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Strictly Come Dancing – Sparklers for Bonfire Night: Lu bows out



Sexagenarian Swinger


Strictly Come Dancing – Sparklers for Bonfire Night

Imagine: the days before political correctness; one of those wonderful Technicolor, Looney Toons cartoon shorts. The setting is a bullring. Thousands of little cartoon Spaniards with wide open rounded mouths are baying for blood in the hot sun. Outside an impossibly fierce, impossibly large bull with impossibly large horns is pawing the ground, nostrils flared, raring to get at the Matador in the ring.

The gate swings open and the impossibly enraged bull hurtles into the ring. Half-way across, being a cartoon bull, he screeches to a halt on two hind legs like a ballerina; a look of terror comes over his face, he shrieks, as only cartoon bulls can, and pirouettes 180? on two hooves, and disappears faster still, in a cloud of dust whence he came, back out of the ring.

Cut to what has so terrified the bull: El Russo Grantero, sitting atop his gently undulating mechanical cow has a smile on his face suggesting he might be enjoying the vibrating movement of the cow more than he should in front of 10million viewers. Dressed like a 4th Amigo with bottle-glass specs, El Russo looks like a cross between Mickey Rooney’s racist Chinaman in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Austin Powers on steroids. La (sic) Grantero is engaged in what we know the absent Len Goodman would have called a bit of camp cape-wafting, before demounting his clockwork cow like Gloria Swanson heading for her close-up with Mr de Mille.

The Russ and Flav Show gets more outrageous and more fun each week. What makes this disarming reincarnation of Benny Hill at his naughtiest, so easy to enjoy is that the guy can dance. Within the limitations imposed by body-shape and age, El Russo did a not-half-bad Paso Doblé ably supported and choreographed as usual by the fabulous Flavia. Truly was Craig, as ever, on the button when he described this energetic display of camp-butch shoulder-wriggling and buttock swinging – “astonishing”. No wonder the bull was terrified.

Save your blushes dear reader, we really must finally, at least make some reference to sex. With that delicious blend of hypocrisy, prurience and deeply embarrassed, furtive, bicycle-shed lust that defines the British, nay the English, approach to matters sexual, the BBC has cunningly managed to put on prime time TV, for mixed-family viewers, long before the watershed – some of the raunchiest, most erotic dancing this side of the Moulin Rouge.

The judges simply compound the ‘offence’ with exhortations to a bit more lust, real passion, more thrustful hips etc etc. Strictly will soon rival Round The Horn for those of you with long memories, in its blatant and persistent use of sexual double-entendres and euphemisms which if objectively unpacked have referred salaciously to all our sexual bits and pieces which we Brits can’t bring ourselves even to name out loud.

I don’t want to squeal on my fellow man but I wonder are there ladies out there who are pleased to have finally managed to ‘persuade’ their man to watch “that rubbish”? Well don’t kid yourself ladies, it has nothing to do with your powers of persuasion. Sneak down early on a Sunday morning and you are quite likely to catch Mr Right replaying his favourite bits of Strictly as an appetizer before Saturday’s Goals of the day.

And don’t get too holier-than-thou ladies, I bet there’s more than a few of you relieved that telepathy remains an unconquered field of science as you watch the super-fit hipsters wriggling their stuff and offering a safe bit of pulsing-pecs-peeping.

On the demure sexual fantasy front, for both sexes, it’s my hunch it’s not so much a question of whether as – which one(s)?

Back to the dancing. (Sigh). Sorry to see Lulu go; possibly the victim of gender-split voting. My hunch is votes are at least 2-1 female and the gentle-giantism of likeable Audley probably persuaded the fickle public to punish Brendan’s bumptiousness. Shame though: Audley’s gone about as far as he can go and Lu had some tiger left in her tank.

Harry (oh he’s your fantasy one is he? Must have been the vestigial shirt) did well in a Samba again choreographed to show off Aliona’s moves rather than his. Anita and Robin made the best of the opportunity presented by the most flattering dance in the Strictly canon – the irrepressible Charleston. Jason’s Rumba proved that acting feelings and passion is no substitute for having them. Polite and pleasant, if bland, guest judge Jennifer Grey spoke for most of we guys when she wondered why Jason couldn’t summon up even a little bit of convincing lust dancing with the leonine Kristina with the nice new haircut.

Good old Girl-Guidey Alex looks more and more sexy every week and despite a heel-in-skirt incident, made the best with James of the second most flattering Strictly dance – the Quickstep. We might expect Robbie to be happier with ball-room and an improving posture helped a stiffly detached Waltz: and it was no surprise to find the effervescent Chelsee flapping furiously in her and Pasha’s Charleston.

The subversive peer group magic of Strictly may just be sneaking under Holly’s professional guard. She was really letting go in a classy, stylish Jive hindered only by Artem’s back injury.

On Sunday night SirBee gathered up more energy and style than any 83 year-old has a right to muster and proved that 60+ years in show-business hasn’t been wasted. A consummately professional performance to prove he’s not just an old guy flogging to death already lifeless gags.

Great fun for bonfire night. And the first Tess dress without bits missing (on Sunday) proved to be the best Tess Dress so far. (I like to stay on top of these things).

Now: where’s that replay button………

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