Last year, someone dropped out of Strictly Come Dancing with about a biscuit and a half to go before all the celebrities were due to be announced. Nobody’s saying who it was, but it’s because of them that we got to see the hips and the moves of Richard Dunwoody.
So that was a success all round.
The Mystery Celebrity tried it out, thought long and hard about how very much they prefer a game of soldiers and vanished with only the production team and the professional dancer knowing who that masked man was.
It’s happened before, you could’ve bet that it would happen again but it can’t now. The reveal of who this year’s celebrities are to be was originally going to come out this Saturday night in the new launch show. Given that it’s being recorded today at BBC Television Centre, someone had a Damascus moment and realised they weren’t going to be able to keep it out of tomorrow’s papers.
So instead, the celebrities were leaked and the officially announced late last night – and the new twist is that neither we nor the celebrities know who the professional dancers will be. If that’s entirely true, the first time the celebrities meet their partner and have a good go is sometime this morning.
Maybe the people who got tickets to today’s recording aren’t as lucky as they thought.
But if there’s no cooling off period for celebrities to change their mind and run away this year, that’s really more a problem for them than for us. We’ll get to see the ones who are truly suffering, and you are very cruel for thinking of that.
It’s a questionable move and it’ll be interesting to see if the launch show idea is repeated next year, but you do have the sense that things are being shaken up that needed to be shaken up. This year you’ve heard of at least most of the celebrities, for one thing. And Alesha Dixon is back judging.
So there’s swings and roundabouts.
There’s also some very, very odd photography. Last year the official Strictly photos were done under tight security and at the last minute but almost all of them were very strikingly well done shots. This year, all the official ones are truly dreadful: they look like they were taken on a phone and they’ve ramped up the cheesiness to a degree one can only hope the show does not follow.
Roll up, roll up: see for yourself Patsy Kensit trying to hold her stomach in, Peter Shilton looking like you’ve just ordered the wrong wine and Paul Daniels rather resembling Golum.
That’s a link to the official BBC Strictly Come Dancing site. You can also get news of the show on Radio Times but note that unfortunately there won’t be an RT Strictly blog this year.