Heaven knows I love Strictly. And my love for Claudia Winkleman, who is now co-presenting the series full time with Tess Daly, knows no bounds. She’s hilarious and she has a real empathy with the dancing couples. Her delicious randomness of thought appeals to me. I hate sewing with a passion unrivalled in its intensity but I was addicted to The Great British Sewing Bee because she was presenting it.
I’m enjoying a lot about the new series of Strictly. Judy Murray is doing herself a whole load of favours in a similar way to her son in recent years. Like Andy, she seemed dour, but we now know that both of them are pretty balanced human beings with a decent sense of humour. I wondered how Judy and Anton would get on, but it seems to work.
I love the judges’ dance routine at the start and I like that they continue to have a range of ages on the show – and that it’s not just the young and stereotypically beautiful who do well. We’ve had Lisa Riley and Pamela Stephenson make it to the latter stages in the past few years. There is an infectious charm to this show that just makes me feel happy.
But I’m finding one thing intensely irritating. Probably disproportionately so, given that takes at most 20 seconds of the two hour show. In the olden days, Tess Daly was allowed to walk down the stairs at the start of the show by herself. Of course, Sir Bruce Forsyth was at the bottom to meet her. Now that we have two women presenting the show, they have to be escorted down the stairs by two young men who seem to be there purely for that purpose. Why? Are women not perfectly capable of getting to where they need to be under their own steam? Dermot on the X Factor seems to be trusted to find his own way to his mark. Nobody seems to think there would be a problem with that.
Come on, BBC, treat your excellent presenting team as adults. They are, after all, professionals who make two hours of live television seem like a seamless joy. If they can hold a conversation whilst listening to instructions being barked in their ear from the production gallery, they can walk down some stairs without needing men to help them.