As Strictly Come Dancing series 17 is well underway I thought I would tell you why it is deserving of its place as my favourite TV show ever.
I make no apologies for my love of Strictly. I love the entertainment, the glamour, the drama. I love that week in, week out it never fails to put a smile on my face. Anyone who really knows me knows that I am a 61-year-old in the body of a 21-year-old when it comes to cheesy Saturday night tele. Every year I look forward to its return for 13 weeks of sequins, fake tan and pure joy. And with it comes all the traditions of the Great British autumn, from conkers and bonfires to taking bets on who’s going to shag who after weeks of dancing crotch-to-crotch in sequinned catsuits.
You know Strictly is in good hands with dynamic duo Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman at the helm. With a brilliant balance of good-cop, bad-cop judges, fit professional dancers, and of course Dave Arch and his wonderful orchestra, Strictly has it all. What is there not to love?
You can expect the usual cast of B-list celebrities that you might not have heard of until you see them Lycra-clad and limbered-up on your TV screen on a Saturday night. There will undoubtedly be a 6’4’’ ex-athlete who lacks rhythm; a soap actress who claims to be Strictly’s ‘biggest fan’; a television presenter who will charm their way into the nation’s heart with their lack of skill but abundance of charisma; a Greek god of a man to spark a thirst epidemic for mums everywhere; and last but by no means least, an ex-politician willing to slide between the legs of a Russian dancer to Gangnam Style.
I watch Strictly and suddenly I am Craig Revel-Horwood, critiquing celebs for not pointing their toes enough during the kicks and flicks in the jive or forgetting the placement of their free hand during ballroom. I may work up a sweat as I prance around my room imitating the professionals, but it takes some massive balls for a novice to get up and do it on live television in front of millions of people who are often harsher critics on social media than the judges.
My weekends have become a ritual: Saturday is the full glitz and glamour show and Sunday is the results. Friends know not to message me or, God forbid, invite me somewhere on a Saturday evening. The odd weekend when I am forced out of my house on a Saturday night and have to miss Strictly, I will spend the whole time texting my mum for a live commentary on who’s dancing what dance, what song they’re dancing to, and who looks best in their spandex onesie.
Although there are many people who will disagree with me for giving Strictly Come Dancing the honour of being the best show on tele, they are wrong. If Strictly was compulsory viewing for everyone the haters would soon be won over, one gyration at a time.