Angela Rippon has hailed her return to the “magnificent” Blackpool Tower Ballroom for Strictly Come Dancing.

The TV presenter, 79, who hosted Strictly’s predecessor Come Dancing from Blackpool, will dance at the prestigious venue when the BBC One show returns on Saturday.

Rippon beat Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy during last week’s dance-off.

She told the PA news agency that her best memories were seeing routines by “fabulous young dancers” when she was hosting the show.

Rippon also said: “It is the most magnificent ballroom and I think it is probably one of the most famous ballrooms in the world because it’s such an opulent setting.”

Her professional partner Kai Widdrington said neither of them has danced there during the Strictly competition so it would be a new experience.

Widdrington revealed that the pair had been “manifesting” returning to the venue before revealing what he told Rippon: “I said ‘the stars are aligning here as you presented Come Dancing here. I used to dance here as a little kid’.”

He said: “You have the music there, the live music, you have the setting of the amazing chemistry of the whole – the roof and everything is just magical and it doesn’t feel real.

“I think the word is you feel very honoured to get to dance in that (ballroom).”

Strictly Come Dancing 2023
Kai Widdrington and Angela Rippon during their appearance on the live show on Saturday for BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/BBC)

Bad Education star Layton Williams and partner Nikita Kuzmin are also among the competitors heading to Blackpool.

Williams said their dance, a couple’s choice to Ain’t No Other Man by Christina Aguilera, will be “iconic” and the experience would be an “honour” given the history of the venue.

He added: “So we’re really excited to be there together. It actually does, like, bring back so many memories of me being a kid … We want to get there and it’s going to be a showdown.”

Strictly Come Dancing returns at 6.40pm on Saturday on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.