Monday, November 08, 2010

Strictly: Who to Blame and Who to Thank for this year

I’ve said to you before that there’s no Strictly blog on this year and this is true. Would I lie to you? When you could catch me out that easily?

But there is today a piece I’ve written for them about Ann Widdecombe staying in while good dancers go out. For balance, the piece also covers a similar thing that is apparently happening on The X Factor with someone called Wagner but, really, I phoned that bit of the piece in. Are Novelty Acts Spoiling Strictly and X Factor?

Tell me you didn’t look at the final leaderboard this week and gasp: “Scott’s at the bottom!” even though Ann was below him. Tell me it’s not you voting to keep her in every week. We can get past this, our friendship can survive the blow, but if we have nothing else, we have to have honesty.

It would be nice to have news. I’m a newsy guy. And I have some. If Ann Widdecombe is the bit of Strictly that should go, perhaps in an ideal world taking all the props with her, then in a fair and just world, there is someone we should be thanking for how very much better the show is this year.

It’s not the fabulous Dave Arch who can’t be bothered to take his headphones off. It’s not the fella with a hat who sits behind him. It’s not any headgear person at all because this one isn’t directly in the production, isn’t even credited at the end.

She’s Katie Taylor, head of entertainment and events at BBC Television and she dun it. It helped that the BBC has invested more money and there is a new executive producer too but Taylor is responsible for the revamp.

And she told Broadcast magazine this week that she may not be done with the show just yet. “Nothing can stay the same or the audience will get bored, and when that happens, they switch over,” she said. “The format is the format, but it’s there to be tweaked.”

You see the word tweak and you think Bruce Forsyth but, no, he’s not on the way out just yet despite skipping the results shows this year. “Bruce is 83 and his energy is quite something,” she told Broadcast. “But it was tiring doing both shows, and Claudia, who is already part of the Strictly family, is so witty and really lives and breathes the show, so Bruce was really happy with it. I am sure he will call me up if he decides to leave, but we’ve not had that conversation yet.”

I’m ready to declare a winner, by the way. I’m ready to call it. Kara Tointon for champion. You saw it here first, unless you saw it anywhere else before me and didn’t mention it.

Yes, the tricks as she called them were quite eye-popping but what got me convinced was the return of what I’ve briefly seen before with her: a moment or three when she wasn’t dancing steps, wasn’t following choreography, she was in the music.

I don’t think there’s anything more I could want.

Except for Ann Widdecombe to do a John Sergeant and leave gracefully. For gracefully read quickly, but gracefully is good too.

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