Who is Dave Arch, the music arranger for BBC’s Strictly?

Year after year since its debut back in 2004, it’s proven one of the most popular programmes on our TV screens. And, beyond the chance to watch celebrities try their hand at a variety of increasingly challenging dance steps, a major draw of BBC’s much-loved Strictly Come Dancing is the exciting and endlessly varied music, performed live by the programme’s own in-house orchestra.

But who is responsible for Strictly’s rich and eclectic musical menu, from foxtrot to paso doble?

Who arranges the music on Strictly?

The music on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing is arranged by composer and arranger David Arch, better known as Dave Arch. Dave also conducts the programme’s own bespoke orchestra.

Who is Dave Arch?

A British pianist, conductor, arranger and composer, Dave Arch’s musical career has spanned albums, films and adverts, as well as live and TV performances. But Dave is definitely best known for his work as Strictly’s musical director and arranger.

How old is Dave Arch?

Arch was born on 25 October 1962, and grew up in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

What does Dave Arch do on Strictly?

Arch’s main job is to conduct Strictly’s in-house orchestra, which learns up to 14 pieces of music for each show.

How long has Dave Arch been on Strictly?

Arch started on Strictly in 2006 – not long after the show made its debut in May 2004.

What else has Dave Arch done?

Outside of Strictly, Arch has worked on the music for a selection of high-profile and Oscar-winning films including 1917, Gravity, The Shape of Water, Interstellar, The Grand Budapest Hotel and no fewer than five Harry Potter films.

He was also ITV’s musical director for no fewer than 11 Royal Variety Performances, including the event’s 100th anniversary concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Arch also composed the original themes for GMTV, the breakfast television broadcaster from 1993 and 2010. In 2005, he played keyboards for the Greg Lake Band, while 2016 saw the release of his debut album Coming Home.

Where did Dave Arch study?

Arch began his career after studying at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, before going on to become a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Pic: BBC / Guy Levy

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