How to watch Strictly Come Dancing outside the UK



David has been watching TV outside of his home country for over 12 years. In addition to his streaming expertise, he has a wealth of experience in watching sports and documentaries, having spent many years following these genres. He is an avid fan of The Detectorists and Blue Planet, and also has a keen interest in English football.

It’s that time of year again. Time to get your dancing shoes out, polish the glitterball, and prepare for the run-up to Christmas in a flurry of sequins and spotlights. Yes, Strictly Come Dancing is once again back on our screens.

Strictly Come Dancing has become a firm feature in many people’s Saturday night schedules for many years now. It is established prime-time entertainment that has been replicated all over the world.

But the original Strictly Come Dancing is still the best, and millions of UK TV viewers will be tuning in this Autumn.

Quick Guide: How to watch Strictly Come Dancing

  1. Sign up for ExpressVPN.
  2. Download the VPN app, sign in, and select ‘United Kingdom‘.
  3. Go to BBC iPlayer.
  4. Start watching Strictly.

Sadly, for those Brits living overseas or who have to travel for business or pleasure, the opportunity to watch Strictly Come Dancing is far more limited.

The show is not broadcast overseas, and, thanks to social media, that means it loses much of its excitement and anticipation.

I have lived through that frustration myself, which is good news for you because I found a way to watch Strictly Come Dancing outside the UK from anywhere.

All you need is a small app, and in this guide, I will tell you everything you need to know.

Where is Strictly Come Dancing being shown?

Strictly Come Dancing is being broadcast on BBC One in the UK on Saturday nights, with the results show, as usual, being shown on Sunday evenings.

It is also being streamed live and on-demand on the BBC iPlayer streaming platform.

Unfortunately it is currently only available to internet users in the UK. Anyone who tries to log in from abroad will just get an error message telling them the service is not available in their region.

I know from experience how frustrating this is when you just want to see your favourite stars perform.

But it’s an easy problem to remedy, and in the next section, I will tell you everything you need to do.

How do I watch Strictly Come Dancing where I am?

To watch Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC iPlayer streaming service live or on demand from wherever you are in the world, you will need to use a VPN app.

A VPN is primarily an online security and privacy tool. It works by redirecting all your internet traffic via an external location to hide your real location. This process gives your internet data a new location stamp of wherever the connection is located.

That can be literally anywhere in the world!

So, if you choose to connect your VPN to a UK connection, you can make it look like you are in the UK. And this, in turn, can make streaming sites like the BBC iPlayer think that’s where you are actually located.

In this way, you can enjoy Strictly Come Dancing from literally anywhere in the world. Sounds too easy, I know, but I’ve done it, and it works.

Where to get a VPN?

A quick Google search will turn up listings for hundreds of VPNs. But how can you be sure you are choosing the right one to enjoy Strictly Come Dancing where you are?

That’s where I come in. I have tested all the top VPNs and concluded that the best VPN to choose to unblock the BBC iPlayer and enjoy Strictly Come Dancing is ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN has fast and reliable VPN connection speeds that make it perfect for streaming.

It has hundreds of UK-based servers, apps that support all the streaming devices you could possibly want to watch Strictly Come Dancing, and even comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Crucially, it also works well with the BBC iPlayer, which is not the case with all VPNs.

Two possible alternative VPNs you might want to consider are NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN. Both also offer the core features you need, work with BBC iPlayer too, and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee as well.

But as a fan of Strictly Come Dancing myself, I know that you want a VPN you can rely on. And that VPN is ExpressVPN. However, you’re free to pick!

30-day money back guarantee

How to stream Strictly Come Dancing outside the UK

To stream Strictly Come Dancing outside the UK on the BBC iPlayer streaming service using ExpressVPN, you will just need to follow this simple step-by-step guide I have created:

Step 1

Visit the ExpressVPN website and sign up for their one-year deal, which comes with a 49% discount and an extra three months free.

Step 2

Download and install the ExpressVPN app from either your device’s app store or their official website for security reasons.

Step 3

Log in to the ExpressVPN app using your new account details.

Step 4

In the app, click the Selected Location option, choose a server located in the United Kingdom, and click the Connect button to establish a connection.

ExpressVPN connecting to the UK

Watch the show anywhere using ExpressVPN.

Step 5

Open the BBC iPlayer website or app and log in to your account or create one and accept any terms & conditions.

Then, all you need to do is look up Strictly Come Dancing in their content library, sit back, relax, and enjoy all the glitz and the glamour.

30-day money back guarantee

What is Strictly Come Dancing all about?

The premise of Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing is a celebrity dancing competition. A group of celebrities are teamed up with professional dancers. Each week, they have to learn and then perform a new dance live on Saturday night TV.

A panel of judges delivers their verdict on the performance and scores the performance. Then, the viewers at home get to vote for the couple they want to stay on the show.

When the votes have been added up, the two couples with the fewest votes then have to compete in a dance-off with the judges deciding which couple is eliminated.

Apart from the first week, a couple goes out each week until we get to the grand finale, the weekend before Christmas, when the remaining couples fight it out for the coveted Strictly Come Dancing glitterball trophy.

The main characters and their roles in the show

The ‘characters’ in Strictly Come Dancing, such as they are, can be broken down into four main groups.

There are the contestants. This bunch of celebrities come from all walks of life and are, supposedly, all beginners when it comes to dancing, although as they come from the world of performing arts, there are some that are more novices than others.

There are the professional dancers that they are partnered with and who have to train them up and perform with them each week.

Then there are the judges, a panel of four dancing experts who pass judgement on the performance of each couple and give them a score out of ten.

Lastly, there are the show’s hosts, who introduce each couple, interview them after their performance, and essentially bring the whole Strictly Come Dancing show together.

Critical reception of Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing is something of a national treasure these days, and it is fair to say that both critics and fans alike adore the show.

To quote one reviewer in the Evening Standard, “the juggernaut that is Strictly Come Dancing is back once more… it’s as fizzy and fun as a bottle of champagne – and wackier than a night out at the circus.”

They conclude by saying, “It’s as comforting as a warm bath and reliably sparky as ever: sink back and let it wash over you.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Who stars in Strictly Come Dancing?

Tess Daly – Host

Tess Daly in a red dress with black handbag

Tess Daly has hosted Strictly Come Dancing since it began. She has also presented the National Lottery, the Royal Variety Performance, Just the Two of Us, and The One Show, among many other shows.

Claudia Winkleman – Host

Claudia Winkleman in a blue dress

Claudia Winkleman stepped up to host Strictly Come Dancing after former host Bruce Forsyth retired. She is a fixture on TV screens presenting shows as diverse as Film, The Traitors, The Piano, Hell’s Kitchen, and The Great British Sewing Bee.

Shirley Ballas – Head Judge

Shirley Ballas is an award-winning ballroom dancer specialising in Latin dances. She is a ballroom dancing legend, and as well as her role on Strictly Come Dancing, she has also won Taskmaster and appeared on numerous other TV shows.

Craig Revel Horwood – Judge

Craig Revel Horwood

The only remaining original judge who has been with the series since the start, Craig Revel Horwood is the grumpy one who gives harsh comments and low scores. A former dancer and choreographer himself, he has performed in numerous musicals and other shows around the UK and beyond.

Motsi Mabuse – Judge

Motsi Mabuse is a South African judge known for her flamboyant outfits and hairstyles. She is usually the kind one and was known for her role on the German version of Strictly Come Dancing before joining the English judging panel.

Anton Du Beke – Judge

A former professional dancer on the show, often given the least talented celebrities to work with. Anton was a huge fan favourite and stepped up to the judging panel after his predecessor, Bruno Tonioli, opted to focus on the American version of the show.

The Professionals

There are far too many Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers to profile them all individually in this guide, but for the 2023 season, they are:

  • Dianne Buswell
  • Nadiya Bychkova
  • Graziano Di Prima
  • Karen Hauer
  • Katya Jones
  • Neil Jones
  • Nikita Kuzmin
  • Gorka Marquez
  • Luba Mushtuk
  • Giovanni Pernice
  • Johannes Radebe
  • Kai Widdrington
  • Nancy Xu
  • Carlos Gu
  • Lauren Oakley
  • Michelle Tsiakkas
  • Vito Coppola
  • Jowita Przystal

The Celebrities

This year’s Strictly Come Dancing celebrity contests are:

  • Amanda Abbington – Actress
  • Angela Rippon – TV presenter
  • Layton Williams – West End performer
  • Eddi Kadi – Comedian
  • Krishan Guru-Murthy – News Presenter
  • Angela Scanlon – TV presenter
  • Les Dennis – Comedian and TV presenter
  • Zara McDermott – Reality TV personality
  • Adam Thomas – Soap actor
  • Ellie Leach – Soap actor
  • Bobby Brazier – Soap actor
  • Nigel Harman – Soap actor
  • Nikita Kanda – Radio presenter
  • Jody Cundy – Paralympic athlete
  • Annabel Croft – former tennis player


I love Strictly Come Dancing, and the chances are you do too. Most people do.

But if you are abroad and want to watch, you might find it hard to tune in live. With a VPN app, you won’t though, as you can unblock BBC iPlayer and watch Strictly Come Dancing live or on-demand from any country.

ExpressVPN is the best for the job.

All you need to do is sign up for ExpressVPN, download the app, connect to a UK-based server, and then log into the BBC iPlayer just like you would at home.

You don’t want to miss this season. What you really want to do is… Keep Dancing!


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