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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Strictly Z List


I don't know how they decide which dancer gets which "celebrity" on Strictly Come Dancing but I always imagine it being like the draw for the FA cup. A couple of bufton tuftons shake up a bag, someone pulls out a ball and a sonorous voice says "Natalie Cassidy". Another shake, another ball, and it's "Vincent Simone".

Otherwise, I can't think how else poor little Vincent could have ended up with the heffalump who used to be in EastEnders.

After all the fuss about BBC bosses getting rid of Arlene, and then "ageing" Karen Hardy stepping down, I thought we were really in for a celebrity studded feast to give The X Factor a run for its money.

Wrong. Not only has the BBC bitten the hand that feeds it, by upsetting SCD's loyal fan base of people older than 25, but they can't be offering much money to attract such a lacklustre list of celebrities (note I used inverted commas for the word earlier.)

To give them their due, a couple of the sportspeople are genuinely successful and don't have the epithet "the former" in front of their names. There's Martina Hingis who would still be playing tennis if she hadn't been banned for taking cocaine. Joe Calzaghe is at least an undefeated world boxing champion. Jade Johnson is a long jumper who hasn't exactly set the world on light yet (two silvers in the 2002 European Championships and Commonwealth Games.) The rest are "formers" like Phil Tufnell who turns up for the opening of an envelope.

Then there are the other celebrities. Lynda Bellingham is the token old bird at 61 although she will hate that. At least she has a solid and constant body of work behind her including appearances on Loose Women and a stage role in Calendar Girls. I am quite interested in Jo Wood, the long-suffering and gorgeous wife of ridiculous old Rolling Stone Ronnie, but I bet Brendan Cole is spitting feathers at having to squire an old 'un (sorry but she is over 50 and that's prehistoric in BBC terms.)

But if you don't watch the soaps (and we don't), the likes of Ricky Groves and some unknowns from Footballers' Wives and Hollyoaks mean nothing. Mind, we then have an underclass below even them with a Breakfast Time sports presenter and a Crimewatch presenter. Zzzzz. So much for the likes of Linford Christie, Fern Britton and Richard Madeley whose names were leaked in the usual run-up to the announcement.

Another interesting thing I noticed is that with the demise of Karen Hardy, there are no professional British female dancers in the show. Why is this? It seems to have been invaded by Eastern Europe. Stalwart and favourite Camilla Dallerup is also missing, perhaps because she got married recently. She surely can't be too old, although you never can tell with the BBC's ridiculous obsession with yoof.

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