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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 March, 2005, 13:12 GMT
Strictly dance show waltzes to US
Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing pairs celebrities with professional dancers
A US TV network has bought the rights to hit BBC show Strictly Come Dancing.

ABC will pair eight celebrities with professional dancers for its own US version, with a new title and host.

ABC's Andrea Wong admitted "it may sound the craziest show anyone in the US has heard of", but said she expected the format to be a success.

"The show's global success demonstrates how audiences around the world find it surprising and, undeniably, fun," added Ms Wong.

A team from the BBC Entertainment department will produce the show on behalf of ABC.

The deal with the US network follows on from the sale of the format to New Zealand and Italy, where it was immediately declared a ratings hit.

'Regular people'

The format is expected to generate up to 20m for BBC Worldwide over the next five years.

Meanwhile, presenter Graham Norton has defended his forthcoming show Strictly Dance Fever.

Fellow BBC presenter Terry Wogan accused the BBC of "beating an idea to death" by creating the spin-off.

Norton said: "We're not doing Strictly Come Dancing. We have regular people this time."

"What's nice about it is these people can do something. You can't just turn up and show off, you have to have ability.

"We have to wait and see. But to me it feels different enough," added Norton whose job as series' host will be his first major role since joining the BBC.

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15 Nov 04 |  Entertainment


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