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How to watch Strictly Come Dancing 2021 online for free and from anywhere

Strictly Come Dancing lineup 2021
(Image credit: Radio Times)

Find your dancing shoes, put something with sequins on, and make your way to the Strictly ballroom. Fifteen celebrities have worked on their posture and footwork to bring to life ballroom and Latin dances week-on-week. But as we head to the quarter-finals, there's only five couples left bidding for a place in the final and hoping to get their hands on the Strictly Glitterball. Shimmy your way over to your TV and find out how to watch Strictly Come Dancing online live and on-demand below.

Watch Strictly Come Dancing online

When: Saturday nights

Channel: BBC One

Free UK stream: watch BBC iPlayer for FREE

Watch anywhere: try the top VPN around 100% risk-free 

From pop stars to comedians, Olympians to news presenters, Strictly's Class of 2021 introduced another wave of celebrities to the world of dance. 

Down to just five couples, AJ Odudu has impressed judges from the get-go with her partner, Kai Widdrington - one of the new professionals to this series of Strictly. Then there's Rose Aylin-Ellis, the actress known for playing Frankie Lewis in Eastenders, and her partner Giovanni Pernice. She is the first deaf contestant to take part in Strictly.

Professional chef John Whaite is partnered with Strictly pro Johannes Radebe as the first same-sex male couple ever, while children presenter Rhys Stephenson joins forces with another new pro, Nancy Xu.

The underdog of the show this year is BBC news presenter Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova.

Heading into the Strictly quarter-final, make sure you know how to watch Strictly Come Dancing online and see who scores 10s across the board this weekend.

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How to watch Strictly Come Dancing online FREE in the UK

BBC iPlayer

You can watch the Strictly Come Dancing quarter-final on Saturday at 6.40pm BST absolutely free on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The results show will follow on Sunday at 7.20pm on BBC One and will also be available to stream online on the iPlayer.

Late to the Strictly party? You can catch up on every Strictly Come Dancing episode for free on the BBC iPlayer. In fact, you can watch any of the Strictly Come Dancing shows for free on the iPlayer live or on demand. 

If you're not in the UK, use a VPN to stream your favourite BBC shows online from anywhere as if you were at home.

How to watch Strictly Come Dancing online when abroad

For anyone abroad right now who still wants to experience the glitz and glam of Strictly, you might struggle from outside of the UK. But don't let geo-restrictions come between you and your weekly fix of ballroom dancing. 

Simply downloading and installing a VPN to your device will let you watch Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC iPlayer from anywhere. A VPN effectively tricks your device into thinking it's in another location by changing the IP address to elsewhere in the world.  

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Three simple steps to using a VPN to watch Strictly Come Dancing 

1. Download and install a VPN - we recommend ExpressVPN

2. Connect to the relevant server location - launch the VPN app, click on 'choose location' and select the right location i.e. UK for iPlayer

3. Head to the chosen broadcaster's live stream - in this case, head to the BBC iPlayer


Strictly Come Dancing

(Image credit: BBC)

Who are the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 couples?

  • Adam Peaty and Katya Jones
  • AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington
  • Dan Walk and Nadiya Bychkova
  • Greg Wise and Karen Hauer
  • John Whaite and Johannes Radebe
  • Judie Love and Graziano Di Prima
  • Katie McGlynn and Gorka Marquez
  • Nina Wadia and Neil Jones 
  • Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu
  • Robert Webb and Dianne Buswell
  • Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice
  • Sara Davies and Alijaž Škorjanec 
  • Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin
  • Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden
  • Ugo Monye and Oti Mabuse

Strictly Come Dancing contestants 2021 

  • Ugo Monye (former rugby player and broadcaster)
  • Judie Love (comedian and TV presenter)
  • Adam Peaty (Olympic swimmer)
  • Rose Ayling-Ellis (actress)
  • Nina Wadia (actress and comedienne)
  • Greg Wise (actor)
  • Tilly Ramsay (chef and social media star)
  • Dan Walker (presenter)
  • Katie McGlynn (actress)
  • Sara Davies (business entrepreneur and TV personality)
  • Rhys Stephenson (actor and children's TV presenter)
  • John Whaite (chef)
  • AJ Odudu (TV presenter)
  • Robert Webb (comedian)
  • Tom Fletcher (musician and author)

Strictly Come Dancing professionals 2021

  • Jowita Przystal 
  • Kai Widdrington 
  • Nikita Kuzmin
  • Cameron Lombard
  • Aljaz Skorjanec
  • Giovanni Pernice
  • Gorka Marquez
  • Graziano Di Prima
  • Johannes Radebe
  • Neil Jones
  • Amy Dowden
  • Dianne Buswell
  • Karen Hauer
  • Katya Jones
  • Luba Mustuk
  • Nadiya Bychkova 
  • Oti Mabuse
  • Nancu Xu

Strictly Come Dancing Judges 2021- Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke

(Image credit: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing judges 2021

  • Anton Du Beke
  • Shirley Ballas
  • Motsi Mabuse
  • Craig Revel Horwood

Covid rules for Strictly Come Dancing 2021

Although the country is well on its way back to normality (touch wood), the Strictly producers aren't taking any risks and have Covid-19 measures in place again in 2021. 

This time around anyone working on the show will be tested weekly and professional dancers will bubble up with their celebrities like last year. 

The group numbers for the series have already been filmed and there will be no group chats with Claudia and Tess, with couples sat in the audience instead, which will also be of limited numbers. 

The shortened isolation period after a positive test from fourteen days to ten should help the show to run smoother. Last year a positive test meant that the first same-sex couple on the show, Nicola Adams and Katya Jones, had to leave the competition early. However, the new rules should allow anyone that does test positive to miss a single week of live shows rather than end their time in the ballroom entirely.

How to watch Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two

The Strcitly Come Dancing spin off show, It Takes Two, will return this month to curb that Strictly fever between live shows. The show will be back every weeknight to give you all of the behind the scenes exclusives. 

You can tune in to Strictly: It Takes Two on BBC Two at 6.30pm BST Monday to Friday. The half an hour show kicks off on Monday September 27 and will air for the duration of Strictly Come Dancing 2021. Remember, you can watch free on the iPlayer live or on demand. 

After a ten year stint on the show, Zoe Ball won't be returning in 2021. But fear not, the tea time show is in safe hands, with Ball's co-presenter, Rylan Clark-Neal, and long established professional dancer, Janette Marara, taking over presenting duties on It Takes Two this year. 

The sideshow is usually packed with training footage, interviews, opinions from the judges and much more, so for unseen behind the scenes extras, it's worth tuning in.