want to be a part of you, thank you for being a friend, thank you for being a father figure and a brother and for this!’ as she gestured to the sparkling trophy.’

Earlier in the show Bill and Oti delivered a fierce Showdance complete with pyrotechnics, lifts, and plenty of drama, to Queen’s The Show Must Go On with even Craig gushing it ‘reeked of desperation and he loved it.’

Sweet: The comedian became the oldest champion in the show’s history as he scooped the Glitterball trophy on Saturday, and paid tribute to his professional partner for ‘turning him into a dancer’

Amazing! The victory also made Oti Strictly’s first ever back-to-back champion in the show’s history, and the dancer also praised her celebrity partner for being ‘a friend, father figure and brother’

Praise: Bill said: 'It feels surreal, it feels extraordinary, it feels wonderful, I never thought we'd get to the final but I had the most extraordinary teacher, the most extraordinary dancer, who believed in me right from the beginning'

Praise: Bill said: 'It feels surreal, it feels extraordinary, it feels wonderful, I never thought we'd get to the final but I had the most extraordinary teacher, the most extraordinary dancer, who believed in me right from the beginning'

Praise: Bill said: ‘It feels surreal, it feels extraordinary, it feels wonderful, I never thought we’d get to the final but I had the most extraordinary teacher, the most extraordinary dancer, who believed in me right from the beginning’

Winners at last! Oti fought back tears as she said: 'I think you are amazing, remarkable Bill Bailey, you just put your heart into everything. You're in your world, but I love your world and I always want to be a part of you, thank you for being a friend'

Winners at last! Oti fought back tears as she said: 'I think you are amazing, remarkable Bill Bailey, you just put your heart into everything. You're in your world, but I love your world and I always want to be a part of you, thank you for being a friend'

Winners at last! Oti fought back tears as she said: ‘I think you are amazing, remarkable Bill Bailey, you just put your heart into everything. You’re in your world, but I love your world and I always want to be a part of you, thank you for being a friend’

What drama! Earlier in the show Bill and Oti delivered a fierce Showdance complete with pyrotechnics, lifts, and plenty of drama, to Queen’s The Show Must Go On with even Craig gushing it ‘reeked of desperation and he loved it’

Moving: The duo received their first ever 30 for the performance, and the first perfect score of the evening, with Bill fighting back tears as he vowed the dance was a symbol of the nation carrying on during such unprecedented times

STRICTLY 2020 FINAL: THE SCORES

JUDGES PICK

Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez – Samba to Samba (Conga) by Gloria Estefan – 29 out of 30

HRVY and Janette Manrara – Jive to Faith by Stevie Wonder feat. Ariana Grande – 29 out of 30

Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse – Quickstep to Talk To The Animals by Bobby Darin – 29 out of 30

Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer – Charleston to Zero To Hero from Hercules – 26 out of 30

SHOWDANCE

HRVY and Janette –  Boogie Wonderland by Brittany Murphy – 29 out of 30

Bill and Oti – The Show Must Go On by Queen – 30 out of 30

Jamie and Karen – I’m Still Standing by Taron Egerton – 29 out of 30

Maisie and Gorka – We Need A Little Christmas by Idina Menzel – 30 out 30

FAVOURITE DANCE

Jamie and Karen – Couple’s Choice to Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C+C Music Factory – 29 out of 30

Maisie and Gorka – Quickstep to When You’re Smiling by Andy Williams – 29 out of 30

HRVY and Janette – American Smooth to One (Singular Sensation) from A Chorus Line – 30 out of 30

Bill and Oti – Couple’s Choice to Rapper’s Delight from The Sugarhill Gang – 29 out of 30

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The duo received their first ever 30 for the performance, and the first perfect score of the evening, with Bill fighting back tears as he vowed the dance was a symbol of the nation carrying on during such unprecedented times.

It came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced earlier in the day that much of London and the South Ease would be plunged into a new Tier 4 just days before Christmas. 

He told Claudia: ‘The restrictions are going to be harder. People are going to be isolated over Christmas. This is not just a song about the arts. This is an anthem about not giving up, keeping hope. Getting through this. The show must go on.’

Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman also took a moment to thank the show’s crew for keeping the show afloat during the pandemic, saying much of their team made ‘huge sacrifices’ to ensure the series could go ahead. 

Iconic: For their final dance of the series, Bill and Oti performed their Couple's Choice to Rapper's Delight by The Sugarhill Gang, which sent fans into a frenzy when they danced it in Week Four

Iconic: For their final dance of the series, Bill and Oti performed their Couple's Choice to Rapper's Delight by The Sugarhill Gang, which sent fans into a frenzy when they danced it in Week Four

Iconic: For their final dance of the series, Bill and Oti performed their Couple’s Choice to Rapper’s Delight by The Sugarhill Gang, which sent fans into a frenzy when they danced it in Week Four

Don’t stop! Finalists HRVY and Janette started the show with their Jive to Faith by Stevie Wonder feat. Ariana Grande, and earned universal praise from the panel, coming close to perfect score with 29 points out of 30

Naughty or nice? Even the show's 'Mr Nasty' Craig Revel-Horwood, who said that in light of recent announcements regarding government tiers he'd be 'positive' for the evening.

Naughty or nice? Even the show's 'Mr Nasty' Craig Revel-Horwood, who said that in light of recent announcements regarding government tiers he'd be 'positive' for the evening.

Naughty or nice? Even the show’s ‘Mr Nasty’ Craig Revel-Horwood, who said that in light of recent announcements regarding government tiers he’d be ‘positive’ for the evening.

Finalists HRVY and Janette Manrara started the show with their Jive to Faith by Stevie Wonder feat. Ariana Grande, and earned universal praise from the panel, coming close to perfect score with 29 points out of 30.

This included the show’s ‘Mr Nasty’ Craig Revel-Horwood, who said that in light of recent announcements regarding government tiers he’d be ‘positive’ for the evening.

Motsi added: ‘I am convinced that this is still one of the best dances we have ever seen and that was just a confirmation, it was slick, fast fresh, so you have this youthfulness. You kept up you smashed it you killed it!’ 

They smashed it! The pair were showered with compliments from the judging panel for their routine

They smashed it! The pair were showered with compliments from the judging panel for their routine

Iconic: Motsi praised: 'I am convinced that this is still one of the best dances we have ever seen and that was just a confirmation!'

Iconic: Motsi praised: 'I am convinced that this is still one of the best dances we have ever seen and that was just a confirmation!'

They smashed it! Motsi praised: ‘I am convinced that this is still one of the best dances we have ever seen and that was just a confirmation, it was slick, fast fresh, so you have this youthfulness. You kept up you smashed it you killed it!’

Jamie and Karen then took to the floor to dance their Hercules-themed Charleston to the track Zero to Hero, and was also praised by the panel for his vast improvement, earning a score of 26 out of 30.

Craig joked: ‘It’s lovely to see that wig again darling!’ 

Bill and Oti then delivered another performance of their energetic Quickstep to Talk To The Animals by Bobby Darin, which Shirley declared was ‘spot on,’ and Motsi gushed they danced with ease.

The pair earned their highest ever score from Craig, and came close to a perfect 30 with 29 points.

Heroic! Jamie and Karen then took to the floor to dance their Hercules-themed Charleston to the track Zero to Hero

Heroic! Jamie and Karen then took to the floor to dance their Hercules-themed Charleston to the track Zero to Hero

From Zero! He was also praised by the panel for his vast improvement, earning a score of 26 out of 30

From Zero! He was also praised by the panel for his vast improvement, earning a score of 26 out of 30

Heroic! Jamie and Karen then took to the floor to dance their Hercules-themed Charleston to the track Zero to Hero, and was also praised by the panel for his vast improvement, earning a score of 26 out of 30

What a showman! Bill and Oti then delivered another performance of their energetic Quickstep to Talk To The Animals by Bobby Darin

Sensational: The pair earned their highest ever score from Craig, and came close to a perfect 30 with 29 points

FIRE! Maisie and Gorka were the fourth and final couple to dance their Judges Choice, and took to the floor with teir carnival-themed Samba to Samba (Conga) by Gloria Estefan

Maisie and Gorka were the fourth and final couple to dance their Judges Choice, and took to the floor with teir carnival-themed Samba to Samba (Conga) by Gloria Estefan.

As expected the duo were showered with praise by the panel, with hysterical Shirley gushing: ‘Let me control myself! That was absolutely exceptional! It was scintillating it was sensual it had beautiful awareness of your partner.’

Motsi added: ‘You killed me, I had so many words they just disappeared, I’m left with a feeling, I remember seeing you do a Samba the first day you are just a changed woman, I see these eyes, it was very rhythmical.’  

The pair earned a score of 29 out of 30, landing them in joint first place on the leaderboard. 

Red hot! As expected the duo were showered with praise by the panel, with hysterical Shirley gushing: 'Let me control myself!

Red hot! As expected the duo were showered with praise by the panel, with hysterical Shirley gushing: 'Let me control myself!

Jaw-dropping: Shirley added: 'That was absolutely exceptional! It was scintillating it was sensual it had beautiful awareness of your partner'

Jaw-dropping: Shirley added: 'That was absolutely exceptional! It was scintillating it was sensual it had beautiful awareness of your partner'

Red hot! As expected the duo were showered with praise by the panel, with hysterical Shirley gushing: ‘Let me control myself! That was absolutely exceptional! It was scintillating it was sensual it had beautiful awareness of your partner’

As the lines opened for viewers to cast their votes, the four pairs took to the floor once again for their Showdance.

HRVY and Janette were up first with their festival-themed performance, taking the Strictly ballroom to Glastonbury following a year when much of the nation’s live shows were cancelled, and once again came close to perfection with 29 out of 30.

The pair left the panel gasping for breath with their high-octane showcase, with Tess crowning him ‘King of the Lifts,’ while Shirley added: ‘Congratulations to Janette for making your first final, you squeezed every last drop of anything to do with dance out of this young man!’   

Stop for breath! As the lines opened for viewers to cast their votes, the four pairs took to the floor once again for their Showdance. HRVY and Janette were up first with their festival-themed performance

What a show! The pair left the panel gasping for breath with their high-octane showcase

What a show! The pair left the panel gasping for breath with their high-octane showcase

Don't drop her! Host Tess crowned HRVY the 'King of the Lifts, while Shirley said Janette 'squeeze every last drop of anything to do with dance out of him'

Don't drop her! Host Tess crowned HRVY the 'King of the Lifts, while Shirley said Janette 'squeeze every last drop of anything to do with dance out of him'

What a show! The pair left the panel gasping for breath with their high-octane showcase, with Tess crowning him ‘King of the Lifts,’ while Shirley added: ‘You squeezed every last drop of anything to do with dance out of this young man!’ 

The comeback king! Jamie and Karen were second with their performance to I'm Still Standing from 2019's Rocketman, which earned them 29 points out of 30

The comeback king! Jamie and Karen were second with their performance to I'm Still Standing from 2019's Rocketman, which earned them 29 points out of 30

The comeback king! Jamie and Karen were second with their performance to I’m Still Standing from 2019’s Rocketman, which earned them 29 points out of 30

After receiving their score, Janette fought back tears as her celebrity partner praised her for keeping her spirits up during such unprecedented times.  

He said: Thank you for everything you are the most incredible human being I have met. You are so talented and you’ve put up with me for the last couple of months and you’re just amazing. I’m so happy that I can be with you in the final because you deserve it so much.’

Later in the show, Janette’s husband and fellow pro dancer, Aljaz Skorjanec, was seen wiping away tears after the duo performed the American Smooth.

Jamie and Karen were second with their performance to I’m Still Standing from 2019’s Rocketman, which earned them 29 points out of 30. 

Shirley said: ‘You dance from the heart, gave me shivers, well done,’ while Motsi said: ‘Made me smile, you’re such a role model with your inspiring fightback energy, that was incredible.’ 

Showman! The pair's dance poked fun at their four-time stint in the dance-off and how they bounced back each time before eventually reaching the final

Showman! The pair's dance poked fun at their four-time stint in the dance-off and how they bounced back each time before eventually reaching the final

Showman! The pair’s dance poked fun at their four-time stint in the dance-off and how they bounced back each time before eventually reaching the final

It’s Christmas! Following Bill and Oti’s staggering performance, Maisie and Gorka brought the festive feel to the final with their beautiful dance to We Need A Little Christmas by Idina Menzel, earning them their first 30 of the night

Lauded: Motsi praised: ‘Content of the highest quality – tap, jazz , musical, everything,’ while Craig added: ‘Annoying because I couldn’t find anything wrong with it’

Following Bill and Oti’s staggering performance, Maisie and Gorka brought the festive feel to the final with their beautiful dance to We Need A Little Christmas by Idina Menzel, earning them their first 30 of the night.

Motsi praised: ‘Content of the highest quality – tap, jazz , musical, everything,’ while Craig added: ‘Annoying because I couldn’t find anything wrong with it.’ 

For their third and final dance, each couple were tasked with reprising their favourite dance of the series, which for HRVY and Janette was their American Smooth to One from A Chorus Line, scoring 30 out of 30.

Craig said: ‘It gave me goosebumps… Only one word: fab-u-lous!’ while Shirley added: ‘The seven Ps, you are perfection, you’ve improved from day one, gentlemanly, well done.’ 

What a show! For their third and final dance, each couple were tasked with reprising their favourite dance of the series, which for HRVY and Janette was their American Smooth to One from A Chorus Line, scoring 30 out of 30

After a turbulent time reaching the Strictly ballroom, as he was forced to pull out of last series with a foot injury, Jamie took to the floor for his final dance with nothing but pure joy.

He and Karen performed their Couple’s Choice to Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C+C Music Factory, and the judges praised him for bringing such an infectious energy.

Shirley said: ‘I will carry the joy of dance from you in my heart forever. Sensational,’ while Motsi added: ‘Your best dance of the whole series. The energy was amazing.’ 

Bill and Oti also delivered a reprisal of their viral Couple’s Choice to Rapper’s Delight by The Sugarhill Gang, which sent fans into a frenzy when they danced it in Week Four.

Sensational: After a turbulent time reaching the Strictly ballroom, as he was forced to pull out of last series with a foot injury, Jamie took to the floor for his final dance with nothing but pure joy

He can dance now! He and Karen performed their Couple's Choice to Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C+C Music Factory, and the judges praised him for bringing such an infectious energy

He can dance now! He and Karen performed their Couple's Choice to Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C+C Music Factory, and the judges praised him for bringing such an infectious energy

He can dance now! He and Karen performed their Couple’s Choice to Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C+C Music Factory, and the judges praised him for bringing such an infectious energy

Shirley declared: ‘Dancer extraordinaire, performer of the highest quality, sensational.’ as the duo received 29 points out of 30.

And closing out the dances, and the final as a whole, Maisie and Gorka reprised their Quickstep to Andy Williams’ When You’re Smiling. 

Shirley praised: ‘I’m going to call you little happy feet, beautiful footwork, glide in your stride, covered the floor, kept the frame, you’re a beautiful ballroom dancer,’ with Motsi adding: ‘You’re a shining diamond, what a night you’re having.’ 

As viewers cast their votes, Strictly also welcomed back Katya Jones and Nicola Adams for a sensual routine, after they were forced to pull out of the show in November when the pro tested positive for COVID-19.  

Extraordinary! As Bill and Oti performed their final dance, Shirley praised: 'Dancer extraordinaire, performer of the highest quality, sensational.' as the duo received 29 points out of 30'

Extraordinary! As Bill and Oti performed their final dance, Shirley praised: 'Dancer extraordinaire, performer of the highest quality, sensational.' as the duo received 29 points out of 30'

Extraordinary! As Bill and Oti performed their final dance, Shirley praised: ‘Dancer extraordinaire, performer of the highest quality, sensational.’ as the duo received 29 points out of 30′

Last one! And closing out the dances, and the final as a whole, Maisie and Gorka reprised their Quickstep to Andy Williams’ When You’re Smiling

The dancing duo earned a thunderous reception from the audience for their dance to Feeling Good.

MailOnline had previously revealed that Nicola and the Katya were forced to pull out of Strictly after Katya contracted COVID and had to self-isolate for 14 days.  

As viewers reflected on a series of Strictly like no other as it battled through difficult circumstances to delight millions of viewers, The Duchess of Cornwall Camilla made a brief cameo to credit the BBC series with ‘lifting the whole country’s spirits.’

Camilla said: ‘I think it’s just lifted our spirits, it’s lifted the whole country’s spirits. I’m very excited [about the final], I know who I’ll be voting for! I’d like to, on behalf of everybody who watches Strictly, to say an enormous thank you to everybody.

‘Everybody who has been involved in this production, in this particularity difficult year, you have given everybody so much pleasure and you’ve uplifted the nation!’

Look who is back! As viewers cast their votes, Strictly also welcomed back Katya Jones and Nicola Adams for a sensual routine, after they were forced to pull out of the show in November when the pro tested positive for COVID-19

Look who is back! As viewers cast their votes, Strictly also welcomed back Katya Jones and Nicola Adams for a sensual routine, after they were forced to pull out of the show in November when the pro tested positive for COVID-19

Look who is back! As viewers cast their votes, Strictly also welcomed back Katya Jones and Nicola Adams for a sensual routine, after they were forced to pull out of the show in November when the pro tested positive for COVID-19

Impressive: The dynamic duo made history by becoming the first-ever same sex couple to participate on the show (pictured during their last week as competitors in November)

Impressive: The dynamic duo made history by becoming the first-ever same sex couple to participate on the show (pictured during their last week as competitors in November)

Impressive: The dynamic duo made history by becoming the first-ever same sex couple to participate on the show (pictured during their last week as competitors in November)

Royal surprise! As viewers reflected on a series of Strictly like no other as it battled through difficult circumstances to delight millions of viewers, The Duchess of Cornwall made a cameo to credit the BBC series with 'lifting the whole country's spirits'

Royal surprise! As viewers reflected on a series of Strictly like no other as it battled through difficult circumstances to delight millions of viewers, The Duchess of Cornwall made a cameo to credit the BBC series with 'lifting the whole country's spirits'

Royal surprise! As viewers reflected on a series of Strictly like no other as it battled through difficult circumstances to delight millions of viewers, The Duchess of Cornwall made a cameo to credit the BBC series with ‘lifting the whole country’s spirits’

Christmas treat! The final also featured a performance from Robbie Williams, who offered fans a rendition to his festive hit

Christmas treat! The final also featured a performance from Robbie Williams, who offered fans a rendition to his festive hit

Christmas treat! The final also featured a performance from Robbie Williams, who offered fans a rendition to his festive hit

Surprise! And of course the Strictly final wasn't going to pass without an appearance from judge Bruno Tonioli, who said he 'hoped to be back in the ballroom next year'

Surprise! And of course the Strictly final wasn't going to pass without an appearance from judge Bruno Tonioli, who said he 'hoped to be back in the ballroom next year'

Surprise! And of course the Strictly final wasn’t going to pass without an appearance from judge Bruno Tonioli, who said he ‘hoped to be back in the ballroom next year’

And of course the Strictly final wasn’t going to pass without an appearance from judge Bruno Tonioli, who was absent from the panel this year due to travel restrictions introduced by the pandemic.

Speaking in a pre-recorded message he said: ‘Hello everyone what a final! I cant feel the tension and the excitement from here and all those showdances, the standard was simply incredible/

‘All four couples really deserve to be in the final, and all four would be deserving of the Glitterball, I couldn’t call it! What a fantastic series. I hope to be back in the ballroom next year! Good luck bye bye!’

The Strictly professionals kicked off the show with a luminous opening routine, which was partially filmed earlier this year when the stars formed a bubble to pre-record all of their group performances.

As they prepared to unveil the finalists, hosts Claudia Winkleman fought back tears as she paid tribute to the show’s crew, revealing they were making up the studio audience after working tirelessly to make show a reality.

She said: ‘Now earlier this year we didn’t know if Strictly could even happen and tonight our audience is made up of the brilliant team that got us here.’ 

Tess added: ‘Thank you, team. Thank you all. If ever people needed cheering up, it’s now.’ 

Sensational: The professionals kicked off the show with a luminous opening routine, which was partially filmed earlier this year when the stars formed a bubble to pre-record all of their group performances

Sensational: The professionals kicked off the show with a luminous opening routine, which was partially filmed earlier this year when the stars formed a bubble to pre-record all of their group performances

Sensational: The professionals kicked off the show with a luminous opening routine, which was partially filmed earlier this year when the stars formed a bubble to pre-record all of their group performances

How is Strictly 2020 going ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Strictly Come Dancing has introduced an array of strict measures to ensure the new series can go ahead during the COVID-19 crisis.

Celebrity contestants and their professional partners are tested regularly, with cast and crew told to isolate should they contract the virus.

Bosses have already confirmed any celebrity that tests positive once the series begins will be dropped from the show, with reports saying there are celebrities on stand-by.

The professional dancers have already pre-recorded their group performances after isolating together in a hotel.

It’s also been claimed that celebrities and pros will be axed from the show if they are caught kissing during filming.

Strictly 2020 has also seen the series run shortened to just nine weeks, with 12 celebrities taking part instead of the usual 15.

The show’s annual trip to Blackpool has been cancelled, along with this year’s Halloween and Christmas specials.

Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio with separate rostrums, after Bruno Tonioli was unable to appear due to travel concerns. 

Veteran judge Bruno has said he will be ‘involved remotely’ and hopes to return full-time towards the end of the series as he is filming the US version of the show in Los Angeles. 

With limited studio crew, big sets may not be built – so producers will use augmented reality, which adds computer-generated elements.

To ensure the contestants can work closely with their partners, they will ‘bubble up’ to train, along with being tested regularly. 

Strictly will still feature a live audience, however fans will sit in groups on separate tables, and will only attend if from the same household or bubble.

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Saturday saw Bill and Oti, HRVY and Janette, Jamie and Karen and Maisie and Gorka perform three times to win viewers’ votes, the Judges Pick, their Showdance and their favourite dance of the series.

Despite facing challenges in the competition after finding herself in the dance off twice, Maisie previously said being on Strictly has shown her that she can be confident and ‘get over’ her self-doubts. 

She explained: ‘I have always had insecurities and I probably always will. Everyone has. But being on this show with the costumes and the dances and doing things completely out of my comfort zone, I have been thrown into the deep end so in a way it has helped me with my confidence.

‘On this show it goes so quick you don’t have time to say ‘I don’t feel comfortable’ you just have to go out there and do it. It has pushed me to get over it.

‘I try and feel happier with myself and it’s only been eight weeks but I already feel better about myself and I didn’t expect that to ever happen.’

Dynamic duo: Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman returned to present the grand final, with Tess donning a beautiful gold sequinned dress

Dynamic duo: Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman returned to present the grand final, with Tess donning a beautiful gold sequinned dress

Stunning: Claudia opted for a beautiful black and gold gown

Stunning: Claudia opted for a beautiful black and gold gown

Dynamic duo: Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman returned to present the grand final, with Tess donning a beautiful gold sequinned dress, while Claudia opted for a beautiful black and gold gown

Moving: Moving: As they prepared to unveil the finalists, Claudia fought back tears as she paid tribute to the show's crew, revealing they were making up the studio audience after working tirelessly to make show a reality

Moving: Moving: As they prepared to unveil the finalists, Claudia fought back tears as she paid tribute to the show's crew, revealing they were making up the studio audience after working tirelessly to make show a reality

Moving: Moving: As they prepared to unveil the finalists, Claudia fought back tears as she paid tribute to the show’s crew, revealing they were making up the studio audience after working tirelessly to make show a reality

The soap star has even juggled filming her scenes for EastEnders with training for the show, resulting in her still rehearsing at gone midnight.

But her professional dance partner Gorka Márquez, 30, said the pair haven’t argued once, which is a triumph in itself according to ‘hormonal teen’ Maisie.

Gorka said: ‘It is funny because you know, so many hours in the same training room and you can get on each other’s nerves but funnily enough, even last week with the crazy schedule Maisie had, we both were like ‘it is what it is.’

Maisie added: ‘I’m a teenager, I’m hormonal but even still we have never bickered and that’s quite impressive!’

'The final countdown': Despite facing challenges in the competition after finding herself in the dance off twice, Maisie previously said being on Strictly has shown her that she can be confident and 'get over' her self-doubts

'The final countdown': Despite facing challenges in the competition after finding herself in the dance off twice, Maisie previously said being on Strictly has shown her that she can be confident and 'get over' her self-doubts

‘The final countdown’: Despite facing challenges in the competition after finding herself in the dance off twice, Maisie previously said being on Strictly has shown her that she can be confident and ‘get over’ her self-doubts

Bill also recently revealed he’s inspired Gavin and Stacey actor Rob Brydon to appear on the next series.

The comedian hoped to break ‘dad dancing’ stereotypes by showing ‘blokes of his age’ that you can be taken seriously in the competition despite being in your mid 50s.

Professional dancer Oti Mabuse, 30, said she prepared the ‘simplest’ routine for Bill’s first appearance on the BBC show – but quickly realised her celeb partner was capable of far trickier steps.

She said: ‘When you come back as a reigning pro, you get someone that you can show a bit more personality…

‘The first day we went into a rehearsal and I did the simplest Cha Cha and he got it and I went ‘oh I might be in trouble, this might be a long season’ and I kept pushing and pushing and he did it. I didn’t expect it.

‘I spoke to the comedian Rob Brydon and he’s a big, big Strictly fan and he said for the first time when he watched it and saw Bill he thought ‘oh my goodness, if I did Strictly, there is a possibility that I could go far.’

‘Because he’s a respectable man and character in English society, if he ever came onto Strictly that would be something that he would want to do, be taken seriously and really give it his all and hopefully make it far.’

Bill added: ‘If that is the consequence of me being on this show then that’s wonderful. Blokes sometimes feel a bit self-conscious, particularly blokes of my age, they feel they’re going to be called the dad dancer and I think if me showing I can get out there and look a little bit more than somebody shuffling about then why not?

‘I would love to carry on dancing. It’s so much fun it is accelerating and liberating.’

Viewers have complimented Bill over his recent weight loss after eight weeks of dance training has left him with a slimmer physique.

Really? Bill also recently revealed he's inspired Gavin and Stacey actor Rob Brydon to appear on the next series

Really? Bill also recently revealed he's inspired Gavin and Stacey actor Rob Brydon to appear on the next series

Really? Bill also recently revealed he’s inspired Gavin and Stacey actor Rob Brydon to appear on the next series 

Jamie was also praised by his partner Karen for her incredible body transformation following eight weeks of her rigorous dance training.

Karen, 38, said she’s ‘made a machine’ out of the Made In Chelsea star, 32, who now has ‘awesome abs’ as well as ‘amazing enthusiasm and energy’ that he brings to every performance.

She said: ‘I’ve made a friend and I’ve made a machine now because he’s got awesome abs! I have never seen someone bounce back with such positivity and resilience.

‘It’s the whole mentality of it, during these times when everyone needs lifting and the fact he’s been able to lift me and himself at times, and lifting people at home with all his amazing enthusiasm and energy, I think that’s what’s brilliant about Jamie.

‘I’m so proud of him – with all those ups and downs he’s always managed to have a smile on his face.’

Toned up: Jamie was also praised by his partner Karen for her incredible body transformation following eight weeks of her rigorous dance training

Toned up: Jamie was also praised by his partner Karen for her incredible body transformation following eight weeks of her rigorous dance training

Toned up: Jamie was also praised by his partner Karen for her incredible body transformation following eight weeks of her rigorous dance training

Jamie has escaped elimination four times after winning over the judges by being willing to better himself and take on their criticisms.

The TV personality has experienced mixed emotions – while he’s thrilled to have reached the final, he’s also found it ‘tough’ saying goodbye to his co-stars. 

He said: ‘It is really tricky. This Strictly family, you do become a family, everyone talks about it but you really do.

‘When one of your buddies goes and Ranvir, they’re true friends. It’s a weird combination because you obviously don’t want to go home but you don’t want someone else to go home.

‘It’s one of those things, it is tough and it is hard but it’s part of the show. If it was us at any point I would have stood there and said ‘you know what, fair enough, that is what happens, it’s part of the show. Some people now think we’re bribing the judges. It’s just we dance well.’

This year’s Strictly introduced strict new measures to ensure filming could continue in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, including regular testing and placing the couples in separate ‘bubbles’ so they can train and perform together.  

These ‘bubbles’ mean that any celebrity can openly mix, train and perform with their professional partner and vice versa, but they are prohibited from mixing with anyone from outside of their bubble during filming or training.  

'They're true friends': The TV personality has experienced mixed emotions – while he's thrilled to have reached the final, he's also found it 'tough' saying goodbye to his co-stars, such as Ranvir Sin

'They're true friends': The TV personality has experienced mixed emotions – while he's thrilled to have reached the final, he's also found it 'tough' saying goodbye to his co-stars, such as Ranvir Sin

‘True friends’: Jamie has experienced mixed emotions – while he’s thrilled to have reached the final, he’s also found it ‘tough’ saying goodbye to his co-stars, such as Ranvir Singh

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