Strictly’s make-up artist Lisa Armstrong has revealed her bizarre tricks and backstage secrets to getting contestants ready for the ballroom show.

Lisa has spilled the glittery beans on some of the unusual techniques she uses, including wire-hangers to keep pigtails in place, to get the celebs’ super glam and to avoid any mishaps.

“A lot of the time, hair attachments are gaffer-taped and then actually sewn in, so that they’re 100 per cent secure,” she told the latest issue of Radio Times.

“Can you imagine someone flinging their head around and the hair attachment flying off? It doesn’t bear thinking about. You wouldn’t believe what’s in our hair and make-up kits.”

Make-up artist, Lisa Armstrong said of Strictly's glam secrets: “We have coat hangers to make sure pigtails stay bent and Pritt Stick to glue down eyebrows…" Pictured: Giovanni Pernice and dance partner Rose Ayling-Ellis (


BBC/Guy Levy)
Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden during the live show of Saturday's BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing. The pair's glam squad made sure they were picture perfect (



The celebrity make-up artist, who was married to TV presenter Ant McPartlin for 12-years before the pair went through a bitter divorce in 2018, added: “We have coat hangers to make sure pigtails stay bent and Pritt Stick to glue down eyebrows…We have to get creative."

The Strictly production crew have also revealed some of their backstage secrets.

Director Nikki Parsons and costume designer Vicky Gill also reveal how they keep calm in the high-stakes job and protect the dancers’ modesty and prevent wardrobe malfunctions.

Lisa Armstrong shares her make-up Strictly secrets for the stars (



“I’m quite a calm person, but I do have a little lavender spray and Rescue Remedy I use at least five times before going on air – and sometimes while I’m on air as well!” said Nikki.

“I have little rituals to calm myself down. I also use a little worry stone and if things are really bad, I give it a squeeze.

“As my voice is the one that people hear most of the time, if I sound nervous and out of control, that would filter down through the whole production. Things work better when there’s no shouting or panicking..

“As long as I speak clearly and I’m calm - even if I’m not calm inside - hopefully the rest of the production don’t know how scared I actually am.”

The Strictly team reveals all the behind-the-scenes tricks in Radio Times (


Radio Times)
Make-up artist Lisa Armstrong also regularly shows off her own flawless makeup looks on social media (



Meanwhile, costume designer Vicki explains how the elaborate and, often, complicated costumes Strictly is known for come to be.

She explained: “All the dresses are essentially constructed over the top of a swimsuit, so that everything is anchored and, when it comes to the kicks and spins, there’s decency at all times.

“We want to cement that foundation in an outfit so that we feel quite sure that nothing’s going anywhere with regard to boobs and bums.”

This weekend the team's handiwork will be showcased by the remaining six couples who will be battle to make it through to the Quarter Final on December 4.

The couples will be vying for top scores from judges ahead of December 4th's quater final (


BBC/Guy Levy)

AJ Odudu and her partner Kai Widdrington take on their Couple's Choice routine while Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice will perform the Paso Doble.

Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin, who topped the leaderboard last week, will do a Samba, while Dan Walker and his partner Nadiya Bychkova are set to do a Rumba.

John Whaite and his partner Johannes Radebe will perform the Argentine Tango, while Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu will do the Waltz.

The couples will be vying for top scores from judges Craig Revel Horwood, who is expected to return to the show this weekend after being replaced by Cynthia Erivo last week, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke.