From Fandango To Tango, It's Back

The good news is that the judges aren't changing. Len, Bruno and Darcy have all had their contracts renewed. Fortunately, so too has Craig Revel Horwood. Darling, it would have been a disaster if he hadn't returned.

Those voting 'Yes' in the recent Scottish referendum shouldn't worry too much. The bitter disappointment they experienced should be short lived. Revenge will soon be theirs for the taking.

Far from having to wait another 20 years to stick it to the sassinaks, they only have to hold out for another week or so to make their vote count. For this, they won't have to thank Nicola Sturgeon (favourite to be the new leader of the SNP- that's if someone with an even fishier sounding name doesn't beat her to it), but Judy Murray.

You probably don't need reminding, the BBC PR machine having done their job admirably, that this Friday, September 26, sees the return of Strictly. You can't have failed to miss the trailers. They've taken up more airtime than the actual programmes. They're the frequent and interminable equivalent of the ad breaks between the X- Factor.

Of course, to be strictly correct, it should be Strictly Come Dancing. But now it's just Strictly, rather like Cheryl Versini - Fernandez is just Cheryl on the aforementioned rival. Say Cheryl to anyone these days and they know exactly who you're referring to. Sorry to burst Ms. Baker's bubble, but it isn't you.

All the same, let this be a lesson to Cheryl More - Famous (Heavens, has she already got divorced and married again? Boy, she doesn't mess around, that one), fame is a cruel bedfellow. One day you're the top of the charts and the next you're advertising a cream for thinning hair.

Anyway, for millions of viewers, it'll be nice to see Strictly back, to see it back, nice. Alas, poor Brucie won't be there as he's gone to a better place - the Caribbean - and been replaced by Claudia Winkleman. Two women together might be the fantasy of many - avert your gaze, aunt Audrey - but is this the case when it comes to prime time viewing on a Saturday evening?

Wouldn't they have been better drafting in another man? Personally, I was rather holding out for Ronnie Corbett. At least he's got the catchphrase. What's Claudia got? Oh, yes, a fringe. Mind you, so do curtains.

The good news is that the judges aren't changing. Len, Bruno and Darcy have all had their contracts renewed. Fortunately, so too has Craig Revel Horwood. Darling, it would have been a disaster if he hadn't returned. Every judging panel on shows such as this needs its pantomime villain, the brutal one with the snide personal comments.

I have a feeling that CRH likes to think of himself as the Dorothy Parker of dance with his supposedly acerbic put downs. Dorothy Lamour might be closer to the truth. I think I once caught his drag act when he was dressed as her.

Naturally, the choice of contestants is just as important as the judges. If not more so. This year's crop seem to be, on the surface of it, much of a muchness. They hit practically every demographic, which presumably is the point. In short, there's someone for everyone, regardless of the viewer's age or sexuality.

There's really no need to mention them by name. All that pre-publicity should have ensured that by now they're as familiar as friends and family.

It's only a shame that they couldn't be slightly more exciting.

This inevitably leads onto the question of who'd be your dream Strictly pairing? Apologies, but the professionals remain the same, so it's just the celebrities you have to play with. As with the choice for the perfect dinner party guests, your selection can be either dead or alive. Out of interest, mine are listed below. Are any of yours the same? I'd be highly surprised if they were. Anyway, hang onto your sequinned cap, here we go.

Trend Whiddon and HRH Princess Eugenie

Anton Du Beke and Boudica. After Anne Widdecombe, he's been looking for a similarly strong woman.

Tristan McManus and Eva Peron. Don't cry for them when they get voted out in week 3.

Pasha Kovalev and Hillary Clinton. If only to see Bill in the audience.

Kevin Clifton and Jane Austen.

Aljaz Skorjanec and Joan of Arc. Watch this pair burn up the floor.

Brendon Cole and Coco Chanel. She'd forever be moaning about the frightful costumes.

Aliona Vilani and Winston Churchill. After surviving a dance off, you can imagine Winston saying to Tess: "Success is not final, failure is not final; it is the courage to continue that counts".

Joanna Clifton and Sigmond Freud. Len would constantly be reminding him of his Freudian slips during the Viennese waltz.

Natalie Lowe and Ivan the Terrible. Although not quite as terrible as his Pasodoble.

Karen Hauer and Charlie Chaplin.

Kristina Rihanoff and Oscar Wilde. On the witticism front he'd certainly give as good as he got to CRH.

Ola Jordan and Marlon Brando. "I could have been a contender". We know, Marlon,we know.

Janette Manara and Henry Kissinger

Iveta Lukosiute and John Sargent. Oh come on, who doesn't want to see him back?

Not that this list matters a jot. As long as the Scots come out for her in sufficient numbers, Judy's got it in the bag.

In the meantime, keep on dancing.


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