Strictly winner: Bill is the cha-cha-champion as he delights fans and judges

Strictly: Anton du Beke praises 'brilliant' Bill Bailey

The comedian, 55, and his dance partner Oti Mabuse, 30, won the public vote after performing three dances in the grand final. Bill said: “It feels surreal. It feels extraordinary. It feels wonderful.

Turning to Oti he added: “I never thought we would get this far. But I had the most extraordinary teacher, the most extraordinary dancer. Someone who believed in me right from the beginning.”

After dancing his Showdance to Queen’s The Show Must Go On, he referred to new restrictions announced by the Prime Minister hours earlier, saying: “The restrictions are going to be harder. People are going to be isolated at Christmas…

“This is an anthem about not giving up, keeping hope, getting through this. The show must go on, it’s about being strong.”

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The live Strictly Come Dancing final had begun with reference to a “tough day”, after Christmas plans were scrapped for millions.

Co-host Tess Daly told viewers: “If ever people needed cheering up, it’s now. After another tough day, we are going to try to keep you entertained with an unforgettable night of dance.”

Bill and Oti beat three other couples – HRVY and Janette Manrara, Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez, and Jamie Laing and Karen Hauer – to lift the Glitterball Trophy.

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