Tillie Amartey and Neil Jones gear up for Strictly’s Christmas Special

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special returns to dazzle audiences this year, with Neil Jones and Tillie Amartey among the stars joining the festive extravaganza. The pair recently shared their excitement and insights into the upcoming special.

Actress Tillie Amartey says of signing up: “I am feeling really overwhelmed, but so privileged to be part of such an amazing show,” she said. Her pro partner is Neil Jones, a veteran of Strictly who shared his enthusiasm: “I’m always excited. I’ve been telling Tillie everything about it. It’s just such a great show.”

For Tillie, the opportunity to be part of Strictly was too good to pass up. “You can’t say no to Strictly. I want to prove to myself and other younger people, that you can do anything you put your mind to,” she explained. The Christmas theme of the special was, for Tillie, “the cherry on top.”

Despite her minimal experience in dance, Tillie is determined to make the most of this opportunity. Recounting her brief foray into dance at a young age, she said, “When I was seven, maybe six, I did one dancing competition…so I’m going to say no!” In response to whether she thinks she’s a natural dancer, Tillie candidly replied, “No. Nothing in life has ever come easy to me, that’s acting, presenting. Anything I do in life I have to work hard for.”

Neil Jones praised Tillie’s work ethic and progress during their training sessions. “Tillie has been brilliant…she picks everything up really quick, and she has her own way and style of dancing which is great,” he shared.

The pair also discussed their excitement about their costumes for the show, with Tillie mentioning: “The outfits and makeup are one of the main reasons I said yes to the show.”

When asked about which judge they hope to impress the most, both agreed on Shirley Ballas. “I think I want to impress Craig, oh and Shirley, because we’re doing a Jive and Shirley really knows her stuff on the Jive so that would be good,” Tillie noted. Neil added: “Doing a Jive, we want to impress Shirley. If she turns around and says that Jive was brilliant, then you know it was good.”

Regarding the possibility of winning the special, Tillie expressed a relaxed approach: “I don’t know, I’ve not even thought about it. I’m enjoying it so much, I’m not even focused on winning.” Neil, on the other hand, is hopeful, “I’ve been top of the table two times in a row now, so it could be third time lucky!”

You can see who else is on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing Christmas line up here.

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