Strictly Christmas special: Aston Merrygold jive wows judges

Aston Merrygold and Janette Manrara lift the trophyImage copyright
Guy Levy/BBC

Former JLS star Aston Merrygold has lifted the trophy in Strictly Come Dancing’s Christmas special, after scoring a perfect 40 from the judges.

Craig Revel Horwood said Merrygold and professional partner Janette Manrara’s jive to CeeLo Green’s What Christmas Means To Me was “outstanding”.

Fellow judge Bruno Tonioli said the singer was “born to jive”.

Merrygold was up against Anita Rani, Ann Widdecombe, Caroline Flack, Jake Wood and Michael Vaughan.

When the judges read out their scores for the jive, Merrygold fell to the ground in shock before doing his famous backflip.

His partner Manrara said: “It’s a dream come true.”

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TV presenter Anita Rani also impressed the judges with a foxtrot to Winter Wonderland, scoring 35 out of 40.

“You managed to melt all the ice. You brought the magic to Christmas,” said lead judge Shirley Ballas.

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Former Conservative politician Ann Widdecombe was partnered with Anton Du Beke for her return to the BBC show after eight years.

The pair were dressed as the ugly sisters from Cinderella.

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Widdecombe asked Revel Horwood to give her at least a score of two because it was Christmas. However, he said: “I’m not feeling that generous, darling.”

The couple were awarded 22 in total – Widdecombe’s highest score ever.