BBC, Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing announces major change at the top next year

Will there be any changes to the next series?

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The boss of Strictly Come Dancing is hanging up her shoes at the end of this year.

Louise Rainbow has been the show’s executive producer for six years but has decided to step down from her position, with the BBC One ballroom and Latin contest’s series editor Sarah James taking over the ropes on Strictly Come Dancing.

Admitting she has “big shoes to fill”, Sarah said in a statement: “I am beyond thrilled that next year I’ll be taking on the role of executive producer for Strictly Come Dancing.

Charles Venn and Karen Clifton, Strictly
Charles Venn and Karen Clifton shaking their stuff on Strictly (Credit: BBC/Guy Levy)

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“The Strictly team is the best in the business and working alongside them for the last five years has been the highlight of my career.

“I have big shoes to fill and I want to thank Louise for all her help and support. I’m passionate about dance and even more so about Strictly and I’m looking forward to creating more fantastic shows that our viewers continue to take into their living rooms and their hearts.”

Louise will still be involved with Strictly Come Dancing as she will executive produce the show’s tour and remain a key part of the team.

Under her, the hit programme received its highest-ever ratings this year, with 10.7 million viewers tuning in to last weekend’s episode. Plus they’ve nabbed several awards, including the BAFTA for Best Entertainment Programme.

Louise said: “Working on Strictly has been the most amazing six years of my career and it’s an honour to be the show’s longest-serving executive producer.

Strictly judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli and Dame Darcey Bussell (Credit: BBC Photographer: Ray Burmiston)
Strictly judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli and Dame Darcey Bussell (Credit: BBC Photographer: Ray Burmiston)

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“Over this time we have achieved amazing viewing figures and won numerous awards, including a Bafta and four NTAs.

“These achievements are down to one thing – the brilliant Strictly team. I will miss them so much but knowing that the wonderful Sarah is taking over guarantees they will be in safe and talented hands.

“I will continue to be part of the Strictly family, working on the next tour and doing some consultancy work on the show in 2019.”

Suzy Lamb, managing director of entertainment and music at BBC Studios, is confident that Sarah’s wealth of experience on the programme will ensure they continue their success.

Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton on Strictly (Credit: BBC)
Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton on Strictly (Credit: BBC)

She commented: “I’d like to thank Louise for doing such a brilliant job exec producing Strictly Come Dancing for the last six series.

“Sarah James is hugely talented, we have worked together before. She has a wealth of experience, having been Strictly’s series editor for the last two years and I’m delighted she is taking on the Glitterball baton as executive producer in 2019.”

Strictly continues on BBC One on Saturday night (08.12.18), when Steps star Faye Tozer, Ashley Roberts, Lauren Steadman, Joe Suggs and Stacey Dooley will need to wow the judges for a place in the final.

Who do you think is going to waltz away with the Glitterball Trophy this year? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!