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Should Strictly Have Been Laid To Rest Along With Brucie?

12/09/2017 14:03 | Updated 6 days ago

Instead of giving it a bit of a reboot, what with a new Head Judge and all, maybe it would have been better if the BBC had simply given its Saturday night entertainment stalwart the boot.

They could have then replaced it with something totally different. Something more befitting the uncertain times we live in. Something such as a new gameshow titled 'The End of Me and EU', where couples consisting of a British national and their non home-born love interest would be allowed to stay together in the country after Brexit, provided they successfully navigated a series of challenges and answered a number of questions designed to demonstrate their allegiance to and knowledge of Blighty.

It would naturally enough be presided over by none other than..."And now ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your hosts, Nigel Farage and Katie Hopkins". At the end of a gruelling few rounds, which would see Roger from Romford and Lina from Lithuania recreate Nelson's historic victory at Trafalgar and recite word for word, Churchill's 'This Was Their Finest Hour' speech, it'd come down to the last question. Unfortunately, Lina would get her Viceroys of India mixed up, thereby confusing The Marquess of Rippon (1880-1884) with The Marquess of Lansdowne (1888-1894). This would leave Nigel to gleefully exclaim: 'I'm sorry Lina, that means you'll immediately be deported. Time to say your goodbyes to Roger".

On second thoughts, the concept is possibly better suited to Channel 5. Or satellite station, Television X. The X obviously standing for Xenophobia.

Ever since Sir Bruce Forsyth left Strictly Come Dancing, it hasn't been the same as it was under his effortless old school showbiz control. Having soft shoe shuffled off this mortal coil, what better tribute could there have been for the man and the programme he made his own than if this is where it had ended?

As soon as his death was known, the powers that be should have announced that along with his demise, the dance contest was also no more. In a fitting celebration they could have broadcast one farewell episode from the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool. In a special ceremony his body would have been buried six feet under the unique sprung floor to be waltzed over by generations of professionals to come. You get the sense the comedic knight would have approved of that.

Sadly though it seems as if the show must go on. So on September 23, it again starts in earnest. We already know who's paired with who. But frankly does anyone genuinely care?

The contestants are the usual bunch of TV soap actors, presenters, barely remembered ex-pop stars, cooks and comedians. The bad news is that this time around there's no politicians. Still, there is a priest, who before he became a man of the cloth used to be one half (alas, the untalented half) of the Communards, whose biggest hit was 'Never Can Say Goodbye'. One suspects Richard Coles will be proving that wrong round about week two or three.

Of course, the only person we're vaguely interested in is Anton du Beke. He's the real star. As far back as one can remember, it's always been about Anton. Who will he end up with? How far will he progress? Will he finally be unmasked as a spy who taught the wives and mistresses of high ranking war criminals how to dance the Argentinian Tango when they fled from Germany for South America after WW2?

You can't escape the feeling that beneath the painted on smile, the cruise ship false bonhomie and the care home charisma, there's a lot more to him than meets the eye. And if there isn't. If he really is nothing more than a poor man's Barry Stuart Hargreaves from Hi-de-Hi, then we'd rather not know about it.

Let's at least be grateful he never replaced Len. Like great Generals who belong on the battlefield rather than behind a desk, du Beke belongs out there where the action is; amongst the sequins, spray tan and the glitter balls.

Stepping into Mr. Goodman's shoes, we have Shirley Ballas. If only it was Ballast, I could have made a little aside about her being onboard to provide stability.

Not one to hide her light under a bushel, bustle or even a Bussell, Shirley comes across as a right old bragging, bossy know it all. As far as ballroom's concerned, she's done everything and won everything, apparently having been crowned World Latin Champion at aged six months. However, unless she wants her post bag full of hate mail, she just better not start criticising Anton.

Season 15 of Strictly is doubtless guaranteed to be as popular as ever, with millions of viewers set to tune in.

In all likelihood, I won't be among them. Not that it much matters. Because wherever he is, you can bet Brucie will be watching.

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