THEY’VE already waltzed their way into the nation’s hearts as the stars of TV’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Now the same silk and sequin-clad celebrities are wowing live audiences at Leeds’s First Direct Arena.
The £60 million venue last night welcomed the touring version of the hit BBC1 dancing competition.
And, speaking ahead of the show, arena sales and marketing director Tony Watson promised fans a veritable ballroom blitz of entertainment.
He said: “It’s one of the first television spin-offs we have done and there are obviously a lot of people to take care of, but when you’ve done Sports Personality of the Year then all being well you can handle just about anything!”
Strictly Come Dancing The Live Tour continues at the arena today and tomorrow.
Today’s programme comprises a matinee and an evening performance, while tomorrow sees a matinee show alone.
Celebrities lined up to appear include model Abbey Clancy, Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden and TV presenter Susanna Reid.
Rugby World Cup winner Ben Cohen, Coronation Street’s Natalie Gumede and Westlife heart-throb Nicky Byrne are among the other well-known faces due to hit the dancefloor.
One figure on familiar territory is the show’s host, Lisa Riley, who spent six years on Leeds-based soap Emmerdale.
She has handled presentation duties on previous Strictly Come Dancing live dates and, speaking recently, told of her excitement at repeating the role.
Craig Revel Horwood, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli are filling their usual judges’ roles.
• For details on tickets to the remaining Strictly Come Dancing shows in Leeds, visit www.firstdirectarena.com or ring the box office on 0844 249 1000.