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Strictly Game Dancing 6 – BBC and the semantic tap-dance

Night  out at the Queen Vic darlin'?

Night out at the Queen Vic darlin'?

Strictly Game Dancing 6 – BBC Oct 11th 2009

Tired: me or the format? Not sure. A week to rest more on the pleasure in the company of those you watch it with than the show itself. Chris minced; Jo/Joe escaped again; Craig got lucky; Tuffers wriggled out of post-operative DVT; Laila forgave; Rugged Ricky disappointed Alesha – perhaps one of life’s rarer emotional events; Unrugged Ricky lost his neck; Nats recovered her nerve; Jade’s Ian wimped long jump; Ali kept Brian on the straight and narrow; and Lynda simply and effectively Fox Walked into the Pink Pantheon of Strictly’s sequinned Hall of quasi-celebrity. The only suspense this week was whether judging by the progressive minimalism in Ola’s dresses she and Chris will next week debut a stark naked Paso Doble. That could be fun: Len would faint; Craig would cringe; Alesha would say “well done”; Bruno would finally spontaneously combust; and Craig would phone his mum to bring in his Y-fronts.

Toughest dance of the week in training was the semantic tap dance. The Beeb knew all the steps – but couldn’t get them in the right order; Brucie messed up a classic racial u-turn forgetting that when a mate is digging himself a hole helping him out of it does not entail grabbing a shovel, jumping in and double digging. Even this week’s controversy seemed a bit tired: the usual philosophical fallacy about language brought out the great, the not-so-great, the ineffably pompous and much well-meaning muddle. As that nifty little Viennese Waltzer Ludwig Wittgenstein once put it: ‘meaning is use” i.e the meaning of a term is found in the use to which it is put. The use of language is an action; action is intentional; and an intention is the product of a guiding mind – though in the case of Anton du Berke we must make an exception.

One only has to look at the vast expance of Berkie’s Brucie-clone face to exonerate him from anything as purposeful as racism. Indeed one looks in vain for any sign of life, intelligent or otherwise, behind that vapid visage. Whether the Berke’s infamous remark was the crassest, stupidest effort at a bad joke since the American people elected George W Bush President, I don’t know but the cynic in me wondered how this private idiocy ended up on the national news. This year’s cleverly contrived cross-marketing from the BBC perhaps: from Strictly to News 24 with a seamlessly accomplished whisk turn. Howda like them apples X-Factor?

Truth be told I’m not sure that the problem with this year’s Strictly isn’t that the celebs are all nice but dull. Why it’s beginning to look at times almost as if it is just a dance programme.

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