Strictly forerunner Come Dancing began this week in 1950

Before Strictlyit was just Come Dancing! How Terry Wogan and Angela Rippon were among hosts of the forerunner to today’s star-studded ballroom bout that was first broadcast this week in 1950

  • Come Dancing first aired on September 29, 1950 and featured ordinary couples from around the country
  • It ran for more than 400 episodes until 1998 – six years before its re-launch as a celebrity competition
  • It was fronted by various presenters including Terry Wogan, Angela Rippon, and Rosemarie Ford
  • Latest Strictly Come Dancing 2021 news on Series 30 judges, dancers and contestants here
  • Featuring the swirl of skirts and the twist and sway of feet, it was the show which had humble beginnings but has since morphed into a global sensation.

    Più di 50 years before the star-studded Rigorosamente Vieni a ballare first aired in 2004, il BBC‘s forerunner – simply named Come Dancing – was broadcast live across the nation for the very first time.

    A settembre 29, 1950, ordinary Britons stepped out on to the dancefloor at the Lyceum Ballroom in Westminster to demonstrate their skills to the thousands watching on television.

    From those humble beginnings, the hugely popular show ran in that form for more than 400 episodes until 1998 – six years before its relaunch as a celebrity competition.

    Fronted by presenters including the late Terry Wogan, Angela Rippon, and Rosemarie Ford, dancers from different regions of the UK went head-to-head to win a coveted trophy.

    Along with forerunner the Television Dancing Club – which began in 1948 and aired alongside its ultimate successor until 1964 – Come Dancing was catering to an enormous appetite among the British public.

    Di 1954, dancing in Britain had become so popular that more than £25million a year (£700million in today’s money) was being spent on admissions tickets to dance halls and social events.

    Featuring the swirl of skirts and the twist and sway of feet, it was the show which had humble beginnings but has since morphed into a global sensation. Più di 50 years before the star-studded Strictly Come Dancing first aired in 2004, the BBC’s forerunner – simply named Come Dancing – was broadcast live across the nation for the very first time. Sopra: An early broadcast of the show

    Featuring the swirl of skirts and the twist and sway of feet, it was the show which had humble beginnings but has since morphed into a global sensation. Più di 50 years before the star-studded Strictly Come Dancing first aired in 2004, the BBC’s forerunner – simply named Come Dancing – was broadcast live across the nation for the very first time. Sopra: An early broadcast of the show

    Fronted by presenters including the late Terry Wogan, Angela Rippon, and Rosemarie Ford, dancers from different regions of the UK went head-to-head to win a coveted trophy. Sopra: Wogan with co-presenter Jenny McAdam in 1973

    Fronted by presenters including the late Terry Wogan, Angela Rippon, and Rosemarie Ford, dancers from different regions of the UK went head-to-head to win a coveted trophy. Sopra: Wogan with co-presenter Jenny McAdam in 1973

    Ordinary Britons in every part of the country were regularly taking part in ballroom dancing, performing the Viennese waltz, a quick-step and or the tango.

    Nel 1941, the BBC had begun broadcasting a dancing show on the radio.

    Called BBC Dancing Club, performances were watched by a studio audience and played to listeners to provide a morale boost to ordinary Britons coping with the rigours imposed by the Second World War.

    Former dancing champion Victor Silvester dictated lessons over the airwaves to people in their living rooms.

    The club was then transferred to the small screen in the form of the Television Dancing Club when television broadcasts resumed after the war ended.

    The broadcasts helped to fuel a boom in dancing schools throughout the country. Poi, nel 1950, Come Dancing joined the schedules.

    It was created by British TV host Eric Morley, who went on to found the Miss World pageant competition in 1951.

    Di 1954, dancing in Britain had become so popular that more than £25million a year (£700million when adjusted for inflation) was being spent on admissions tickets to dance halls and social events. Sopra: Angela Rippon with co-presenter Charles Nove on Come Dancing in 1988

    Di 1954, dancing in Britain had become so popular that more than £25million a year (£700million when adjusted for inflation) was being spent on admissions tickets to dance halls and social events. Sopra: Angela Rippon with co-presenter Charles Nove on Come Dancing in 1988

    Come Dancing was created by British TV host Eric Morley, who went on to found the Miss World pageant competition in 1951

    Come Dancing was created by British TV host Eric Morley, who went on to found the Miss World pageant competition in 1951

    Enthralled Daily Mail critic Peter Black apologised in March 1953 for 'once again' writing about the show

    Enthralled Daily Mail critic Peter Black apologised in March 1953 for ‘once againwriting about the show

    The initial format of the show saw professional dancers including Syd Perkin and Edna Duffield offering lessons to performers who were taking part.

    Poi, nel 1953, the format shifted to see couples from differing regions competing in individual dance formats.

    Enthralled Daily Mail critic Peter Black apologised in March 1953 for ‘once againwriting about the show.

    He said he regarded it as ‘television’s most successful broadcastbecause it ‘entertains on all kinds of different levels’.

    ‘Indolent viewers like myself are taken to dances without the fatigue of dressing up,’ proseguì.

    ‘Energetic dancing viewers can watch with studious eyes the finer points of dancing as demonstrated by these gifted amateurs.

    ‘Lofty viewers can watch as though making an anthropological survey, noting with satisfaction that the ancient rite of the beauty contest, and the equally ancient custom of wearing fancy dress for celebrations are in no danger of dying out.

    ‘Loftier viewers can ponder over the fact that the qualifications of all good male ballroom dancers appear to include a military moustache, a prominent nose and a receding hair line.

    Come Dancing's forerunner the Television Dancing Club (sopra) began in 1948 and aired alongside its ultimate successor until 1964

    Come Dancing’s forerunner the Television Dancing Club (sopra) began in 1948 and aired alongside its ultimate successor until 1964

    Terry Wogan was in the post until 1979. Wogan was already a well-known figure thanks to his presenting of the Eurovision Song Contest and his roles on BBC radio

    Terry Wogan was in the post until 1979. Wogan was already a well-known figure thanks to his presenting of the Eurovision Song Contest and his roles on BBC radio

    Come Dancing presenters Angela Rippon, David Jacobs, Peter West and Rosemarie Ford are seen in 1998, the year the show came to an end

    Come Dancing presenters Angela Rippon, David Jacobs, Peter West and Rosemarie Ford are seen in 1998, the year the show came to an end

    The show was also presented by Peter Marshall from 1980 fino a 1983. He is pictured above shortly after taking up the role

    The show was also presented by Peter Marshall from 1980 fino a 1983. He is pictured above shortly after taking up the role

    He added proudly: ‘The broadcast was also encouraging patriotically. A nation which after a hard day’s work can dress itself up as so many ballerinas, Regency bucks, Farouks, Madame Pompadours and highwaymen clearly cannot be labelled as languid or effete.

    Black told how one male competitor had disguised himself as an ‘Elizabethan jack-in-the-boxwho was ‘springing up and down’.

    Another Daily Mail report noted how one couple in 1952 were told off for ‘jitterbugging’, with the ‘commissionairereminding them of the sign on the wall of the studio which read ‘No Jiving’.

    Whilst the first programme was presented by Peter Dimmock, the show was fronted by presenter and sports commentator Peter West from the late 1950s until the early 1970s.

    His replacement, Terry Wogan, was in the post until 1979. Wogan was already a well-known figure thanks to his presenting of the Eurovision Song Contest and his roles on BBC radio.

    A couple on Come Dancing in its later years. As British tastes progressed through the decades and the likes of rock 'n' roll became popular, the show tried to keep up with the times by adding new categories

    A couple on Come Dancing in its later years. As British tastes progressed through the decades and the likes of rock ‘nroll became popular, the show tried to keep up with the times by adding new categories

    The show's final presenter was Rosemarie Ford, who remained in post until its final broadcast in 1998. Sopra: A couple performing on the show

    The show’s final presenter was Rosemarie Ford, who remained in post until its final broadcast in 1998. Sopra: A couple performing on the show

    As British tastes progressed through the decades and the likes of rock ‘nroll became popular, the show tried to keep up with the times by adding new categories.

    Angela Rippon, chi è adesso 76, had a stint presenting the show from 1988 fino a 1991. Her replacement, Rosemarie Ford, remained in post until the show’s final broadcast in 1998.

    It wasn’t until the early 2000s that the idea was born for Come Dancing to be revived, but with celebrities competing against each other instead of normal Britons.

    That led to the first series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2004, which got the new part of its name from the popular 1992 film Strictly Ballroom.

    Da allora, hundreds of celebrities have taken part in a total of 18 series of the show. The latest features celebrities including Greg Wise and BBC presenter Dan Walker.

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