Craig Revel Horwood (born 4 January 1965) is an Australian-British dancer, choreographer and theatre director in the United Kingdom. He is a patron of the National Osteoporosis Society. Revel Horwood has substantial theatre credits in choreography and directing, but is best known as a judge on the BBC dancing show Strictly Come Dancing. He published his autobiography in 2008.



West End and UK

Extensive West End credits include Spend Spend Spend and My One and Only, both of which garnered him Laurence Olivier Award nominations for Best Choreography. He was associate director and choreographer of West Side Story, assisted Bob Avian with Martin Guerre and was resident director of Miss Saigon. He choreographed Hard Times – The Musical, Calamity Jane, Tommy Cooper – Jus' Like That and the play Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, starring Claire Bloom and Billy Zane at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. He also directed and choreographed Beautiful and Damned.

He directed the Welsh Première Concert Production of My Land's Shore for the Gate Theatre in Cardiff. During the summer of 2008, he directed a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Sunset Boulevard at the Watermill Theatre, which transferred to London's West End at the Comedy Theatre.

Revel Horwood directed and choreographed the 2010–11 UK and Canadian tour of Chess, a revival of the 1986 musical conceived and written by Tim Rice, with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (of ABBA). The show has attracted reasonable reviews for its staging and lighting

In 2012, he directed the UK Tour of Strictly Come Dancing for the second year running.

He will star as Miss Hanigan in the UK touring production of Annie in 2015.

International credits

Regional theatre choreography credits include Pal Joey, Arcadia, On the Razzle and My One and Only at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Guys and Dolls in Sheffield, Anything Goes and South Pacific for Grange Park Opera and Hot Mikado at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury.

International productions include Crazy for You (South Africa), Fiddler on the Roof and Sweet Charity (Amsterdam and Netherlands national tour), Chess (Denmark), Bonheur (Paris), Copacabana (Denmark), Der Kuhhandel (Austria) and Glanzlichter (Berlin).

Special Events

Revel Horwood directed the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and staged Once Upon a Time – The Life of Hans Christian Andersen, a live concert in Copenhagen to mark the author's bicentenary which was televised worldwide.


In December 2009, Revel Horwood played the part of the Queen in Snow White and the 7 Dwarves at Theatr Cymru in Llandudno, North Wales, a role he reprised in December 2010 at the Hawth in Crawley, and at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford, Kent, alongside Ann Widdecombe in 2011. In December 2012, he played the same role in the Swan Theatre in High Wycombe, again alongside Widdecombe. In late 2012, it was announced that he will be performing in Snow White at the Cliffs Pavilion, Southend.


Strictly Come Dancing

Revel Horwood is familiar to British television audiences as a member of the judging panel on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing since its inception in 2004. He has a reputation for being the harshest of the Strictly Come Dancing judges and is often the recipient of booing from the studio audience. On top of all this, he attracted widespread criticism for his apparent bias towards Emma Bunton in the fourth series of the competition. He is known for stringently applying rules, as for example when marking down for an "illegal lift" in the Viennese Waltz if the lady's foot leaves the floor.

Unqualified praise, or a perfect 10 mark from Revel Horwood, is considered hard won and therefore highly prized by contestants and audiences alike.


In the context of his judging, Revel Horwood has become widely known and imitated for his locutions, which often include exaggeratedly lengthened vowels, including: "It was a complete dahnce di-sah-ster, dahling" and "Chah-Chah-Chah". Such is their popularity that they are available as ringtones through Revel Horwood's website, with profits going to the National Osteoporosis Society.

His appreciative utterance of: "Three words: Fab-u-lous!" has attained iconic status, with the syllables of the word articulated as three separate words. Revel Horwood similarly breaks up the syllables and throws the stress forward to the final syllable for "A-ma-zing!".

To appreciate erotically-charged routines, Revel Horwood will declaim, "absolute filth," often immediately followed by "...and I loved it!" This has been used often enough to become a recognised formula. Passing judgment on Kimberley Walsh in 2012, Revel Horwood said the dance was 'indecent, improper, absolute filth,' and added: ‘I loved it.’" Of Claire King's rhumba with Brendan Cole in 2006, Revel Horwood declared, "That was absolute filth. I loved it." Similarly, he lauded Harry Judd's performance in 2011 with "'It had authority, dominance, command, control. It was filth and I loved it!'

Dancing with the Stars

He was a judge on Dancing with the Stars in New Zealand, along with Brendan Cole. It was quite frequent for the two men's opinions and scores to be markedly different.

Comic Relief Does Fame Academy

Revel Horwood became a judge on Comic Relief Does Fame Academy in 2005, along with Lesley Garrett and Richard Park. He and Garrett replaced vocal coaches David Grant and Carrie Grant on the panel; however the pair still appeared as voice coaches on the show. He returned as a judge for the third series of the Comic Relief edition in 2007. The show was cancelled by the BBC after the third series had ended.

Other television appearances

Revel Horwood can be seen in Episode 5 of Series 2 of Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends, during which Theroux investigates the trials and tribulations of struggling New York City actors. He is introduced as Craig Horwood at an audition for a musical on a Norwegian cruise ship, for which he is the choreographer.

In May and June 2007, he appeared as a contestant on Celebrity MasterChef, reaching the final alongside Nadia Sawalha and Midge Ure.

On 15 April 2010, Revel Horwood was the celebrity guest judge on Daily Cooks Challenge. On 13 August 2010, he appeared on Would I Lie to You?. During 2011, he guested on Celebrity Juice (Episode 6, series 5; 17 March) and on Ask Rhod Gilbert (28 September). In January 2012, he appeared on BBC TV series The Magicians.

For the week beginning 3 September 2012, he appeared as a panellist on The Wright Stuff on Channel 5.

On 22 October 2012, he appeared on ITV's Loose Women. He also appeared on CBBC's television programme 12 Again in 2012, talking about his life when he was 12. On 22 February 2013, he appeared on Room 101.

Revel Horwood won the reworked version of the 2008 BBC series Maestro, called Maestro at the Opera. He competed against Josie Lawrence, Marcus du Sautoy and Trevor Nelson. Also appearing were Mark Elder, Danielle de Niese, Alfie Boe and Kiri te Kanawa. The series was partly filmed at London's Royal Opera House, where Revel Horwood, as eventual winner, conducted Act II of La Bohème in late 2012.

Revel Horwood lent his vocals to a single released by other celebrities under tutorage of choirmaster Gareth Malone for the Children In Need 2014 charity single. The choir performed a version of Avicii's Wake Me Up. On 16 November 2014, it was revealed that the single had reached Number 1 in the UK Single Charts.

On 15 January 2016, he appeared as a panellist on a special episode of ITV's Loose Women (titled Loose Women and Men) alongside show regulars Andrea McLean and Nadia Sawalha and fellow special hosts Peter Andre and Chris Kamara.


In 2008, Michael O'Mara Books published Revel Horwood's autobiography, All Balls and Glitter: My Life.

Personal life

Born in Ballarat, Australia in 1965, Revel Horwood started his career as a dancer in Melbourne, then moved to London to take advantage of the greater opportunities available there. In 1989, he moved to the UK from Australia, and on 20 August 2011, he became a British citizen.

In his autobiography, Revel Horwood reveals that at the age of 17, he made money by appearing as a drag queen in bars and clubs and that his relationship with an unnamed celebrity was akin to prostitution.

He has twice undergone plastic surgery. The first occasion was a "nose job" at the age of 18. In 2011, Revel Horwood revealed that he had undergone a breast reduction during 2010 because his "C"-size cups rendered dancing painful.

In December 2014, Revel Horwood informed a reporter from OK! magazine that "I was bisexual for a long time. I flitted between men and women quite a lot between the ages of 17 and 26. My wife Jane left me for another man. Then I fell in love with a bloke. I have been gay ever since." His partner; Damon Scott is known for coming runner up on Britain's Got Talent. Scott and Revel Horwood have been dating since 2013. In September 2014, they moved in to a house in Hampshire together.

Revel Horwood became a patron of the National Osteoporosis Society in 2009. In this, he has found common ground with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the Society's Royal patron (whose mother, like his, was afflicted with bone disease). The two of them danced the cha-cha-cha together on a school visit to mark National Osteoporosis Day in 2009.

In January 2015, Revel Horwood revealed on ITV's Loose Women that he suffered from anorexia and body dysmorphia as a teenager and young dancer, as a result of trying to make himself look like other young men, and other dancers in particular.