JUST before Christmas millions of viewers watched BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing final where Kara Tointon and her professional partner Artem Chigvintzev waltzed away as 2010 champions.

Handout photo issued by the BBC of Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev winning tonight's Strictly Come Dancing final. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 18, 2010. See PA story SHOWBIZ Strictly. Photo credit should read: Guy Ley/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting 'purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Handout photo issued by the BBC of Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev winning tonight's Strictly Come Dancing final. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 18, 2010. See PA story SHOWBIZ Strictly. Photo credit should read: Guy Ley/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting 'purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

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Next week fans of the show have the opportunity to see the former EastEnder in action again as Strictly Come Dancing Live The Tour comes to the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield on Monday and Tuesday.

Based on the smash-hit BBC1 TV series, Strictly Come Dancing Live sees celebrity contestants and their dance partners competing for the judges’ favour and the votes of the arena audiences.

This week Kara Tointon and fellow finalist former Blue Peter presenter Matt Baker were in Sheffield talking about their Strictly experience.

“It doesn’t feel like it happened, I was in a dream state, ” said Matt, adding that he suffered post-Strictly blues once the TV show was over.

“I felt it quite strange, I was a bit lost,” admitted the Countryfile presenter. “I went for a few long runs to get moving in some way and you have it in the back of your mind you are going to be doing the live tour which is nice.

“You know you are not just going to stop dancing.”

Kara agreed that initially she felt a bit flat but “Because we had this to look forward to it was nice to have a little break after all the pressure. I have never gone on that long without shutting down – it was in the brain you felt it most.

“I was a big fan of the show but I had no idea of the work involved. I thought it would be a piece of cake, not that you would be training every single day. It was like going back to school, it was constant. And also not knowing how long you will be in the show.”

Matt Baker felt the same: “It was so intense, both mentally and physically you were pushing yourself.

“The levels you are working on are quite ridiculous and suddenly you stop and your body goes crazy.”

But that doesn’t mean he didn’t ejnoy the experience and the challenge.

“You don’t know what you are capable of and I think Kara and I were stretched by our Russian partners who had incredible work rates. I would not have changed the way Aliona (Vilani) pushed me.”

“I think we are quite similar that way. I would not have wanted it any other way either,” added Kara, which we know to be true since she and Artem Chigvintsev have also become an item off the dancefloor.

Also in the celebrity line-up for the tour are Pamela Stephenson, Colin Jackson, Patsy Kensit, Jimi Mistry, Tina O’Brien, and Ricky Whittle.

Zoe Ball, who came third in the TV series in 2005, will present the live show.

Former MP Ann Widdecombe is also coming on tour to perform a special routine with the opinionated judge, her harshest critic and this year’s Strictly Tour director, Craig Revel Horwood.

He will also be in his usual spot on the judges’ panel with Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli.

There are tickets available for Strictly Come Dancing Live at the Motorpoint Arena on Monday and Tuesday, priced £35, £42.50 & £55 (subject to booking fee).