Strictly Come Dancing returns, and it’s a bittersweet moment for me. I enjoy the dumb fun of watching semi-celebrities learning to dance, dressed in garish costumes and partnered with ever-patient professional dancers. But…it means having to grit my teeth and put up with Tess Daly on my screen.
I love Bruce Forsythe in a nostalgic, old-school telly legend kind of way. He’s been a constant for many of us growing up, watching his shows. But Tess. She’s the telly equivalent of ‘new money’. I don’t understand why she’s there, she has no natural warmth and she makes the hackles on the back of my neck stand up every time she speaks. End of rant. Sorry.
This year, Strictly returns with a brand new set that looks like somebody went nuts in a neon factory. It looks like a ridiculous oversized jukebox. There will be complaints about the lighting causing headaches. I predict the BBC will be issuing health warnings before each show before very long.
So…the purpose of tonight’s show. The Big Reveal. Showing us the various celebrities who’ll be gracing our screens for the rest of the series. Some of these guys are reality TV veterans. I seem to remember Goldie from a series of Celebrity Big Brother, and Paul Daniels has been on the circuit – he did a celeb version of X Factor. And was rubbish in it too.
Surprise appearances from Jimi Mistry, the actor who starred in East Is East and The Guru, and Michelle Williams, the third member of Destiny’s Child. Aside from that, we’ve got current and former sports stars and a light sprinkling of soap actors.
Who got paired with who?
The most anticipated part of Strictly Come Dancing each year is discovering which professional dancers are paired with the celebs.
- Ann Widdecombe & Anton Du Beke: I’m surprised Anton didn’t walk out in a rage – Widdecombe is half his size. I’m convinced the only product of this partnership will be a sore back for Du Beke.
- Gavin Henson & Katya Virshilas: For Charlotte Church’s sake, I just hope he doesn’t start a tabloid friendly romance with his dance partner. It’s maybe a bit too soon for those types of stories to break.
- Tina O’Brien & Jared Murillo: The ex-Corrie actress I’m already tired of seeing. Tina’s in the same ‘hard to warm to’ bucket that I keep my feelings for Tess Daly in.
- Paul Daniels & Ola Jordan: I haven’t seen Paul Daniels do any proper magic in years, so I think it’s time telly dropped the ‘magician’ label. Can he surprise us with crazy ballroom dancing skills?
- Felicity Kendall & Vincent Simone: The former Good Life actress is still looking hot after all these years.
- Goldie & Kristina Rihanoff: Goldie – once famous for music, not a bit of an actor and a regular on the reality TV scene. He’s done Celebrity Big Brother and also The Games.
- Pamela Stephenson & James Jordan: Celebrity psychologist and wife of Billy Connolly, Pamela’s a former comedienne – so can we expect some funnies during her rehearsal footage?
- Scott Maslen & Natalie Lowe: The Eastenders ‘hunk’ bagged sexy Natalie as his partner and inadvertently paid slightly too much attention to her revealing costume. He should have paid more attention to his own blouse
- Peter Shilton & Erin Boag: Former footballer hoping to redefine his career through dance. Or something like that.
- Kara Tointon & Artem Chigvintsev: Former Eastender. Apparently now a model. If only Gary could see her now…
- Patsy Kensit & Robin Windsor: La Kensit’s just quit Holby or whatever third-rate drama she’s been hanging out in recently. I kind of like her, but mostly it’s goodwill from her scenes in Lethal Weapon 2.
- Jimi Mistry & Flavia Cacace: This one baffles me. I love Jimi Mistry for his role in The Guru. Don’t understand why he’s turned up here.
- Matt Baker & Aliona Vilani: Yeah…no idea who this guy is. Countryfile or something?
- Michelle Williams & Brendan Cole: Bringing a bit of American glamour to proceedings is the third half of Destiny’s Child. We already know she has experience of dance routines from her previous job, so is she a bit of a Nicole Scherzinger for this year?
There you have it folks – the series starts properly in a couple of weeks’ time. See you then for live discussion!