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Len Goodman

Strictly Speaking week 11

What’s worse than a limp theme show? A limp theme show at a crucial stage of the competition. We might arguably have had the same quarter-final elimination without it – paso was always going to expose Princess Helen’s lack of versatility – but at least it would have resulted from a fair test of ballroom […]

Strictly Speaking – week 8

We need to talk about music. Strictly precariously straddles the worlds of ballroom and entertainment, so it can’t – and shouldn’t – be wall-to-wall Victor Silvester, but we’ve reached a crisis point. Song and theme choices (as I understand it, some suggested by pros, but producers hold sway) are now actively handicapping couples, who can […]

Strictly Speaking week 7

Phew! A return to form following last week’s Halloween hellscape, with some great performances, the series’ first multiple 10s, and Jeremy Vine riding a horse. All that, AND copious amounts of genuinely informative training footage? You’re spoiling us, Mr Ambassador. As we’re now at the halfway stage, it was no surprise to see genial duffer […]

Strictly Speaking week 6

Bitter experience has obliterated all possible hope for Strictly’s annual fright fest – best watched several dozen drinks in, when the more disturbing details begin to blur round the edges – but this was an abysmal show even by Halloween standards. It’s hard to know who to pity most: the dancers, stuck with the impossible challenge […]

Strictly Speaking week 5

Let me start this Strictly recap by stating that whatever pain meds Len “8s for everyone!” Goodman is on, I want some. Perhaps they would have enlivened a rather dreary mid-series outing, in which everyone seemed to be pacing themselves for the Halloween insanity to come. It wasn’t until the final three dances (otherwise known as […]

Strictly Speaking week 4

It’s almost worth having bonkers Strictly theme shows just to make us really appreciate the relative sanity of a non-theme show. Well, almost. We’re into “I keep whacking myself with a hammer because it feels so good when I stop” territory, and there was still some bludgeoning to endure this weekend. For one, ludicrous music choices […]

Strictly speaking

Week 13: The final Perhaps not a vintage year, but Strictly ended on a high with a closer than expected final, bananas returning contestants encore, and a deserving winning couple in Caroline and Pasha. It was a show noticeably light on ballroom – because nothing says telly gold like ropey Week 1 disco cha chas! […]

Strictly speaking

This was a long, long, looooong semi-final. It made War and Peace look like a Tweet. It made the Oscars look like a Saturday cartoon. Stars in distant galaxies went through entire lifespans. And still we came no closer to deciding what rumba actually is. All of which would be forgivable if Strictly had treated […]

Strictly speaking

It’s Blackpool Week on Strictly, otherwise known as Multiple Comebacks And Rampant Score Inflation Week! For the uninitiated, the current exchange rate is about 1:1.2, meaning up here Donny would be scoring 12s and spontaneously combusting, BABY.

Strictly speaking

Week 6 Oh Strictly Halloween Week, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…

Strictly speaking

Week 5 This year’s Strictly is becoming renowned for “shock” dance-offs, even though there’s nothing truly shocking about two mediocre lower-leaderboard pairs landing in the bottom. Perhaps more noteworthy is how it’s resisting the producers’ attempts at forced narratives: the hunky sportsman failed to set pulses racing, ditto the supposedly irresistible boy band member, while Judy […]

Strictly speaking

Week 4 Last week on Strictly we drank deep from the well of insanity that was a histrionic theme show combined with the terrorising presence of He Who Must Not Be Named, Baby! This week, it was the inevitable comedown. The debilitating hangover. The throbbing migraine. The constant threat of impending nausea.

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