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Strictly Speaking: Week 5

Well that’s more like it. After a rather exhausted, grouchy hangover show last week, Strictly was back on form with several really impressive routines, a scattering of 10s, a new bread-based-ography, and the judges wandering idly down memory lane. The race to the final is still too close to call, even if it felt like […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 4

Ah, the theme week hangover. Saturday’s Strictly Come Dancing was very much the bleary, old contact lenses stuck to eyelids, two Alka-Seltzers dissolved in ginger ale, nibbling at cold leftover pizza while moaning softly morning-after to Movie Week’s night of ecstatic clubbing. No one was dishing out points for mistakes. Craig all but set his […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 3

Ah, Strictly theme weeks: synonymous with high drama, rampant scoring inflation, and a heady mix of glamour and the dredges of a three-year-old’s dressing-up box. This Movie Week was no exception: we got 10s; we got tears; and we got costumes that are so psychologically scarring that they will actually be the last thing I […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 2

Welcome to the Thunderdome! Week 1 was all pats on the back for even finding your way into the studio; now, the real Strictly judging begins. Well, sort of. Once again, we found our panel in a mercurial mood, dishing out everything from 3s to 9s with the whimsy of a giggling child dictator. Most […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 1

We’re off! This opener had everything we love about Strictly: dance, drama and dance-drama; a bewildering costume lottery; Tess patronising people to within an inch of their lives; scoring that began sane and then descended into utter chaos; and, most important, contestants we’d never heard of before this claiming a place in our hearts.  On […]

Strictly Speaking: Launch show

Marianka Swain introduces the Class of 2021 Hurrah, we’re back! Hello, fellow Strictly watchers – I’m so glad that our Saturday nights are sparkly once more. The show really got me through the darkness of winter 2020 and it promises to be a joy again, this time with a full run, a cast of 15 […]

Brave New World? 

It isn’t unusual to feel reflective at the start of a new year, but as winter 2020 turns into spring 2021, I’m feeling more pensive than I have in recent years. I’ve written before in the pages of Dancing Times about how lucky I am to be living a dancing life that, though adapted, is […]

Strictly Speaking: The final

What an extraordinary end to the series. The Strictly final aired just hours after Boris Johnson made his latest screeching u-turn, announcing that millions of people would have to cancel their festive plans and spend Christmas separated from loved ones. Could our dance show, which has been an escapist haven during a grim, dark winter, […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 8

Can we believe we’ve only got one show to go? Sob! Anyhow, this was – understandably – not a vintage semi-final. It feels like the celebs have barely begun, and yet here we are asking them to learn two dances. Overall, this… did not go well. It was basically the weakest outing for everyone except […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 7

Well, that was a jolly Musicals Week. Although very strange to think it’s already the quarter-finals, when it feels like we’ve only just begun the series. Product of both a shorter Strictly, and time losing all meaning in 2020. I’m both relieved we’re nearly at the end of this year and sad that our sparkly […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 6

A rather mediocre performance week, with some improvement in scoring, and alas still some glaring biases. However, poor Clara Amfo really doomed herself with an error-strewn jive that was actually marked quite kindly, yet cemented her place in the dance-off. Though I still think she got a raw deal overall this series, we never really […]

Strictly Speaking: Week 5

Well. This was not one of Strictly’s better outings. Our Staycation Blackpool Week sadly took all the worst elements of that usual jaunt – judging hysteria, inconsistent scores – without actually giving us the pleasure of performances at the Tower Ballroom. Add in some unfortunate sexism and another trying week of Judge Anton, and this […]

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