Keisha Buchanan steps out of her comfort zone for Strictly’s Christmas Special

Keisha Buchanan and Gorka Márquez are joining forces for this year’s Strictly Christmas special.

Sugababe Keisha, familiar with the spotlight but new to the world of dance, shared her feelings about the experience: “I’ve been here before to perform with the Sugababes for the main show, but this is a very different feeling. Now I feel like I’m here as a student.

“It’s definitely a learning experience, a very humbling experience. I’m enjoying the feeling, everyone’s made it so comfortable for me.”

When asked what prompted her to take part, she revealed: “Mutya and the girls in general, have always said ‘you’ve never done anything outside of the group. Why don’t you?’”

Despite her fame, Buchanan candidly admitted: “A lot of people don’t know this about me, but I’m actually a bit of an introvert and extrovert. They call it ambivert, so I am kind of shy and self-conscious, and I just never thought that I would do this. But the girls gave me courage.”

Addressing her nervousness, Keisha said: “Well, I feel like I have struggled and haven’t had that much time to rehearse. I definitely think that’s one thing that I am nervous about.”

Keisha Buchanan and Gorka Márquez performing on Strictly's Christmas special

Gorka added: “Keisha had to learn another two dances so I might get to the point where I play the music and she’s going to go ‘what am I doing?’”

Keisha continued: “It takes me a while I want to be complimentary on Gorka’s arm. I take my studio sessions and my writing seriously, like the dancers do with their careers, so I want to do well. You have to focus, you have to act when you don’t get it right and I want to do well for Gorka. I’m very hard on myself.”

Discussing their partnership, Gorka described their training as “Irresistible, unforgivable and sensational,” while Keisha shared: “Gorka is very similar to me, he takes his art very seriously. He’s just really honest and straightforward, but also encouraging. And I feel like when he tells me I did a good job, I believe him. This is very good for the soul for me.”

For their performance, they’re embracing a festive theme, with Keisha revealing: “Gorka is wearing white, as am I. We have an ice Queen and snowman theme. Sia – Snowman is our song.”

Their goal isn’t just to impress the judges but to bring joy to the audience.

“It’s about bringing joy and happiness to people at home during Christmas Day and entertaining,” said Gorka. Keisha shared her simple aim: “I just want to do my best. I am so in ‘la, la land’, its Christmas, I’m not a professional dancer, so I am welcome to hearing all of their feedback to help me improve.”

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