Category Archives: ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

This Week in TV – 26th October – 1st November

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – from real car crashes on Sky to potential ones on ITV – in the form of Prize Island

Saturday 26th October

Strictly Come Dancing

BBC1, 6:30pm

As the winter nights draw in (don’t forget to put your clock back tonight!), what better way to spend your Saturday nights than with Strictly – seemingly the only talent show on TV in which the judges don’t feel the need to orchestrate bitchfights, take forever and a day to make decisions or out Operation Yewtree suspects live on air (unless Sharon Osbourne meant something else when she called a  backing dancing a “paedophile” last week…). 'Strictly Come Dancing' - BBC1, 6:30pm

I’m much preferring this series of Strictly to X Factor – and it appears that you lot are, too, with the BBC1 show regularly getting over 1.5 million viewers more than its ITV rival. Of course, it could be argued that the ratings are academic as the two shows overlap now by a mere fifteen minutes, and even if they didn’t people would still be able to watch them both, such is the brilliance of Sky+ and the like, but they’re nice to hear about to gauge which is doing better.

So, what’s happening on Strictly this week? Well, Abbey and Aljaž are dancing to Olly Murs’s ‘Dear Darlin’’ while favourite-to-go Fiona Fullerton will be dancing with Anton to ‘If My Friends Could See Me Now’’. Meanwhile, my personal favourite (and, I think it’d be fair to say, the ‘Lisa Riley’ of this year) Mark Benton will be performing a Waltz with his partner Iveta Lukosiute to OneRepublic’s ‘Apologize’. It surely can’t top last week’s MC Hammer-inspired Cha Cha (pictured), though?

Also today: A whole host of record breakers battle it out in Pointless Celebrities (BBC1, 5:40pm); it’s possibly the campest The Chase: Celebrity Special yet as Linda Robson, Christopher Biggins and Dancing on Ice’s Jason Gardiner and Ashley Roberts all compete (ITV, 7:00pm); and Naomi Campbell, Stephen Merchant and a third of the X Factor judging panel are on The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV, 10:00pm).

Sunday 27th October

Prize Island 

ITV, 5:40pm

I’m writing about this new game show not because I think it is going to be any good but because I’m intrigued by it. I’m intrigued by how little faith ITV itself has in it.'Prize Island' - ITV, 5:40pm

Prize Island has been developed by Richard Osman (off of Pointless), is presented by Alexander Armstrong (also off of Pointless) and Big Brother’s (and pretty much everything else’s) Emma Willis and sees couples compete in a variety of challenges to win prizes. The twist? It was filmed in Mozambique. So, it may not surprise you to learn that it has cost ITV quite a lot of money.

But it seems that everyone is embarrassed by it – not least ITV, who postponed it from the spring to now – around six months later. It also doesn’t fill me with confidence that the show has not had any publicity or hype surrounding it, and has been shunted into this unenviable time slot.

I suppose we’ll have to wait and see if it’s a success. I’m going to go out on a limb, however, and say that it won’t be. At all.

Also today: New magazine shows Sunday Side Up (terrible title) with Stephen Mulhern at 10:30am and Sunday Scoop (a slightly more understandable title) with Loose Women Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams at 11:30am on ITV; Bill Turnbull presents Big Sing: The UK’s Top 10 Hymns (BBC1, 4:15pm); Great Continental Railway Journeys (with Michael Portillo) and A Very English Education (with Hannah Berryman) are on BBC2 at 8:00pm and 9:00pm, respectively; Bob Mortimer and Katherine Ryan are on Was It Something I Said? (Channel 4, 10:00pm); and Scream: The True Story is on Channel 5 at 11:10pm.

Monday 28th October

Release the Hounds 

ITV2, 10:00pm

Once again, an intriguing show.

In this one-off game show, hosted by Reggie Yates, contestants must try to unlock three chests  which are filled with money. Sounds simple enough,'Release the Hounds' - ITV2, 10:00pm right?

Wrong, because what the three contestants – and friends – must do to get this cash is work their way through a dark forest late at night, completing all manner of scary tasks to obtain the keys which unlock the chests. However, even when they get to the chests, there will be a pack of hounds waiting – and on guard. If the contestants manage to outrun the hounds, they win the money. But if they don’t…

Who knows?

Also today: Saints and Scroungers returns (BBC1, 11:00am); Harry Hill’s TV Burp comes to Gold (for repeats, I should add) at 6:00pm; Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green begins (ITV, 8:00pm); Ripper Street is back (BBC1, 9:00pm); one-off documentary OCD Ward is on ITV (9:00pm); John Hannah narrates documentary Timeshift (BBC4, 9:00pm); Strike Back: Shadow Warfare returns (Sky1, 9:00pm); and Tommy Robinson and Mo Ansar lock horns as they compare their views on British Muslims in Quitting the English Defence League: When Tommy Met Mo (BBC1, 10:35pm).

Tuesday 29th October

The Escape Artist 

BBC1, 9:00pm

David Tennant and Sophie Okonedo star in this three-part, suspense'The Escape Artist' - BBC1, 9:00pm-filled thriller about a gifted  junior barrister who invariably manages to get people out of tight legal corners – thus his nickname, ‘The Escape Artist’.

The BBC seem to be keeping their cards quite close to their chest with this one – they’re not giving away too much plot. This has to be a good thing though: it means there’ll be more suspense and twists and turns packed into the next three weeks. We do know, however, that Will (Tennant) may soon regret using his excellence to acquit a man accused of murder as he soon feels the very serious repercussions.

Also today: The Great British Bake Off Masterclass (BBC2, 7:00pm); Autumnwatch (BBC2) and Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners (Channel 4) return at 8:00pm; The Wrong Mans (9:00pm) and The Sarah Millican Television Programme (9:30pm) conclude on BBC2; On the Run is on ITV, following its postponement in August (9:00pm); Disowned & Disabled takes a look at how children with disabilities were treated during the second World War (BBC4, 9:00pm); and Imagine is back (BBC1, 10:35pm), with Jimi Hendrix as its first subject.

Wednesday 30th October

I Lost Weight But Lost My Husband! 

Channel 5, 9:00pm

You are forgiven for initially thinking that this is a Take a Break headline. It isn’t. It is in fact the title of a one-off documentary on Channel 5 (where else?) tonight.

I Lost Weight But Lost My Husband! meets a variety of people for whom weight loss has spelled the end of relationships. There’s: Cheryl (no, not the Royle Family character), who dropped an astonishing 24 dress sizes, but whose husband had an affair; Dave, who became so obsessed with his weight that he began to consider cheating on his wife, who had also shed the pounds; and Jo and Darren, who, after eleven years together, are witnessing cracks beginning to show in their marriage, but hope to stop this by seeking therapy.

Also today: The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow (Sky1, 6:00pm); Ben Fogle’s Animal Clinic (Channel 5, 8:00pm); the conclusion of what has been a fantastic series of Mount Pleasant (Sky Living, 9:00pm); and one-off documentary The Dark Matter of Love (BBC4, 10:00pm).

Thursday 31st October

Drifters 

E4, 9:00pm

This new comedy-drama has been described as the female version of The Inbetweeners, and it’s easy to see why.

As well as being executive produced by Inbetweeners co-writer Iain Morris and slightly naughty in its'Drifters' - E4, 9:00pm gags, Drifters is written by and stars The Inbetweeners Movie star Jessica Knappett, alongside Lydia Rose Bewley and Lauren O’Rourke, who also appeared in the film hit.

The series follows three young women – Laura, Meg and Bunny – as they leave university and begin to question their present and future in the big wide world. Along the way they try to figure out everything about their lives: from career prospects to lifestyle choices and who they want to have sex with.

All of the important questions in life.

Also today: Documentary series Jews on Bikes (Sky Atlantic, 8:00pm); Bedlam (Channel 4, 9:00pm) shows the day-to-day lives of psychiatric patients in a mental health hospital; Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars in the small screen adaptation of Dracula (Sky Living, 9:00pm); and this week’s Up All Night (Channel 4, 10:00pm) follows those who work around the clock in Manchester, and are on call morning, noon and night.

Friday 1st November

A League of Their Own 

Sky1 HD, 9:00pm

Yes, another series of the hilarious sports quiz has almost come and gone, but before the final  highlights package next Friday there’s just time to squeeze in this 30 minute special, showing the rally car'A League of Their Own' - Sky1 HD, 9:00pm race (from episode one) in its entirety.

Now, ALOTO fans will likely remember exactly what happened when James, Freddie, Jack, Jamie, Jimmy Carr and Amy Williams went rally car racing in Wales. Basically, Freddie Flintoff (pictured) crashed, meaning that a £100,000 car had to be written off. It was quite something.

Remind yourself of what went on during tonight’s special.

Also today: Chris Tarrant Goes Fishing (well he’s got nothing better to do now that Millionaire’s been axed, has he?) on Channel 5 at 7:00pm; Christine Bleakley presents travel series Off the Beaten Track (ITV, 8:00pm); Kirsty Young presents Have I Got News For You (BBC1, 9:00pm); Michael Flatley is on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories (ITV, 9:00pm); Britain’s Funniest Comedy Characters gets a repeat (Channel 5, 9:00pm); Jo Brand, Danny Baker and Marcus Brigstocke are on QI (BBC2, 10:00pm); James Corden and Joan Collins pull up a pew for Alan Carr: Chatty Man (Channel 4, 10:00pm); Pink Floyd: A Delicate Sound of Thunder is on BBC4 at 10:00pm; it’s yet another star-studded Graham Norton Show at 10:35pm on BBC1 as Sir Elton John, Dame Judi Dench, Jay-Z and John Bishop drop by; Stand Up for the Week returns, with new host Paul Chowdhry (Channel 4, 11:05pm); and comedy pilot Going Native is on BBC3 at 11:45pm. Phew! That was a long list.

Are you particularly looking forward to any of these shows or is there something else from the world of TV which you want to have your say about? Feel free to comment below or tweet me –@UKTVReviewer.

Image credits: Strictly Come Dancing – Thanks to BBC and Guy Levy, ©BBC; Prize Island – Thanks to ITV and Endemol, ©Endemol; Release the Hounds – Thanks to ITV, Sony Pictures Television 2013 and Gogglebox Productions, ©Sony Pictures Television 2013; The Escape Artist – Thanks to BBC, Endor Productions and Steffan Hill, ©Endor Productions; Drifters – Thanks to Channel 4, Zodiac Media Company and Pete Dadds; A League of Their Own – Thanks to BSkyB, Wales News Service and Tom Martin, ©Wales News Service.

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This Week in TV – 7th – 13th September

Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – with something for everyone, whether you like your reality TV, wartime dramas or daytime discussions.

Saturday 7th September

Strictly Come Dancing

BBC1, 6:50pm

It doesn’t seem two minutes since gymnast Louis Smith lifted that glitterball, but now a brand new batch of 15 famous faces are preparing to take to the dancefloor for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The 2013 season kicks off tonight as we see the celebrities arrive to be introduced to their dance partners and perform their first group number, which of course will be overseen by the fearsome foursome that is Len Goodman, Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Mr Nasty himself, Craig Revel Horwood. But who are the contenders for this year’s prize? Well – ladies first – there’s…

Mrs. Peter Crouch, Abbey Clancy

Abbey Clancy

Trying to avoid ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’, singer, Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Broadcaster, Vanessa Feltz

Vanessa Feltz

James Bond actress, Fiona Fullerton

Fiona Fullerton

Coronation Street actress, Natalie Gumede

Natalie Gumede

Businesswoman and Dragons’ Den star, Deborah Meaden

Deborah Meaden

Newsreader, Susanna Reid

Susanna Reid

Countdown’s resident maths whizz, Rachel Riley

Rachel Riley

And now for the boys:

Casualty actor, Patrick Robinson

Patrick Robinson

Former rugby union player (or, as I know him, former Attitude cover star), Ben Cohen

Ben Cohen

Fashion designer and Next Top Model regular, Julien Macdonald

Julien Macdonald

Golf pro, Tony Jacklin

Tony Jacklin

Hairy Biker, Dave Myers

Dave Myers

Hollyoaks actor, Ashley Taylor Dawson

Ashley Taylor Dawson

Waterloo Road and Early Doors star, Mark Benton

Mark Benton

God I love Mark Benton’s picture!

At the moment it seems that Natalie Gumede and Rachel Riley are the favourites to take the crown – before any of them have even taken to the dancefloor! Personally I think it’s far too early to tell. I mean, this time last year I’m sure people wouldn’t have tipped Lisa Riley to wow the judges, and might have had their money on Denise Van Outen winning.

The launch show also features performances from Rod Stewart, Jessie J and last year’s winner, Louis Smith, alongside his dance partner Flavia Cacace – who sadly will not feature in this year’s series.

Also today: James Martin serves up another series of Saturday Kitchen Live (BBC1, 10:00am); Vernon Kay and Mel Giedroyc are on That Puppet Game Show (BBC1, 5:00pm); stars of Blue Peter, EastEnders and the Harry Potter films take part in – a quite varied – Pointless Celebrities (BBC1, 6:00pm); one couple gets the boot in the fledgling Stepping Out (ITV, 6:30pm); there’s a Time Team Special on More4 (6:55pm); The X Factor continues (ITV, 8:00pm); Denise Van Outen and Jonathan Ross join Dave Berry and Keith Lemon for some more Through the Keyhole (ITV, 9:00pm); Italian drama The Young Montalbano comes to BBC4 (9:00pm); and film The Krays is on ITV4 at 10:15pm.

Sunday 8th September

Hitler’s Rise: The Colour Films 

Channel 4, 8:00pm

This two-part documentary, beginning tonight, follows Adolf Hitler’s rise to power.'Hitler's Rise: The Colour Films' - Channel 4, 8:00pm

The first episode shows how the young Führer was for a long time pampered by his mother, despite failing at pretty much everything and avoiding military service. However, Germany’s defeat in World War I awoke something in him, and he soon became a strong politician and nationalist, leading a small right-wing group.

After being imprisoned in 1924, Hitler tried to resume his battle for power, but Germans tended to just regard him as a deluded soul who was merely on the periphery of the country’s politics.

Next Sunday, the second episode will document how Hitler quickly rose to power and, unbeknownst to Germans, prepared for war.

Also today: Bugsy Malone (Channel 4, 2:25pm); Nothing to Declare returns (Sky Living, 4:00pm); Robert De Niro is in Stardust (Channel 4, 5:20pm); find out which of last night’s auditionees progressed to Boot Camp in The X Factor (ITV, 8:00pm); Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy premieres on Channel 4 (9:00pm); Mr & Mrs Smith is on Channel 5 (10:00pm); and Rude Tube returns (E4, 10:00pm).

Monday 9th September

Loose Women 

ITV, 12:30pm

An unusual choice, you might think, but there is a lot to talk about with the return of Loose Women – as some panellists’ jobs appear to be in jeopardy.

Helen Warner, the woman who created Loose Women back in 1999, has recently returned to the network as Director of Daytime, having worked in a similar position at Channel 4 for five years.  Therefore, she now has power over Loose Women again – and is reportedly not happy with how the'Loose Women' - ITV, 12:30pm show has gone off track and is no longer the current affairs discussion show which she played a part in creating. As a result, a huge shake-up is apparently imminent, and Carol Vorderman (pictured) – who began anchoring the show in 2011 – is favourite to go. Now I like Carol (in fact I like all of the Loose Women, now that Lesley Garrett is no longer there) so would be sad to see her be booted off the panel. If Warner’s vision of Loose Women’s future is one without Carol, however, so be it. At this stage, we’re still not entirely sure what’s going to happen.

As for the other Loose Women, could it perhaps be a case of ‘last in, first out’? After all, Shobna Gulati only began on the show earlier this year, and Sally Lindsay (who joined in 2011) seldom appears, as she asked for her hours to be reduced to allow her to spend more time with her children. Plus, Linda Robson now has her Birds of a Feather commitments (the revival for ITV is currently filming), so I doubt it would be a huge disadvantage to her if she left. As I said, I like all of the panellists – especially Sally – but wouldn’t it make more sense for one of the latecomers to go, rather than established members like Denise, Jane or Sherrie? Like I said, we don’t know what Warner has planned. One thing is for sure, though: there will be a big McGiff-shaped hole when Loose Women returns, as Celebrity Big Brother contestant Carol has quit the show after a decade. Shame.

Anyway, enough about the backstage goings-on, who’s coming up on this series? Well, the Loose Ladies return with Martin Clunes today and then the week continues with: Chatty Man himself, Alan Carr (Tuesday); Rylan Clark and Celia Imrie (Wednesday); Gok Wan (Thursday); and Whitechapel’s Steve Pemberton and Sheffield  (well, according to Keith Lemon) chef Gino D’Acampo round off the week on Friday.

Also today: Dominic Littlewood presents Street Patrol UK (BBC1, 11:00am); The Alan Titchmarsh Show returns (ITV, 3:00pm); Alexis Conran finds out more about US con men in Hustling America (Channel 5, 7:00pm); and Blackout, a one-off docudrama about a cyber attack on the National Grid, is on Channel 4 at 9:00pm.

Tuesday 10th September

Building the Dream 

More4, 9:00pm

In this new ten-part series, architectural designer Charlie Luxton helps people build their ideal homes from scratch, showing that achieving your dream doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank.

The series will see Charlie help people across the country – starting off in Hertfordshire – turn an empty plot of land into their dream building and finally own a place which they have helped create and matches their lifestyles.

Along the way, the budding homeowners are sent to visit others who also built their houses from nothing. However, it’s up to them whether they follow Charlie and his team’s advice or try to create a building their way.

Also today: New series Britain on Film starts by looking at how Look at Life mirrored the nation’s interests (BBC4, 8:30pm); and challenge series Nitro Circus returns to ITV4 (10:00pm).

Wednesday 11th September

The Wipers Times 

BBC2, 9:00pm

Written by Nick Newman and Ian Hislop, this one-off wartime drama focuses on the true story of the founding of The Wipers Times – a trench magazine published between 1916 and 1918.

Captain Fred Roberts (Ben Chaplin) and Lieutenant Jack Pearson (Julian Rhind-Tutt) discover a printing press in'The Wipers Times' - BBC2, 9:00pm the bombed-out ruins of Ypres in 1916, and decide to create a satirical magazine to raise the troops’ spirits. They call it The Wipers Times (after the way the soldiers pronounced ‘Ypres’), and its satirical style and wry jokes could be said to have influenced publications such as The Onion and Private Eye, of which Ian Hislop is the current editor.

The paper does the trick and proves to be a fantastic antidote to the horrors of war, although Roberts and Pearson’s superior officers don’t see the funny side and try to get the newspaper shut down – thankfully to no avail.

After the war suddenly ends, Roberts goes on to land his dream job of working for a newspaper. The question is whether he’ll be able to hold it down?

Also today: Gregg Wallace and Philippa Forrester present Harvest (BBC2, 8:00pm); Big Star’s Little Star continues with Duncan James, Sinitta and Robbie Savage and their kids (ITV, 8:00pm); Sarah Millican’s search of her ancestry takes her to Canada in Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC1, 9:00pm); we find out which celebrity has just missed out on the Final in the Celebrity Big Brother: Live Eviction (Channel 5, 9:00pm); Professor Alice Roberts presents Sex: A Horizon Guide, which needs little explanation (BBC4, 9:00pm); Nigel Harman joins the cast of the brilliant Mount Pleasant (Sky Living, 9:00pm); Jack Whitehall joins Adam, Josh and Alex to discuss who’s ‘being a dick’, and more, on The Last Leg (Channel 4, 10:00pm); and John Barrowman hosts the National Lottery Stars ceremony (BBC1, 10:35pm).

Thursday 12th September

Peaky Blinders 

BBC2, 9:00pm

Set just after World War I, this new six-part drama follows a family from Birmingham who are the most powerful gang of criminals in the city, the Peaky Blinders.'Peaky Blinders' - BBC2, 9:00pm

Thomas Shelby (pictured) is the head of the gang, who are so-called for their practice of sewing razor blades into the tips of their caps, and has recently come into possession of a crate of guns. He is urged by Aunt Polly, the family matriarch, to get rid of them, but Thomas isn’t someone who takes orders well. However, her advice may prove to be invaluable as Chief Inspector Campbell has just arrived from Belfast, and has been ordered by Winston Churchill himself to recover the guns.

Also on Campbell’s list of suspects is Freddie Thorne, a communist and Thomas’s former best friend, who is also having an affair with Ada: Thomas’s sister.

Just imagine Channel 4’s recent drama, Run – only set nearly a century ago.

Also today: Crimewatch (BBC1, 9:00pm), which includes the unsolved case of Nikki Allan, who was killed aged seven in Sunderland; documentary The Teenage Exorcists (BBC3, 9:00pm) follows three American teenagers’ work in London; Sound of the Cinema: The Music That Made the Movies begins (BBC4, 9:00pm); Pscyho prequel, Bates Motel begins on Universal (Sky channel 113, Virgin Media channel, 137) at 9:00pm; and Question Time is back (BBC1, 10:45pm).

Friday 13th September

Celebrity Super-Spa 

Channel 5, 10:00pm'Celebrity Super-Spa' - Channel 5, 10:00pm

This brand-new reality series sees six celebrities train to become beauty therapists.

Guided by salon supremo Herbert Howe, stars Helen Flanagan, Yvette Fielding, Rustie Lee, John Burton Race, James ‘Arg’ Argent and Jody Latham will learn how to pluck, preen and pamper guests at their own spa.

Over six weeks we will follow the contestants’ highs and lows before one of them is eventually crowned the first Celebrity Super-Spa champion!

Also today: Gino’s Italian Escape begins (ITV, 8:00pm); Rylan Clark’s successor is announced in the Celebrity Big Brother: Live Final (Channel 5, 8:30 & 11:00pm); Dermot O’Leary presents the first ever BRITs Icon, with the award going to Sir Elton John (ITV, 9:00pm); Lee Mack, Bob Mortimer and Adam Hills are guests on a one-off 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown – of which there now seem to be more episodes than 8 Out of 10 Cats itself (Channel 4, 9:00pm); Noel Fielding and Colin Lake make their QI debuts alongside Ross Noble, Alan and Stephen (BBC2, 10:00pm); Bake Off stars Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are on Alan Carr: Chatty Man, along with the world’s most infamous twerker, Miley Cyrus (Channel 4, 10:00pm); and Rylan and AJ talk to tonight’s winners and losers on Celebrity Big Brother’s Bit on the Side (Channel 5, 11:30pm).

Are you particularly looking forward to any of these shows or is there something else from the world of TV which you want to have your say about? Feel free to comment below or tweet me –@UKTVReviewer.

Image credits: Strictly Come Dancing – All images courtesy of Ray Burmiston, ©BBC; Hitler’s Rise: The Colour Films – Thanks Channel 4; Loose Women – Thanks to Steve Meddle, ©ITV; The Wipers Times – Thanks to BBC, Trademark Productions and Helen Sloan, ©Trademark Productions; Peaky Blinders – Thanks to BBC, Tiger Aspect and Robert Viglasky, ©Tiger Aspect; Celebrity Super-Spa – ©Five

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ 2013: The Line-Up Revealed

After weeks of speculation, tonight judge Darcey Bussell appeared on The One Show to reveal the 15 celebrities who make up the cast of 2013.

Some were already confirmed, some were quite surprising – but who are they? Well – ladies first – there’s:

 

Mrs. Peter Crouch – Abbey Clancy

Abbey Clancy 

Trying to avoid ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’, singer, Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Sophie Ellis-Bextor 

Broadcaster, Vanessa Feltz

Vanessa Feltz 

James Bond actress, Fiona Fullerton

Fiona Fullerton 

Coronation Street actress, Natalie Gumede

Natalie Gumede 

Businesswoman and Dragons’ Den star, Deborah Meaden

Deborah Meaden 

Newsreader, Susanna Reid

Susanna Reid 

Countdown’s resident maths whizz, Rachel Riley

Rachel Riley 

And now for the boys:

 

Casualty actor, Patrick Robinson

Patrick Robinson 

Former rugby union player, Ben Cohen

Ben Cohen 

Fashion designer and Next Top Model regular, Julien Macdonald

Julien Macdonald 

Golf pro, Tony Jacklin

Tony Jacklin 

Hairy Biker, Dave Myers

Dave Myers 

Hollyoaks actor, Ashley Taylor Dawson

Ashley Taylor Dawson 

Waterloo Road and Early Doors star, Mark Benton

Mark Benton 

 

So there we have this year’s contestants. I wonder who will be the one to take Louis Smith’s crown  as Strictly champion?

Contestant images courtesy of Ray Burmiston, all images ©BBC

Strictly Come Dancing Series 11 launches on Saturday at 6:50pm on BBC1

What do you think of this year’s Strictly line-up? Is there anyone who you are particularly looking forward to seeing? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer.

You can also see what’s coming up on TV in the coming week on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Launch Show

Now into its tenth run, Strictly returned to BBC1 last night, with what I believe to be the best line-up ever.

A CONFESSION

Before we get down to the Launch Show itself, I must make a confession of sorts. I have never willingly watched Strictly before. I know, I know! I mean, I think I watched one a couple of years ago when I stayed over at my nanna’s one night and, then a devout SCD fan, she insisted on us watching it. To be honest, I wasn’t wholly won over and that was my only foray into the world of Strictly.
In fact, last year I wanted to become a viewer but…well…I forgot about it. This year, however, I was fully determined so I set that series link, got back from work today and sat down to watch it – and I loved it!

STRICTLY CAMP DANCING

When I say that the show is over-the-top, theatrical and camp, I know die-hard Strictly fans will think, Well obviously! And of course I knew it would be somewhat camp but I couldn’t believe just how much so.
As well as the revelation about the show’s theatricality, I also discovered something else during this Launch Show: Sir Bruce is actually capable of telling a funny joke!

“Now you may see that there’s a new face on the panel…yes, Craig’s had some work done over the summer again.”

The new face Bruce was alluding to, of course, was Darcey Bussell, the newest addition to Strictly‘s ever-changing judging line-up – and a great one at that! It really is refreshing to see a talent show with judges who haven’t been booked for their celebrity status, but more for their knowledge in their field. That’s more than I can say for a certain other talent show I could mention…

So, to the Strictly Class of 2012. This year I think I know the most of any line-up I’ve ever seen on any other ‘celebrity talent show’…type…thingy. So, we’ll start with the female celebrities and their professional dancing partners:

Tracy Beaker and Dani’s House star Dani Harmer, with her dancing partner Vincent Simone

Presenter Denise Van Outen, with her dancing partner James Jordan

Author and TV personality Fern Britton, with her dancing partner Artem Chigvintsev

Former model Jerry Hall, with her dancing partner Anton Du Beke

Girls Aloud’s Kimberley Walsh, with her dancing partner Pasha Kovalev

Emmerdale and You’ve Been Framed! star Lisa Riley, with her dancing partner Robin Windsor

Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton, with her dancing partner Brendan Cole

There’s not one star there who I had never previously heard of, which is great! And now, we have the male celebrities and their professional dancing partners:

James Bond actor Colin Salmon, with his dancing partner Kristina Rihanoff

TV presenter – and father of previous Strictly finalist Zoe – Johnny Ball, with his dancing partner Aliona Vilam

Olympic gymnast Louis Smith, with his dancing partner Flavia Grace

Cricket captain Michael Vaughan, with his dancing partner Natalie Lowe

Westlife’s Nicky Byrne, with his dancing partner Karen Hauer

Daybreak‘s Showbiz Editor Richard Arnold, with his dancing partner Erin Boag

EastEnders‘s Sid Owen, with his dancing partner Ola Jordan

I have to say that I had never heard of Colin, nor Louis before watching last night’s Strictly but, hey, two out of seven ain’t bad, is it?

So, that’s it for a few weeks now – just as Strictly Fever has taken over the UK again, it is forced to die down as the celebs become acquainted with their professional partners and rehearse their first routine.
The show returns on Friday 5th October but until then, KEEEEEEEEP AWAY FROM X FACTOR!

Twitter – @UKTVReviewer

Also, keep up-to-date with the latest TV news, reviews and interviews at www.thecustardtv.com, where some of my articles will also appear.