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Strictly Come Dancing final: Ellie and Vito announced as winners of the 2023 show

It was a night of laughter, tears, and lots of flammable outfits

Ellie Harrison,Nicole Vassell
Sunday 17 December 2023 08:40 GMT
Strictly Come Dancing reveals winners of 2023 show

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 is officially over, with Ellie Leach announced as the winner of the Glitterball Trophy.

Coronation Street star Leach battled it out in a sparkling finale against EastEnders actor Bobby Brazier and Bad Education’s Layton Williams to impress the viewers at home.

When Leach, 22, was announced as the winner of Strictly, her family jumped around so enthusiastically in the audience that they almost toppled over.

“I actually genuinely cannot believe this,” Leach breathlessly told hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly.

She has become the 21st Strictly champion, and the eighth actor to win the trophy. It’s also a big moment for her pro partner Vito Coppola, who only joined the BBC One competition last year.

Catch up with everything that happened on the night, below...


The Strictly final is just two and a half hours way

Hello and welcome to The Independent’s live blog of the Strictly final. I’m your host, Ellie Harrison. While I can’t provide a fringe anywhere near as impressive as Claudia Winkleman’s, or a dress as glamorous as Tess Daly’s, I can promise you that I will be fuelled by prosecco all evening, so hopefully we’ll have some fun...

Ellie Harrison16 December 2023 16:38

The dances to expect tonight

Here’s what the three couples in the final are performing in the hopes of winning the whole bloomin’ show...

  • Ellie Leach – Showdance to “Jennifer Lopez Megamix”, Judges’ Pick Paso Doble to “Insomnia” by 2WEI, Favourite Dance American Smooth to “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head” by Robbie Williams
  • Layton Williams – Showdance to “Friend Like Me” by Ne-Yo, Judges’ Pick Quickstep to “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Gregory Porter, Favourite Dance Tango to Tattoo by Loreen
  • Bobby Brazier – Showdance to “La La Land Medley”, Judges’ Pick Samba to “Young Hearts Run Free” by Candi Staton, Favourite Dance Couple’s Choice to “This Woman’s Work” by Maxwell
Ellie Harrison16 December 2023 16:53

Esther Rantzen has been, erm, ranting about Layton Williams ahead of the finale...

Dame Rantzen, who came eighth on Strictly in 2004, has said that BBC bosses “lost the plot” by recruiting Layton Williams, due to his past experience in musical theatre.

Read the full story here...

Strictly ‘lost the plot’ by casting ‘pro dancer’ Layton Williams, says Esther Rantzen

Former contestant said West End star has been ‘hogging the limelight… since his first week’

Ellie Harrison16 December 2023 17:04

A throwback to the Bobby Brazier of three months ago

I interviewed Bobby Brazier in September, ahead of Strictly 2023 kicking off, and he was absolutely buzzing. He told me he felt like his whole life (all 20 years of it) had been leading up to going on the show. And he was funny, too, peering cartoonishly into the Zoom screen, trying to get a closer look at the cookbooks in my kitchen. “Ottolenghi?” he cried. “Sounds like a pasta!”

Read the full interview here...

Bobby Brazier on Strictly, EastEnders and his mum Jade Goody

The soap star talks to Ellie Harrison about learning to act on the job, his ‘mad’ dancing, and how he’s feeling about stepping into the limelight

Ellie Harrison16 December 2023 17:40

A few bits of trivia you might not have known about Strictly...

To get us all in the mood and pass the time before the finale kicks off, here are some facts about Strictly, put together by my fab colleague Isobel Lewis...

8 facts you didn’t know about Strictly Come Dancing

From where the show’s name comes from to the lowest scoring dance

Ellie Harrison16 December 2023 18:15

Just two minutes to go!

The Strictly 2023 final is almost upon us. Here are words from an emotional post Bobby Brazier shared on his Instagram this afternoon as he geared up to perform...

“To inspire is the greatest privilege. Once the kid frozen in the car, or glued to his dads side, or spending days in bed. This is for us. Take the risk, do the thing, and just enjoy it.

“Thank you for your support so far and thank you for your support tonight and in the future, where would we be without you ? Enjoy the show tonight, I hope we take you on a journey. Love you.”

Ellie Harrison16 December 2023 18:58

All hail Amy Dowden

So fantastic to see pro dancer Amy Dowden strutting her stuff in the opening dance of the finale.

Dowden, who has appeared on the show since 2017, was forced to sit this season out after she was diagnosed with grade three breast cancer in May.

Read more about her experience here...

Amy Dowden reveals how Strictly helped her through cancer treatment

Dowden, 33, was diagnosed with breast cancer in May and underwent a mastectomy in July

Ellie Harrison16 December 2023 19:06

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly are serving ALL the glitter

Glitter just runs through these women’s veins doesn’t it? They’ve just introduced the judges, who have done a very intense group dance in front of a fire-spouting Glitter Ball. So far, so Strictly.

Ellie Harrison16 December 2023 19:10

Ellie Leach is all set to do her first dance

First up for the Corrie star is the Judges’ Pick: A Paso Doble to “Insomnia” by 2WEI. She’s looking fierce in red and black. There’s scarlett smoke behind her. The club anthem is popping. Let’s go!

Ellie Harrison16 December 2023 19:13

Ellie Leach opened the final with a superb score

She said it was an “honour” to open the final with her Paso Doble. And the scores are in at 9, 10, 10, 10... that’s 39!

But remember the scores are only for guidance tonight.

Ellie Harrison16 December 2023 19:18

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