strictly come dancing judges

Strictly Come Dancing judges: Every star – past and present – to have been on the judging panel

Shirley, Alesha and Darcey – all the gang's here!

Strictly Come Dancing started in 2004, and there’s been an array of judges on the panel between then and the upcoming 2021 series.

The BBC One show became a huge hit – and much of that was due to the chemistry between the stars handing out the crucial scores.

But as the celebrities for the 2021 series are announced, just who are the judges for Strictly Cone Dancing 2021, and who has been on the panel in the past?

Here’s a look back at every Strictly judge, working our way back from the most recent.

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Shirley Ballas is on the judging panel this year (Credit: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing judges: Shirley Ballas (current)

The beloved star, 60, has been dancing since she was just seven years old.

Read more: Has Anton du Beke retired as a professional dancer?

After decades of competing, Shirley stepped away from the dance floor in 1996 and instead became a judge for ballroom and Latin American competitions.

The BBC then snapped her up in 2017 to be on the Strictly panel, and the rest is history.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 judges line-up
Motsi Mabuse will be entertaining fans again this year (Credit: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing judges: Motsi Mabuse (current)

The professional dancer, 40, is the older sister of UK TV star Oti Mabuse – but can she dance like her?

She previously appearances on the German version of Strictly, first as a professional before later becoming a judge.

Motsi has also judged the German version of the Britain’s Got Talent franchise, Das Supertalent.

Craig Revel Horwood - Strictly Come Dancing 2021 judges line-up
Craig is a fan favourite (Credit: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing judges: Craig Revel Horwood (current)

The 56-year-old judge is known for his mean streak on Strictly, and he’s the only judge to have been in every episode so far.

Read more: Craig Revel Horwood’s ‘life-long battle with body dysmorphia’

However, outside the show, Craig has also made a name for himself starring on The Masked Dancer.

He’s also recently bagged his own travel show with former judge Bruni Tonioli, which is currently airing on ITV.

Anton du beke: Bruno breaks Twitter silence
The dancer is the latest new addition to the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 line-up (Credit: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing judges: Anton Du Beke (current)

Anton Du Beke, 55, had his first two-week stint on the panel in 2020 when he filled in for Motsi.

However, now the former Strictly professional is returning full-time and replacing Bruno Tonioli.

Anton was one of the longest-running professionals, but he never managed to snag the glitterball trophy. He came closest in 2019 when he placed second with EastEnders star Emma Barton.

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Bruno has been replaced by Anton after years on the panel (Credit: BBC)

Bruno Tonioli (2004–2019)

The famously eccentric star was a favourite from the get-go, however, the COVID-19 pandemic brought an end to his reign.

After missing much of last year, Bruno is once again absent from the Strictly Come Dancing judging line-up this year.

He revealed recently that between the global pandemic and his contract with Dancing with the Stars in the US, he was unable to make it work.

However, it’s thought he could be returning as soon as 2022.

Darcey Bussell featured on The One Show this week
Darcey proved polarising for some fans during her stint (Credit: Splashnews)

Darcey Bussell (2012–2018)

The former Strictly judge, 52, was a part of the show for seven seasons.

However, in early 2019 she decided to leave the competition.

Dame Darcey said at the time that she was “not leaving because of any upset or disagreement”, but to focus on “other commitments”.

She added: “It has been a complete privilege for me to be part of Strictly, working with such a talented team.”

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Alesha competing on Strictly in 2007 (Credit: BBC)

Alesha Dixon (2009–2011)

Britain’s Got Talent star Alesha was hired as a judge following a successful stint as a competitor in 2007.

The BBC’s decision to put her on the panel proved controversial considering her lack of professional training.

She remained for three years, before leaving in 2012 to become one of the judges on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent.

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Arlene was famously axed from the show (Credit: Splashnews)

Arlene Phillips: (2004–2008)

The former Strictly star, 78, was axed from the show in 2008.

She was replaced by former champion Alesha and was very vocal about not being happy about it.

Arlene‘s held a grudge ever since, and over a decade later she launched an investigation to find out why she was axed.

The TV star previously made allegations that her firing was related to her age.

strictly len goodman
Len remained a favourite among fans until he left (Credit: YouTube)

Len Goodman: (2004–2016)

The 73-year-old former ballroom dancer stepped down after 12 years on the show.

He had been the head judge since the BBC series began in 2004.

However, now in his seventies, Len said he wanted to spend his final years enjoying his life and not working.

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