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BBC Strictly Come Dancing – The Rocking Horror Show


Ant and Dell



Strictly Come Dancing – The Rocking Horror Show

With that scabrous smirk of an adolescent who’s just found his first dirty book, Graham Norton asked his guest Nancy Dell’Olio with pointed emphasis: “Nancy, I’ve always wanted to ask you this – what do you actually do?”Replying with her uniquely characteristic conversational style of stringing together a series of half-completed thoughts in a parallel but unconnected sequence of half-completed sentences – we were of course none-the wiser. The lascivious leprechaun essayed the same question twice more and still nothing recognisably coherent ensued. Focussing on the fact that she is apparently a qualified lawyer, he pressed her to explore that avenue. It appears that La Olio’s branch of the law has something to do with PR and introducing clients to prominent people who might be able to help them. Struggling with the law of Torts it ain’t.

We might also conclude with confidence that there is not much dancing required either. If you feel I’m being a bit hard on our Nancy I refer you to Aleesha’s knee scything remarks, Craig’s cruelly accurate objective assessment and Len’s obvious dislike. However as spaceship Nancy escapes the rarefied atmosphere of Planet Strictly for the last time, I finally realised what her conversational style resembles: it is like talking to someone in outer space, or Australia, much the same thing, where there is a voice time-lag so that by the time the answer comes through it has become weirdly detached from the question that elicited it. The Apocalyptic thought did cross my mind momentarily to wonder when La Olio opined on tonight’s It Takes Two, that the “country is disappointed that I’m out”, whether in fact she was trying a bit of dark English irony. Very momentarily.

So arrivederci bella ma un po ‘matto Nancy. We will miss your idiosyncratic approach to the ballroom art in much the same way as we miss Widdy’s Samba and John Sergeant’s immortal Paso Doble…

I would say – and so down to the serious stuff but Ramblin’ Russ Rumbold is, thank goodness still in, although slightly horse de combat with a dicky knee. Of Flavia’s catsuit I shall merely take a deep private breath and say nothing, but these two oviously love having fun dancing together and their infectious pleasure still comes over for us to share. It is inevitable that the full gender volte face is on the cards and I can already see a behatted Flav passionately and convincingly leading a submissive Russ in an Argentine Tango of delicious sexual ambiguity.

One could only feel for poor Chelsee at what was euphemistically called a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ and her genuine distress in an odd way did her great credit. Everyone was pretty sincerely sensitive and supportive, except de facto the Costume department, but it was nice to see. The sensitivity that is. Naughty reader! In fact, and don’t think too badly of me dear reader, in replay really virtually nothing untoward was revealed. Thankfully. In passing I quite understand and respect the distinction, but it is an interesting feature of our sensibilities that as an actress I suppose Chelsee may well at some time be asked to reveal what she was so desperate to conceal on Saturday night – and that will be OK. My only point is that though paradoxical, that is quite right: it would be ok then but wasn’t ok on Saturday. Don’t worry, I merely remark it: no intention of exploring the issue.

Lulu took off this week in more ways than one. Give this feisty lady something feisty to do and she really goes for it. If they don’t watch out she’ll bungee in through the skylight next week. Nice little dance though once the Lulu had landed.

Audley still struggles to inject a tiny proportion of the natural kinetic energy of his upper body into oddly spindly and stubbornly rhythm free legs – but he does a mean Jerry Lee Lewis on the Joanna. Nats is doing a good job but may be reaching the point of diminishing returns with the likeable smile-filled platypus with the flappy feet.

If Anita’s agent should shuffle off this mortal coil she can take her pick of the judges for a replacement – they appear to be weekly (weakly?) in awe of her “consummate” acting ability. Well ok guys but one of the best songs of the night in Devil Woman, a bright red dress and a couple of snarls doesn’t necessarily represent the zenith of Thespian attainment. Not till we’ve seen Dame Judi’s Jive.

Len as we know has a copious vocabulary for anything not ‘in hold’ which he of course hates. This week it was Alex’s ‘frock-wafting’ which Bruno with his usual acute observation, rightly likened to a resurrected Kate Bush at the time of Heathcliffe. That Craig found this “erotic” is a remark of such enticing sexual promise that if I were Alex I’d take it at face value and run. Like hell.

The ‘real’ dancers are jockeying interestingly for position. Still only on the ‘substitutes’ bench, Robbie may well start the game some week soon with a Paso Doble this time finishing with the moment of the night which was Len and especially Craig’s faces when he launched all he had, which appears to be quite a lot, into their faces atop the Judges desk. Poor Craig nearly dropped his paddle. In excitement.

Holly and Artem’s pastiche of Swan Lake was mercifully kitsch-free and revealed his obvious classical background. Front-runners Jason and Harry are neck and neck. The Quickstep was a gift dance for light-footed Jason and is always a Judge and crowd-pleaser with all the twiddly-bit floor wide traverses which always provokes a round of relieved applause when successfully completed, as we all sit hearts in mouth, afraid that our celeb is gonna get his feet tangled and disappear a*se over t*t into Dave Arch’s bandstand.

Given his lack of acting experience it seems to me Harry can express some powerful emotions very well and is potentially by far the best dancer on show.

So the pumpkins and all the black and red cossies and make-up can be stored away for another year. Back to the Glitter-Arty next week. I’m still waiting for Tess to wear a dress that both hasn’t got any missing parts and which she can move more than 6” at a time in. If this week’s slinky black number was any tighter she’d have had to pogo-stick down the stairs.

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