Strictly Come Dancing: meet the 12 Yorkshire stars who’ve taken to the dancefloor since the BBC show started

While we wait to see who will lift the 20th Glitterball Trophy, let’s take a look at Strictly’s former contestants from Yorkshire
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

We are down to the last seven couples on the 20th series of Strictly Come Dancing - but who will lift the Glitterball Trophy?

There are no Yorkshire-born celebrities competing in the latest series, so Barnsley-born cricketer Darren Gough remains the first and only Yorkshire-born celebrity to win the BBC show.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, there has been plenty of local talent on the dance floor in the past including the likes of boxer Nicola Adams, singer Kimberley Walsh and presenter Gabby Logan.

While we wait to see who will lift the 20th Glitterball Trophy, let’s take a look at which former contestants have been from Yorkshire.

Lesley Garrett

Opera singer Lesley Garrett and Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole attend the annual RTS Programme Awards 2005, presented by The Royal Television Society, at Grosvenor House on March 15, 2005 in London. (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)Opera singer Lesley Garrett and Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole attend the annual RTS Programme Awards 2005, presented by The Royal Television Society, at Grosvenor House on March 15, 2005 in London. (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)
Opera singer Lesley Garrett and Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole attend the annual RTS Programme Awards 2005, presented by The Royal Television Society, at Grosvenor House on March 15, 2005 in London. (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)

Soprano singer Lesley Garrett, competed in the first series of Strictly Come Dancing, alongside professional dancer Anton Du Beke - who is now a judge on the show

In 2004, there were just eight couples and Lesley came third place behind actor Christopher Parker and newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky, and their professional partners.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Lesley, now 67-years-old, was born in Thorne, a market town near Doncaster in south Yorkshire. She attended Thorne Fieldside Infant and Junior Schools and Thorne Grammar School.

She graduated from London’s Royal Academy of Music and won the Decca Prize of the Kathleen Ferrier Award in 1979, which launched her career.

Her professional debut, the same year, was as Amor in Orontea at the music festival in Batignano.

James Martin

James Martin performs a cookery demonstation during the Festival of Food and Wine raceday at Ascot Racecourse on September 7, 2013 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)James Martin performs a cookery demonstation during the Festival of Food and Wine raceday at Ascot Racecourse on September 7, 2013 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)
James Martin performs a cookery demonstation during the Festival of Food and Wine raceday at Ascot Racecourse on September 7, 2013 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)

Television chef James Martin, was partnered with Danish professional Camilla Dallerup in the third series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The pair came in fourth place, leaving one week before the final after nine weeks. The series was later won by Yorkshire cricketer Darren Gough.

James was born in Malton, a market town near York in north Yorkshire, and attended Amotherby School and later Malton School.

His family were farmers on the Castle Howard estate where he helped his mother in the kitchen.

The 50-year-old went on to present BBC cookery series Saturday Kitchen from 2006 until 2016.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

More recently, James has presented James Martin’s French Adventure (2017), Saturday Morning with James Martin (2017–present) and James Martin’s American Adventure (2018).

Darren Gough

Yorkshire Director of Cricket Darren Gough during the LV= Insurance County Championship match between Yorkshire and Kent at Headingley on April 28, 2022 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)Yorkshire Director of Cricket Darren Gough during the LV= Insurance County Championship match between Yorkshire and Kent at Headingley on April 28, 2022 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Yorkshire Director of Cricket Darren Gough during the LV= Insurance County Championship match between Yorkshire and Kent at Headingley on April 28, 2022 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Professional cricketer Darren Gough won the third series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2005 with Russian dancer Lilia Kopylova.

Darren, who retired from cricket in 2008, is the only Yorkshire-born celebrity to win the BBC competition.

The 52-year-old was born in Monk Bretton, a village in Barnsley, south Yorkshire - and he continues to support League One football team Barnsley FC.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The former captain of Yorkshire County Cricket Club is England’s second highest wicket-taker in one-day internationals.

Claire King

Claire King attends the TV Choice Awards 2022 on November 14, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)Claire King attends the TV Choice Awards 2022 on November 14, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Claire King attends the TV Choice Awards 2022 on November 14, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Actress Claire King competed in the fourth series of Strictly Come Dancing, which saw over £1.5 million raised for Children in Need.

Alongside New Zealand professional Brendan Cole, she made it to week eight of the competition. The series was then won by cricketer Mark Ramprakash and his partner Karen Hardy.

Claire was born in Bradford and raised in Harrogate, west Yorkshire. The 60-year-old attended Harrogate Ladies College and later worked as DJ in a Leeds nightclub.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She is known for her role as Kim Tate in Emmerdale, Karen Betts in Bad Girls, and Erica Holroyd in Coronation Street.

Following her Strictly stint, she also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother where she walked after 16 days during series 14.

Gabby Logan

BBC presenter Gabby Logan during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between West Ham United Women and Arsenal Women at Chigwell Construction Stadium on May 8, 2022 in Dagenham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)BBC presenter Gabby Logan during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between West Ham United Women and Arsenal Women at Chigwell Construction Stadium on May 8, 2022 in Dagenham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
BBC presenter Gabby Logan during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between West Ham United Women and Arsenal Women at Chigwell Construction Stadium on May 8, 2022 in Dagenham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Sports presenter Gabby Logan, was partnered with James Jordan in the fifth series of Strictly Come Dancing - but they were eliminated after just four weeks.

The 49-year-old was born in Leeds because her dad, Welsh footballer Terry Yorath, was playing for Leeds United at the time.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The family moved frequently because of her dad’s football career but she attended Cardinal Heenan High School and Notre Dame Sixth Form College - both of which are in Leeds.

In 2007, the same year she was on Strictly, Gabby presented BBC Sports coverage of the FA Cup fourth round tie between Luton Town and Blackburn Rovers.

She went on to host BBC Sports’ Final Score from 2009 until 2013, and a variety of live sports events including the London Marathon since 2015.

Zoe Lucker

 Actress Zoe Lucker attends the National Television Awards at the O2 Arena on January 26, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images) Actress Zoe Lucker attends the National Television Awards at the O2 Arena on January 26, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Actress Zoe Lucker attends the National Television Awards at the O2 Arena on January 26, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Actress Zoe Lucker competed in the seventh series of Strictly Come Dancing alongside British dancer James Jordan.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Whilst Zoe and James left after seven weeks, James’ wife, who is professional dancer Ola Jordan, won the show with her celebrity partner Chris Hollins.

The 48-year-old was born in Huddersfield, west Yorkshire, and attended Huddersfield New College and the Oscars Academy of Performing Arts in Huddersfield, before moving to the Manchester Arden School of Theatre.

Zoe is best known for taking on a plethora of roles in soap operas, which includes Sonya Leach in Coronation Street, Vanessa Gold in EastEnders and Reenie McQueen in Hollyoaks.

Paul Daniels

Paul Daniels attends the 'Strictly Come Dancing' Season 8 Launch Show at BBC Television Centre on September 8, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)Paul Daniels attends the 'Strictly Come Dancing' Season 8 Launch Show at BBC Television Centre on September 8, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)
Paul Daniels attends the 'Strictly Come Dancing' Season 8 Launch Show at BBC Television Centre on September 8, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

Magician Paul Daniels, who sadly died in 2016, competed in the eighth series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He made it to week three with his professional dance partner Ola Jordan - who had won the previous series.

Paul, whose real name is Newton Edward Daniels, was born in South Bank, near Middlesbrough in north Yorkshire.

He was educated at Sir William Turners Grammar School in Coatham before serving as a conscript in the 1st Battalion Yorkshire Regiment.

Paul later achieved international fame through his television series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran on the BBC from 1979 to 1994.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In 1998, he married his assistant Debbie McGee who is now a television presenter. Debbie was a runner up in the 15 series of Strictly Come Dancing - a year after Paul’s death.

Jimi Mistry

Jimi Mistry attends the 'Strictly Come Dancing' Season 8 Launch Show at BBC Television Centre on September 8, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)Jimi Mistry attends the 'Strictly Come Dancing' Season 8 Launch Show at BBC Television Centre on September 8, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)
Jimi Mistry attends the 'Strictly Come Dancing' Season 8 Launch Show at BBC Television Centre on September 8, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

Actor Jimi Mistry also competed in series eight of Strictly Come Dancing, and lasted three weeks longer than Paul.

He was partnered with Italian British dancer Flavia Cacace - who won the Glitterball Trophy once in seven years on the show.

Jimi was born in Scarborough, north Yorkshire and attended St James’ Catholic High School in Cheadle Hulme for three years, before his family moved to Cardiff.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The same year of his Strictly stint, in 2010, he appeared in two films; It’s a Wonderful Afterlife and West is West.

He is also known for his roles as Dr. Fred Fonseca in EastEnders, Kal Nazir in Coronation Street, and Tom Bedford in The Syndicate.

Kimberley Walsh

Kimberley Walsh attends the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2012 at BBC Television Centre on September 11, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)Kimberley Walsh attends the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2012 at BBC Television Centre on September 11, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)
Kimberley Walsh attends the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2012 at BBC Television Centre on September 11, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)

Girls Aloud’s Kimberley Walsh was partnered with Russian dancer Pasha Kovalev in the tenth series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Whilst on the BBC show, Kimberley and Pasha were only in the bottom two once and scored three perfect scores of 40.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The pair were runners up alongside actor Denise van Outen and her partner James Jordan, after being beaten by artistic gymnast Louis Smith and his partner Flavia Cacace.

Kimberley was born in Bradford, west Yorkshire, and grew up nearby in Allerton. She was educated at Sandy Lane Primary School, Stoney Lee Middle School, and Beckfoot Grammar School.

She rose to fame in 2002 when she won ITV reality series Popstars: The Rivals, and ultimately won a place as a member of Girls Aloud.

The same year as her Strictly stint, in 2012, Kimberley made her West End theatre debut, playing Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical.

Mark Benton

 Iveta Lukosiute and Mark Benton attend the launch photocall for the Strictly Come Dancing live tour 2014 at NIA Arena on January 16, 2014 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Steve Thorne/Getty Images) Iveta Lukosiute and Mark Benton attend the launch photocall for the Strictly Come Dancing live tour 2014 at NIA Arena on January 16, 2014 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Steve Thorne/Getty Images)
Iveta Lukosiute and Mark Benton attend the launch photocall for the Strictly Come Dancing live tour 2014 at NIA Arena on January 16, 2014 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Steve Thorne/Getty Images)
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Actor Mark Benton competed in series 11 of Strictly Come Dancing alongside Lithuuanian dancer Iveta Lukosiute.

Mark, who was playing mathematics teacher Daniel Chalk in Waterloo Road at the time, made it to week 10 of the show.

The 57-year-old was born in Guisborough, a market town in north Yorkshire. He attended Sarah Metcalfe Comprehensive School and later, Stockton Billingham Technical College.

After his Strictly stint, he presented the daytime game show The Edge for one series. Now, he stars as Frank Hathaway in BBC One’s Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators.

Anita Rani

Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko pose during Photocall for the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2016 at Barclaycard Arena on January 21, 2016 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images)Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko pose during Photocall for the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2016 at Barclaycard Arena on January 21, 2016 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images)
Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko pose during Photocall for the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2016 at Barclaycard Arena on January 21, 2016 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images)
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Radio and television presenter Anita Rani came fifth place in the 13th series of Strictly Come Dancing.

She left one week before the final, alongside her Russian American dancer partner Gleb Savchenko.

In 2002, Anita presented Channel 5 news programme The Edit, and subsequently took on a number of presenting roles on Five including Spring Break Live, Party in the Park and Pop City Live.

She was nominated as Best On Screen Personality at the Royal Television Society Midlands awards in 2005.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Anita was born and raised in Bradford, west Yorkshire to a Hindu father and a Sikh mother.

In an episode of BBC One’s Who Do You Think You Are? - which aired in October 2015 whilst she was competing on Strictly - Anita investigated the history of her maternal grandfather Sant Singh.

Nicola Adams

Former olympic boxer Nicola Adams withdrew from series 18 of Strictly Come Dancing after just three weeks.

She was forced to withdraw after her professional dance partner Katya Jones tested positive for Covid-19, which resulted in them both having to self-isolate.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Nicola and Katya were the first all-female and same-sex partnership ever on Strictly Come Dancing. A year later, the show had its first all-male partnership with baker John Whaite and dancer Johannes Radebe.

The 40-year-old was also the first female boxer to become an Olympic champion after winning gold at London 2012, and the first double Olympic champion following a second gold medal at Rio 2016.

She was born in Leeds, west Yorkshire, and educated at Agnes Stewart Church of England High School in Burmantofts, Leeds.

Nicola now lives in Leeds with her model girlfriend Ella Baig and their son Taylor, who the couple welcomed in July 2022 after three rounds of IVF.