Thursday, 30 September 2010

Apparently, there's this bloke called Anton...

This time tomorrow I can absolutely guarantee what I will be doing. I will be sitting on the sofa in a state of extreme excitement watching Strictly Come Dancing.

I effing LOVE this show! I literally can't remember ever loving a TV show more, apart from maybe Gladiators when I was seven and completely in love with Hunter. But I digress. There is nothing I don't love about Strictly. I love the costumes, I love Brucie, I love the music, I love the band, I love the way they always open with an inexplicable close up of a timbale, I love the way conductor Dave Arch is so awkward when he tries to smile at the camera, but most of all I love the dancing and most of most of all I love the dancers.

Not the celebrity ones mind, not that I don't end up getting totally into their 'journeys', but for me it's all about the pros. I can't dance for toffee so I love watching people who really can do it well. I'm a bit of a ballroom fanatic (mostly for the astonishingly good music and gracefulness involved) - I adore the quickstep and get very upset when someone murders it. The foxtrot and American smooth are favourites too and from the Latin I like the paso doble and the jive. I can take or leave the salsa, samba, cha cha cha and friends but I love to watch them when they're done well.

The pro dancers are universally exceptionally talented and gorgeous. I would give my right arm for any of the girls bodies and would certainly not kick any of the boys out of bed on a cold night. However, I do have a bit of a thing about Anton du Beke.

Actually that last sentence is a huge lie. I don't have 'a bit of a thing' for Anton. No, I completely and absolutely love him! I don't know what it was but in series 5 (The Garraway Massacre) I suddenly became completely obsessive about him. I've always watched Strictly and I have no clue what it was about that series that turned my head. But something did. I've been hopelessly, and occasionally embarrassingly, obsessed ever since.

I have the t shirt, the pen, the key rings, the signed photos, the tour programmes, the book and the DVDs. I've met him three times and am off to Dublin in February to see him and his pro partner Erin Boag on tour for the third year in a row. I. Love. That. Man.

Which brings me to the often painful subject of his celebrity partners. Let's face it they've all been a bit rubbish. When your best partners are the terminally mediocre Lesley Garrett and Laila Rouass then you know you've got problems. And Anton doesn't help himself in some ways. He is unapologetic about the fact he doesn't like Latin dances. Which is all well and good, I sympathize, but to win Strictly you have to do both. Which is why I think, and I can't believe I'm going to say this, Ann Widdecombe may be the perfect partner for him.

If you're not going to win the series then you may as well not win with style and humour - qualities that Anton has in buckets. Ann will be awful (have you seen their training video?!) but she'll be feisty and he'll play up to this completely. Look at all the media coverage Team AnnTon have already got. It's in a different league to the rest of the contestants. They are going to be the stars of the show, if not for the dancing. Anton is a complete natural when it comes to just being an entertainer - he's going to milk this series for all it's worth.

And I for one can't wait to see it.

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