Last year’s EastEnders cast put on a show-stopping performance with an all singing, all dancing Disney medley. This year they’ll be competing for the Pudsey Glitter Ball - and yes Ricky Champ, aka Stuart Highway, is taking part!
The Strictly Come Dancing-themed special has become a firm favourite of Children in Need night and now four EastEnders stars are stepping up to the challenge.
Last year the cast wowed us with some much-loved Disney numbers on the Walford set. But as a follow up to last year’s brilliant Boyzone-themed Strictly dance off, presenter Rylan Clark-Neal recently revealed this year’s CiN Strictly stars will hail from Albert Square.
So who will be competing in the EastEnders’ Strictly Come Dancing Children in Need special?
As Walford’s business mogul-in-the-making Ruby Allen, actress Louisa Lytton is more used to doing the horizontal tango with Albert Square romeo Max Branning. But you might not remember that Louise has faced the Strictly judges before.
The soap star competed in the fourth series of SCD back in 2006, partnered with professional dancer Vincent Simone. Louisa, who was just 17 at the time, made it through to the tenth round of the show.
“It feels like a lifetime ago since I did Strictly Come Dancing so I am beyond excited to put my dancing shoes back on and return to the famous floor. It’s for a fantastic cause which makes it all the more special,” Louisa revealed after the announcement.
In this year’s Pudsey dance off, Louisa has been partnered with Gorka Marquez, who has a baby with former Emmerdale and Strictly star Gemma Atkinson.
Former child star Maisie Smith is best known as the Square’s flame-haired teen queen Tiffany Butcher. The stage school pupil first landed the role in EastEnders in 2008, aged just seven. During a four-year break she launched a singing career before returning to Walford in 2018.
Maisie is determined that her dance moves will sparkle as much as her acting and singing talents.
On being asked to do the Strictly special, she said: “I’m flattered to be part of such an iconic show! Strictly has been a family favourite in my house for years. I can’t wait to put my dancing skills to the test!”
Maisie’s dance partner will be presenter Stacey Dooley’s other half, Kevin Clifton. The Strictly star has been busy on the dance floor this year.
As well as partnering Anneka Rice in this year’s competition before being knocked out early on, he also gallantly stepped in at the last minute to dance with celebrity Alex Scott. The sports star had been left partner-less for the iconic Halloween episode when her regular partner Neil Jones had to bow out after an injury.
Comedian and actor Ricky has made a splash on the Square as love-him-or-hate-him loose cannon Stuart Highway. A graduate of the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, before EastEnders Ricky starred in BBC3 sitcom Him & Her alongside actors Russell Tovey and Sarah Solemani.
Although he’s not a dance floor regular, Ricky revealed he’s keen to get his glitter on:
“I am so excited to be taking part in the Strictly Come Dancing EastEnders special. I’m looking forward to showing the world my moves. Bring it on!”
Cha-cha-cha-ing alongside Ricky will be Russian dancer Luba Mushtuk. The Broadway and West End star joined the series for the first time in 2018 and this year was paired with Olympic rowee James Cracknell.
Although they were the first to be booted off the show in a dance off against celebrity David James. After her disappointment, Luba was keen to get back in the groove for the special:
EastEnders’ legend Rudolph is an OBE no less and has been playing Albert Square’s smooth talking Patrick Trueman since 2001. As well as a long and distinguished TV career, Rudolph also heads the Rudolph Walker Foundation, helping disadvantaged kids through drama. Although officially the oldest celebrity to take to the Strictly floor, his ‘Enders character Patrick is no stranger to busting out some moves to impress the ladies, so Rudolph is raring to go.
He revealed: “I am thrilled to be taking part in this year’s competition and can’t wait to get started. Although at 80 years old, it’s probably best I don’t try to do the splits!”
International Latin champion Nancy Xu will be partnering Rudolph. Nancy joined Strictly for the first time this year as a dancer in the group numbers. Rudolph will be her first Strictly Celebrity partner.
When the series kicked off in September Nancy shared a clip of her show-stopping entrance:
When will the Children in Need Strictly Come Dancing Special be on?
The special will be shown as part of the Children in Need Appeal show on BBC1 on the evening of Friday 15 November 2019.
The annual TV charity extravaganza is hoping to top the huge amounts already raised and, as well as the EastEnders stars, will feature a host of household names.
Exact timings are yet to be announced but all will be revealed ten days before the show is set to air. See our TV Guide for full listings.