Countdown to Strictly

It’s not that I’m obsessed with Strictly Come Dancing, it’s that…

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Anyway, today they launched the publicity machine for the new series. Most exciting. It starts on the 20th September, and there are two extra couples this year – although three new professional dancers, as Nicole Cutler is bizarrely missing – so it’ll run 14 weeks. Hooray!

The Sunday results show is back, and is extended to 45mins. I was a bit unsure about the Sunday show last year – it’s all filmed on the Saturday night, so it can feel a bit false when Bruce / Tess use ambiguous time references. And I have to be careful to avoid the Strictly sites on Sunday, as the studio audience hit the forums on Saturday night and report the results. But it did win me over eventually, as they put on a good show, with a decent professional routine every week (and I’ve no idea where they find time to rehearse those). The main site is also explicitly pointing out that Sunday isn’t a live show, which is a step up.

It Takes Two is also returning on weeknights, with Claudia presenting (yay!). Thankfully I’m not so obsessed with the show that I watch…

Anyway, all this means that from mid-September to Christmas there’ll be Strictly every day. THIS IS AWESOME.

Today was also the first official reveal of the celebrities. First jumbled thoughts:

  • Totally unfair initial impressions suggest there are at least four very strong couples, but you couldn’t write any of them off, other than possibly John+Kristina. It seems a little more balanced than previous years, and could be quite the scrap.
  • I’m glad Karen has a possible contender this year. I like Karen.
  • Gotta feel sorry for Anton. Gillian Taylforth isn’t that old, obviously, but is probably a bit above the average. As ever.
  • I’ve had complaints about the dearth of young male totty. I pointed out Sam Strachan (I think he has a real name, but that’s who he is in my head), and was informed that this does not compare to Rachel Stevens, Christine Bleakley and Jodie Kidd. Fair enough. Can’t bring myself to care, though.
  • Christine Bleakley is going to have a hell of a workload if she goes on presenting The One Show. I think she’s well positioned for the insanity of the public vote, though – I mean, who doesn’t like Christine? (not like that, although yes, but she’s generally very endearing on The One Show. Not that I watch…oh, who am I kidding).
  • I note they’re all ex-Eastenders actors this time around. I imagine the two can’t coexist, as every Eastenders dancer so far has left the show the same winter.
  • What’s going on with the Heather Small / Brian Fortune photo on the contestants site? Couldn’t he have picked her up or something?

Tickets are randomly selected via a lottery, thank goodness. I’d better update my previous posts on the subject, or I’ll be inundated.

23 days to go.