Strictly have a ball as tour hits North West

Razzmatazz:Thom Evans and Iveta Lukosiute

Razzmatazz:Thom Evans and Iveta Lukosiute

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Can a TV show become a national treasure? Strictly Come Dancing fans certainly think so, and now the tour is to play four nights in the region

There might be no camera but the lights and action will be every bit as the thrilling TV show itself when the Strictly Come Dancing Tour sweeps into the North West next week.

Champion Caroline Flack will lead the dancers, bitchy Craig Revel Horwood will head up the judging panel and Strictly regular Zoe Ball will host as for two nights – January 24 and 25 (Saturday and Sunday) – the BBC favourite takes over Manchester’s Phones 4u Arena.

And this will be the first of two visits to the region, as the Tour returns to the Echo Arena Liverpool on February 3 and 4 (Tuesday and Wednesday).

This is your chance to experience the glitz, glamour and breathtaking choreography which make Strictly Come Dancing a national entertainment treasure.

Joining Caroline and the profession dancers on the floor will be celebrities Simon Webbe from Blue, Radio 1’s Scott Mills, Thom Evans, Mark Wright and Alison Hammond.

But no Frankie Bridge!

Frankie, who finished as a runner-up in the latest series of the popular BBC show, was forced to quit the tour after she became pregnant.

The singer is now expecting her second child with husband and former England footballer Wayne.

Frankie, 26, said: “I’m devastated I’m missing out as I loved Strictly so much and was so looking forward to joining everyone again on the live show.”

The Saturdays star is pregnant with her second child, but has a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which can effect the early months of pregnancy.

A spokesman for Stage Entertainment and Phil McIntyre Entertainments, producers of the Strictly tour, said: “We completely respect Frankie’s decision, a safe pregnancy is the priority. On behalf of the whole cast and crew, we send Frankie our love and very best wishes – we will miss her.”

Happily her replacement on the tour is no stranger to the wonderful World of Strictly.

S Club 7 star Rachel Stevens was a runner-up in series six in 2008 – and has already danced at the arena on the show’s 2009 live tour.

She said: “It’s no secret that I loved my time in Strictly and that I’m a big fan of the dances so I’m excited to be back and to get my dancing shoes on again.

“I’m straight into rehearsals learning the routines and meeting the guys and then we’ll be on tour seeing fans across the country – I can’t wait.”

Strictly fans watch the celebrity dancing couples competing live for the judges’ votes and then get to vote themselves with their mobile phones.

The tour celebrities will be paired with the following professional dancers:

Caroline Flack

with Tristan MacManus

Rachel Stevens

with Kevin Clifton

Thom Evans

with Iveta Lukosiute

Mark Wright with

Karen Hauer

Alison Hammond

with Aljaž Skorjanec

Simon Webbe

with Kristina Rihanoff

Scott Mills

with Joanne Clifton.

Tickets for the matinee and evening performances on Saturday 24 January and Sunday 25 January are on sale now. See www.manchester-arena.com/ for more details.

For details of the Echo Arena dates see www.echoarena.com/