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Strictly Speaking – Week 1

Hello, new young people viewers to Strictly Come Dancing! Snapchat this on your Tide Pod slime, amiright? Yes, in Joe Sugg’s honour, the BBC has – I’m sorry to say – decided it must become hip to the kids of today. Please God let the try-hard shower of emojis that accompanied Joe’s dance never appear […]

Strictly Speaking – 2018 Launch Show

Marianka Swain introduces the contestants… Hello again, Strictly fans! It’s Series 16! Woohoo! Series 16, AKA the one where Marianka continually squawks “A YouTuber?” at her screen in the manner of Lady Bracknell’s “A handbag?” and feels about 102 and begins to contemplate the yawning void of mortality, and then remembers the state of the world […]

Strictly Speaking – The Final

And then we came to the end. All in all, it’s been a cracker of a series, and the final really was the, er, brandy cream on the pudding. We had a great run of dances from all four couples, and I found my allegiance switching regularly between them – the sign of an excitingly […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 12

Two dances is theoretically a good test of range, growth and performance at this crucial stage, but can often make for a night of half-finished numbers – the pros’ steely ambition exceeding the knackered celebs’ execution. So it proved in some cases, but not all, and we actually wound up with a pretty clear view […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 11

Musicals Week – where ballroom comes to die. Well, not entirely, but it did feel for much of the evening as though we were watching the backdoor pilot episode of spin-off Strictly Come Auditioning For The West End (Who Are We Kidding – Touring Will Do). From Mollie getting 9s (9s!) for open-mouthed contempowaft with […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 10

Another week, another “shock” dance-off entrant. Yes, nothing will quite match Aston’s exit, but this is still an enjoyably open series. Two more frontrunners (and judges’ favourites) have now landed in the bottom, while those of the genus dark horse are jostling for position. Deserving or not in dance terms, any of the celebs remaining […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 9

Well, this wasn’t exactly a vintage Blackpool Week. Alexandra was pretty much the only celebrity to rise to the heights of breathless “Mecca of Ballroom” hyperbole, and even then she had the ever-irritating Human Props to contend with. Otherwise, we had a string of just OK numbers – some beset with errors, some wallowing in […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 8

Pre-Blackpool Week saw many couples in something of a dilemma: do we go easier and hope to win over the audience with a fun performance, or risk tougher routines to impress the judges? Actually, I think voters also appreciate growth, particularly at this stage, but the majority’s adherence to technique yielded distinctly mixed results. At […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 7

WHAT. DRAMA. Week 7, and this series of Strictly serves up its first proper “shock” exit – Aston Merrygold joining the likes of Pixie Lott and Gabby Logan in the Surprise Early Departure Lounge. He was unlucky to hit a dud dance (and/or one the judges chose to properly critique) on a week where comedy […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 6

Oh Strictly Halloween. Every year I forget how grim your Fright Night will be, and every year I am gripped anew with its frightfulness. So, once more with feeling: if you’re not sure whether this week is meant to be entirely surrendered to the dressing-up box or somehow magically balanced with brilliant ballroom, how on […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 5

The big news this week was Italian gesticulator Bruno Tonioli missing his first ever Strictly, apparently because of American work commitments. It’s FINE, Bruno, go be with your OTHER family, we don’t CARE. Actually, with Craig providing a pitch-perfect impression (complete with chair tumble), Bruno’s contribution was basically covered – and it meant more time […]

Strictly Speaking – Week 4

No theme this week, thank the Strictly gods, unless you count the tidal wave of emotion that saw a nation reaching for more Kleenex. If an overcome Alexandra wishing her late mother could have seen her 10s-scoring jive didn’t get you, how about Jonnie’s shoutout to the surgeon who saved his life, or Susan acing […]

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