One of the brilliant things about Strictly is that it’s not necessarily the calibre of the celebrities that makes the show. Fame may elicit a few votes at the start of each series. But what really counts is how you gel with your partner – and frankly, whether or not you come across well on live television.
Casualty actress Georgina Bouzova is hardly a household name, but her crumbling under partner James Jordan’s military regime was fascinating viewing two years ago.
Mis-teeq’s Alesha Dixon may have been well known to the younger generation, but she had to endear herself to the majority of the audience on her way to victory last year.
So even though this series’ line-up has been leaked to the Sun, what really matters is who they’re partnered with – and if they’re nice. Really. Gabby Logan and James Jordan – yes, him again – were amazing dancers. But I suspect their insane, eye-bulging, competitive natures scared off the voters, meaning they were eliminated early last year.
Next month, according to the Sun, we should be watching S Club 7’s Rachel Stevens, along with M People’s Heather Small, model and ex of George Clooney Lisa Snowdon, model and equestrian Jodie Kidd, and The One Show’s Christine Bleakley.
Fresh from his flag-waving success in Beijing, swimmer Mark Foster let his Strictly engagement slip live on the news yesterday, so he’s a definite, and the other sportsman in the troupe is rugby’s Austin Healey.
GMTV have already given us Fiona Phillips and Kate Garraway, two of the most inept dancers of all time, and now it’s Andrew Castle’s turn to swap the sofa for sequins. As a sportsman, he should perform better, simply because they tend to understand the concept of “hard work” and “training” more than the airy-fairy artistic types. Maybe Cherie Lunghi took on board some of these sporting principles when she played The Manageress.
Holby City provide us with Tom Chambers – who plays Sam Strachan, apparently.
EastEnders give us not one but three contestants – Jessie Wallace, Gillian Taylforth and Phil Daniels.
Don Warrington of Rising Damp fame is another set to slip on the shiny shoes, likewise chef Gary Rhodes – hoping no doubt to emulate that other kitchen supremo James Martin, who danced his way to the semi-final with Camilla Dallerup in series 3. And the most random contender of all – former political correspondent John Sergeant.
The line-up should be officially confirmed later this week, but the word on the street is that there’s a much more important piece of news that’ll be made public then – again, according to the Sun, this may be Bruce Forsyth’s last series.
Who can ever replace dear old Brucie? My money is on Strictly pro, and now doyen of daytime TV, Anton du Bec.
Courtesy: Carrie Dunn, guardian.co.uk