"Will miss it terribly but baby / goat will only be very small and can't leave it every day."Sadface. Understandable of course, but sadface.
There's been much chatter today about who the Beeb will get to fill in for her. Names that keep cropping up include Kate Garraway (I'll be demanding a portion of my license fee back if so - I can't abide the woman), Natasha Kaplinsky, Sian Williams, Arlene Philips and various of the ex-pros (Matt Cutler and Karen Hardy seemingly being particular faves).
Taking a slightly more left field approach, over on her blog Caron suggested my beloved Anton Du Beke taking over. I'm not as averse to this suggestion as you might think. I mean come on, it'd be guaranteed Anton five nights a week! I love that idea. On many levels... As long as he still did the pro dances (not the show dances since they're invariably rubbish and the point where everyone puts the kettle on) I could live with him not competing on the show were it not for one thing: he's a dancer.
I feel pretty strongly that the host of ITT should not be a dancer. That seems like a pretty stupid thing to say, right? But for me so much of the charm of Claudia doing ITT was that she knew nothing about the technical side of the dancing. She asked the sort of ill informed questions that the average audience member would ask, given the chance. And she did so wonderfully badly in my favourite bit of ITT - Len's Master Class. Put a dancer in as the host and you lose all of that. I have very little interest in watching Anton and Craig R-H sit and argue about the relative merits of someone's fleckle for half an hour. Stick a non-dancer in to argue with Craig about how much fun it was watching the person try and do said fleckle on the other hand...
So who do I think should take over from Claudia? I'd like to see it be someone who's contributed to the Friday Panel in the past. Miranda Hart would be fabulous, I could live with John Barrowman, even Peter Andre would have his charm. (And also his body, but I digress). But I think my top choice would be showbiz royalty in the shape of Michael Ball. I love his contributions to the Panel and he has the right blend of charm, cheese and cheek to make it his own. And I think he'd make an excellent dance partner for Len, which is surely the most important consideration in all of this!
One thing's for sure though. Whoever eventually emerges as this series' host is going to have one hell of a job filling Claudia's stilettos.