You know autumn is in the air when the night’s start to draw in, the leaves on the trees begin to fall, the heating comes on and, most notably, a new series of Strictly sashays onto the Saturday night TV schedule. This year’s sequin-clad line up is the usual mix of sport stars, soap actors, singers and presenters… as well as the odd name to which a nation asks ‘who?’
The unlikely mash-up of men includes broadcaster Jeremy Vine (Radio 2 presenter and election swing-o-meter master) who will be shaking his stuff alongside Peter Andre and Irish crooner Daniel O’Donnell. Also slipping into something skin-tight and spangly will be former athlete Iwan Thomas, Olympic boxing medallist Anthony Orogo and the excitable, sometimes grating, TV chef Ainsley Harriott. There’ll be stiff competition from the female celebrity contingent which include Sky Sports presenter Kirsty Gallacher, actors Georgia May Foot and Helen George, broadcaster Katie Derham and weather presenter Carol Kirkwood.
The presenting line-up remains unchanged with Tess Daly again more than ably assisted by the wickedly funny Claudia Winklemann, while Len, Bruno, Darcy and Craig return to their usual seats at the judging table.
Off course the show wouldn’t be anything without the professional dancers who invariably manage to transform even the most mal-coordinated into dancers. Many of the old pros return – even Anton Du Bcke has been asked back. There are also a few new faces, and none quite so pretty as Russian Gleb Savchenko who has already grabbed an enthusiastic female following– as well as Bruno’s attention, no doubt.
The stage is set, but who will walk away with the champion’s Glitter ball? We’ve only got to wait until Christmas to find out.