Remember the days when Strictly Come Dancing was an experimental reality show devised by the BBC to fend off its rival channel’s dominance of Saturday night TV? Now, it’s a brand that has been sold all over the world, made stars of its professional dancers, and dancers – in many cases – of its stars. On our dedicated Strictly page, HuffPostUK Entertainment assesses the chances of each of this year’s contestants, from the toe-tapping Johnny Ball to the slightly more athletic Louis Smith, Amazonian Jerry Hall to charismatic Lisa Riley, and charts the best dancing performances each week. Judging by the results of previous years, Michael Vaughan has a chance, just because he’s a cricketer, but audiences don’t seem to like their contestants with too much advantage. Matt Baker didn’t win, despite his acrobatics, and this year’s Denise Van Outen has had to defend her West End stage training. Viewers definitely save their biggest cheers for the underdog – John Sergeant, Anne Widdecombe, and the cannon-shooting Russell Grant.
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