Matt Baker reveals why he's never been on the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special

Naomi Gordon
·2-min read
Photo credit: David M. Benett
Photo credit: David M. Benett

Matt Baker may have shimmied into second place on Strictly Come Dancing back in 2010, but the TV star has never appeared on the show's beloved Christmas special.

The Our Farm in the Dales presenter has now explained why he keeps missing the BBC One's Xmas special and it's all for a very good cause - as filming always coincides with his Children in Need work.

“Every year they ask me to do it and every year I say I’m not able to because of the Rickshaw Challenge," the former One Show host told RadioTimes.com. "Because the Rickshaw Challenge happens over that period of time, you see. And so, it’s always the complication [that] I’m busy doing my Children in Need stuff, which is a huge part of my life too."

Photo credit: Michelle Moore - Getty Images
Photo credit: Michelle Moore - Getty Images

Matt has led the Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge for over 10 years, which sees him riding a rickshaw from Edinburgh to London with different teams of inspirational young people.

Last year's challenge was slightly derailed due to the global pandemic. While Team Rickshaw had aimed to cycle 332 miles across the country, exercise bikes were sent to the team's houses where they completed the challenge virtually instead. They cycled a whopping 830 miles and raised over £4 million.

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"When I'm not on the TV, I'm doing a lot for Children in Need and have done for many many years. The run-up to Children in Need always falls at the time when they record those Strictly specials so I haven’t been able to [take part in one] as of yet," Matt added.

When asked whether he'd consider doing a Strictly Christmas special at some point in the future, Matt replied: "You never know, do you? You never know."

We'll take that as a yes.

Matt and professional dance partner Aliona Vilani came second to winner Kara Tointon on the BBC One show 11 years ago.

Our Farm in the Dales is available to stream on Channel 4's 4OD now.


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