Essex singing sensation Anne-Marie has taken to the Strictly dancefloor for this year’s festive special.

The chart topping artist and TV star has appeared on Bake Off and is a judge on The Voice.

The star grew up in East Tilbury - and still has close links to the area.

During this year’s festive special, Anne-Marie will dance with Graziano Di Prima.

The Platinum-selling pop star will be dancing the cha cha to a rendition of Feliz Navidad by Gwen Stefani.

The 2002 singer said: “I am about 15 million per cent excited.

“If it all goes wrong, I may just whack out a song quickly and hope that that gets me a few points but I’m trying hard, I’m learning so much.”

When asked to describe Anne-Marie in three words, Graziano said: “She’s a star, we’ve got chemistry and she can dance.

“I’m really confident, she is working so hard and she’s got the moves. She is doing really well.”

The platinum-selling pop singer added: “I love the show, and who would turn down a dance with Graziano?”

Other stars taking part in this year’s special which airs tonight are:

  • TV and Radio presenter Moira Stuart who is paired with Aljaz Skorjanec
  • TV presenter Adrian Chiles dancing with Jowita Przystal
  • Comedian Mel Giedroyc will dance with Neil Jones
  • The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades dancing with Luba Mushtuk First Date’s
  • Fred Sirieix dancing with Dianne Buswell

Anne-Marie is also a black belt in Shotokan karate, having started taking karate lessons aged nine.

Read more >> Everything you need to know about south Essex popstar Anne-Marie

The Essex-raised star also won Double Gold in the 2002 Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association World Championships, Gold and Silver in the 2007 Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association World Championships, and Gold in the United Kingdom Traditional Karate Federation National Championships.

Despite the West End and sporting success she kept up her teenage studies and attended Palmer's College in Thurrock.

The show airs tonight on BBC One at 7.10pm.