BBC Worldwide shimmies into dancing format sales

Some 50 countries now make local versions of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing presenting team Tess Daly (left) and Claudia Winkleman

BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing presenting team Tess Daly (left) and Claudia Winkleman

Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 01:15

What do Slovenia, Costa Rica, Cambodia and Serbia have in common? They are the newest entrants to what BBC Worldwide calls “the Dancing with Stars global family”.

According to the BBC Worldwide annual report published this week, some 50 countries have now signed up to make local versions of the BBC’s most successful format.

It is known in its home market as Strictly Come Dancing, in Norway as Skal vi Danse?, in Italy as Ballando con le Stelle and in Germany and Sweden – disappointingly – as Let’s Dance.

In the international language of television, the chances are that a frothy quickstep or awkward rumba will pull in an audience: in France, Danse avec les Stars has six million viewers; in Poland, Taniec z Gwiazdami has four million; and Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa pulls in an audience of more than 19 million in India.

Rumoured contestants

In the United States, the most recent – and 18th – series of Dancing with the Stars averaged about 15 million viewers, but its figures have been on the wane, prompting the Hollywood Reporter to dub it an “aging reality show”.

That tag could arguably be applied to the original Strictly, were it not for the fact with an audience of 10 million-plus during its last series it easily did its main job in beating ITV’s more aged The X Factor for Saturday night viewers.

Rumoured contestants in the upcoming twelfth series include presenter Caroline Flack, tennis coach Judy Murray, Radio 1 DJ Greg James and retired Scottish Match of the Day football pundit Alan Hansen – who, if he takes part, is guaranteed to have his footwork judged “diabolical”.