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Strictly Speaking

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 10

Ah, post-Blackpool Week – Strictly’s annual hangover show. Lower the lights, pass the Berocca, and for god’s sake don’t make too much noise. Not generally a vintage night, and so it proved, with several celebs stuck with styles that didn’t suit and the judges’ scoring closer to sober than usual – except for Bruno, who […]

Strictly Speaking – week 9

Welcome to Blackpool, where, according to Strictly, the beaches are positively balmy in November, time has stood still since Len’s 1950s heyday, and the local scoring exchange rate is approximately 1:1.5 – 9s and 10s for all the vaguely good boys and girls, and a six feels like a slap in the face with a […]

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 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 1

It wouldn’t be Strictly without the epic trolling that is the scoring. Welcome back to judgement as alarmingly random as Caligula’s hiring policies. Some celebs benefited from the Week 1 Magic 8-Ball, others have cause to grumble, with particular howlers from Darcey “Year of the Man” Bussell. Those opening the shows had kinder treatment, and […]

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

I wouldn’t want to imply that the producers of Strictly have some kind of substance-abuse problem and/or are suffering a collective nervous breakdown. It’s just difficult to find another explanation for the acid-trip train wreck that was Movie Week. Or, as it shall henceforth be known, Guess The Dance Buried Under Three Layers of 1980s Bargain […]

Strictly speaking

Week 10 “We will not have another disaaaahstrous week,” they said. “We will have jazz hands, and the movie musical equivalent of Stars in Their Eyes, and Ann Summers’ take on a Disney dressing-up box!” they said. “We will have props, and pizzazz, and incongruous ghostly backing dancers, and the hills will be alive with […]

Strictly speaking

Week 7, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: 1. Claudia! 2. No theme! 3. Actual dancing! 4. Bye bye, Dave! 5. After 10 million references to Blackpool, Darcey still confused it with Brighton! (I can’t judge – I’m hazy about anything outside Zone 2.)

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