`Come Dancing' steps up for sequinned sequel

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The Independent Online
The satin and sequins of Come Dancing, the world's longest-running music programme, have defied the BBC axe to take another twirl around the floor, it was announced today.

Ballroom dancing fans feared that the 46-year-old show would never return after BBC1 decided not to commission another series.

However, it was announced yesterday that, although there will be no new series, two international Come Dancing specials are scheduled to be shown later this year.

Teams from Britain, Sweden, Holland and Germany will compete in the Latin, Modern and Formation competitions at the Bournemouth International Centre.

BBC1's bosses have also promised that the two 50-minute specials will be screened at an earlier hour than the previous programmes.

Some of the last 10-part series was broadcast at about 11.30pm, long after most fans had finished sewing their sequins and gone to bed.

The series' host, Rosemarie Ford, said that she was "absolutely thrilled" to be presenting new Come Dancing programmes.

"I am always pleased when they ring up and say: `Will you come on again?"'

Ms Ford has presented the programme for the last five years - "longer than I worked on the Generation Game".

"I think young people are getting more interested in ballroom dancing.

"They are no longer so happy just to go to a discotheque and dance around their handbags - they want to dance with a partner."

The success of Latin American dancing clubs with the young and the popularity of the film Strictly Ballroom had helped, she said.

The new programmes will include demonstrations of styles like the Samba and Ciroc, said a BBC spokeswoman.