Dan Snow and Nadiya Bychkova jive into the festive spirit on Strictly Christmas special

Dan Snow and Nadiya Bychkova have shared their experiences and excitement ahead of the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special.

TV presenter Dan Snow will partner with pro Nadiya Bychkova on the cast of this year’s festive special.

In the lead up to the big day, Dan described his participation as fulfilling a lifetime ambition to learn how to dance. “I’m terrible at dancing,” he admitted, but couldn’t pass up the chance for one-on-one training on “one of the biggest shows on British TV.”

He added: “It’s a huge privilege to work on the biggest show on the BBC.”

Nadiya Bychkova revealed they would be performing the Jive. She described the dance as filled with fun elements appropriate for Christmas, including lifts. “Dan is really fun to work with and to teach,” she said.

Dan’s anticipation centred on sharing their hard work with his family, friends, and fans. He spoke of wanting to demonstrate the results of pushing beyond one’s comfort zone.

He shared: “My nephew and niece are coming for Christmas, and they don’t know that I’m on it and they are mad Strictly fans, so we’re going to turn it on, on Christmas day, and they’re going to think ‘oh cool its Strictly’ and then see uncle Dan and totally freak out.”

When asked about his previous dancing experience, Dan humorously responded: “Dancing to Mr Brightside at weddings – so no.” He further clarified that he wasn’t a naturally gifted dancer, attributing his athletic background more to fitness than coordination.

As for his signature dance move at Christmas parties? “A dad pretending to do breakdancing, then halfway through bottling it, and attempting to laugh it off.”

Discussing the training process, Dan admitted to initially underestimating the physical demands. “I used to think that I was quite fit,” he said, recalling how he felt almost overwhelmed after the first session with Nadiya.

Nadiya said:: “Dan has got on really well. He takes note, and when I threw something new at him it meant he took a few steps back, and it can feel like when we finish rehearsal it’s not quite there, but then he comes back the next day and is like ‘I slept on it and I understand it better now’ and he’s much better. And that’s happened in every session.

“We have more time to learn one dance than in the main show, so when I was putting the dance together, our first rehearsal was scheduled for eight hours – but it’s the jive, so I was sure Dan’s brain was going to explode, so we decided to do less because I could see Dan was getting tired. It’s so many steps and little details, but it’s fun, we’ve had such a beautiful vibe, and the energy in the room has been great and we’ve really enjoyed it.”

In terms of costumes, Nadiya teased: “I’m baking a lovely gingerbread man, then he becomes a full-sized man!”

As for winning, Dan concluded: “I think I will have great fun, but I’m sure the odd foot will be out of place and the body alignment will be wrong.”

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Christmas Day at 4:40PM