World-renowned Prima Ballerina Darcey Bussell CBE to join Strictly Come Dancing judging panel

World-renowned Prima Ballerina Darcey Bussell CBE to join Strictly Come Dancing judging panel

Darcey Bussell in rehearsal clothes

Darcey Bussell, retired Royal Ballet Principal and former Royal Ballet School student training the cast of Strictly Come Dancing 2009 at the Royal Ballet School Photograph : BBC Pictures

Prima Ballerina Darcey Bussell CBE, the former Principal Dancer at the Royal Ballet, has been confirmed as the new judge on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing when it returns in the autumn.

Widely recognised as one of the most accomplished English ballerina of all time, Darcey joined the Royal Ballet in 1988 and during her career  performed as a guest artist with leading international ballet companies around the world, including the New York City Ballet.  She retired in 2007 but is still very active within the dancing world.

Darcey is no stranger to Strictly, having appeared as a guest judge on the series in 2009, during which she and Strictly professional Ian Waite performed a jive together.  Darcey will be joining the panel to sit alongside head judge Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli.

Darcey says: “I had such a lovely experience in 2009 when I was a guest judge, that coming on board now feels very natural. Strictly combines quality dance and great entertainment, which is such a positive for everybody involved. I am very excited and really looking forward to being part of the Strictly team.”

Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC One says: “Strictly Come Dancing is a jewel in BBC One’s crown and I can think of no-one better to join our Strictly judging panel than Darcey, the UK’s queen of ballet.  Darcey has all the poise and glamour, along with the experience and credentials to deliver meaningful and insightful critiques of our couples’ performances.  She’s a huge fan of the show and will be a fantastic addition to the Strictly family.”

Katie Taylor, Head of In-house Entertainment at the BBC says: “Having previously acted as a guest judge on Strictly Come Dancing in 2009, Darcey is already part of the Strictly family and I couldn’t be more thrilled that she’s returning to us as our new judge.  I know she will sparkle in our ballroom.”

Read my interview with Darcey Bussell

Read Darcey Bussell’s Magic Ballerina

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13 Responses to “World-renowned Prima Ballerina Darcey Bussell CBE to join Strictly Come Dancing judging panel”

  1. Ballet News Says:

    Penny Bailey You know, I adore wacthing Darcey Bussell and think she is still a wonderful ballerina and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. But I am not sure about this. I just dont see her sat next Bruno and him wafting his arms around and all of his sexual innuendo. It just feels abit…well … wrong!!!! I hope I am proved wrong as stricly is one of my favourite shows.

  2. Ballet News Says:

    Eleonora Delacy Burzio Good contrast!! She is technical… and artistic….and lives in the real world!!… She knows what hard work means and is!!

  3. Ballet News Says:

    Camilla Lundgren I’m sure she’ll do brilliantly – she was a great Guest Judge back in 2009!

  4. Ballet News Says:

    Elizabeth Stagg Yes Darcy’s a great Dancer but why oh why not have someone from the Ballroom & Latin World? Could be a different judge each week from the National & World Champion levels, this would also help combat the favouritism that if rife. Classical Ballet is my passion but it should be somebody who really knows what they’re talking about. Even Len has stopped making many technical remarks, the usual dumming down.

  5. Ballet News Says:

    BALLET NEWS ‎ Elizabeth Stagg – perhaps because Len, Bruno & Craig all come from the Ballroom and Latin world ?

  6. Ballet News Says:

    Penny Bailey I think it is good to have as much all round knowledge as poosible on a show like this. Len is the technical man when it comes to ballroom and latin, both other judges have theatre back grounds and Darcey will provide something extra. I found her a little “reserved” when she was a guest judge….nothing against that as she is a classy lady. But as I say it just, for me, feels kind of wrong!! This is only my opinion though, and I know I will be hooked as usual every week and shouting my opinion at the TV when they give out their scores.

  7. Ballet News Says:

    Darcey’s appointment has raised some eyebrows but you can’t get away from the fact that she is very popular, and Strictly wants to remain popular!

  8. Ballet News Says:

    John Kerrison At last, some class on TV

  9. Ballet News Says:

    Elizabeth Stagg As far as I’m aware Bruno and Craig are more on the Theatrical side?

  10. Ballet News Says:

    ELizabeth – both are trained in ballroom & Latin and they’ve branched out into other areas of the business too, all based on their experience as dancers.

  11. Marnie Spencer Says:

    I agree with Penny .. it just feels wrong somehow. Darcy is a much loved ballerina, respected throughout the ballet world, albeit now retired , Darcy still has a very high profile. ‘
    Strictly’ is a dance show for the masses. There is very little that is classy about it. It has a place as a Saturday night TV entertainment but no lasting impression can be made in 5 minute bites of studio dancing. The least said about the costumes, the better. I cannot understand why Darcy would want to be connected with the show., but that is her choice. Why not do as Elizabeth suggests and have judges from the ballroom dancing circuit championships. I love all forms of dance but do feel a ballerina judge is not right for ‘Strictly”.

    PS. I am not really sure why ‘Strictly’ is right for Ballet News either. ?

  12. Ballet News Says:

    Marnie – to answer your question about Strictly and Ballet News : for some years this website has had a dedicated area for Strictly Come Dancing, where every show is covered live and all of the images available are published. You can find it by clicking on the ‘Strictly’ tab at the top of the homepage.

    As for Darcey Bussell – we will just have to wait and see how she does when the show airs later this year. I don’t think it’s at all fair to pre-judge on the basis of a very short appearance previously, under different circumstances.

  13. Ballet News Says:

    Stephanie King To be honest, i dislike the show! Oh Darcey, what are you doing? Noooooo!!!!!!