Due to having dinner at The Angel, Hetton, last night (which was fabulous, do go, have the Provencale Fish Soup) I missed the first episode of Strictly and had to watch it on catch up. I can report that nothing has changed: Tess’ stylist still hates her, Len still thinks that dancing is harder for men (is it bollocks) and I still don’t know anybody in EastEnders.
Front runners appeared to be Helen George (the sexy one off Call the Midwife), Anita Rani with her partner, the strangely named Gleb (I’ve a terrible feeling that could be urban slang for something revolting) were terrific, and and this year’s Judy Murray might be the lovely Carol Kirkwood.
Anyway, episode two kicked off with somebody from The Wanted. Yes I know I should know who he is. “Jayyyyy,” said Aliona, helpfully. Ah. Jay then. “I know you haff bin stragglin vit your norves.” The cha cha isn’t for everybody; he looked absolutely terrified and couldn’t stop himself miming to the song, but I thought I saw real glimmers of talent.
Kirsty Gallacher immediately placed herself onto my list* by referring to herself as a “girly girl”, although it was hard not to feel sorry for her as she clung, terrified, to Brendan during their waltz whilst the reliably appalling Dave Arch singers murdered the ballad “Vincent”. The judges weren’t impressed, and Len chose to take on the mantle of Confucius: “What people don’t understand is that these contestants are all beginners.” Thanks, Len.
Next up, Jeremy Vine, who was forced to introduce his cha cha with some waffling rubbish about reporting on a general election. He was Dad dancing personified, but looked to be having a tremendous time and it was all strangely rather wonderful. Then we had Georgia May Foote, which sounds like the name of a dance school, doing the jive with a sweaty Sicilian called Giovanni. She was rather good, and there was a lot of blah about their “chemistry”, which is Strictly code for “will probably have an affair”.
Ainsley Harriot, a man for whom I harbour a completely irrational loathing, performed a tango. In time-honoured Strictly fashion, they chose to dance to something totally un-tango-like: Abba’s Voulez Vous. Ainsley’s dancing had all the power and grace of a toddler trying to pretend he hadn’t just done a huge poo in his pants. I predict an early exit.
The fantastically pretty Katie Derham was paired with Anton, gamely pretended this was a good thing, revealed a cracking pair of pins and jived like she was having the time of her life, as did Anton who clearly couldn’t believe his luck. It would have taken a heart of stone not to enjoy it. Iwan Thomas, a runner, performed a tango, to “Keep on Running”. CHRIST HAS NOBODY ON STRICTLY GOT ANY IMAGINATION? He and Ola looked like they loathed each other, not surprising given that he was rubbish and Ola looks like a woman desirous of ruling the world (don’t bother Ola, that job’s got my name on it.) Jamelia danced a waltz but by this stage nobody was really paying any attention as they were all waiting to see orange moose knuckle Peter Andre. Would he get his six pack out? Might he mention how much he loves his children? Would Katie “I’m not bitter” Price deliberately get married again during the show in order to throw shade? Looking like the leg of a pair of American Tan tights with a moustache stapled onto the thigh, Peter gave it his not inconsiderable all; I’m bound to say he was fantastic and went straight to the top of the leader board. Back home in her pink mansion, Pricey must have been spitting out her veneers in fury.
(*You don’t want to be on my list. Really.)