Strictly’s back… it’s bigger than ever… and… stop press… I got to do proper steps in Week 1 – hurrah!!!
Yes, I’m back with my wonderful Strictly family, for the 13th series… and it’s good to be home! Each series gets bigger and better than the last, and this certainly promises to be no exception.
I must firstly give a very warm welcome to our new professional dancers: Oti Mabuse, Giovanni Pernice and Gleb Savchenko – I wish them every success on the show! The BBC have also blessed us with a cracking line-up of celebrities, and right from the get-go, there’s plenty of natural talent to get this series off to a flying start!
That brings me nicely on to the topic of my partner for series 13. And I think I’ve struck it lucky! I am thrilled to bits to have been partnered with the lithesome, limber, and very very lovely Katie Derham. What a result!! My very own Prom Queen for (hopefully!) many, many weeks to come! You may already know Katie from presenting the Proms on BBC Radio3 and on the television too, but the particularly good news is that she truly is musically-minded – even playing the violin – so there’s lots for me to work with. With big ticks in the musicality and rhythm boxes, I hope I can add dancing as another string to her bow!
…And things started out very promising indeed!… Here’s one of our training videos:
Our Week 1 dance was the Jive to a fabulous rendition of Roll Over Beethoven from Dave Arch and his band. Fast and frenetic, requiring sharp footwork, split-second timing, and strong characterisation to keep the energy from start to finish… in at the deep end for week 1, really. But I have to say, I am absolutely THRILLED, DELIGHTED and JUBILANT at how well Katie performed!! What a STAR!!!
We did proper steps… and lots of ’em, even a quick costume change for good measure… she was unflappable!… We received a standing ovation from the audience and it was topped it off a treat to hear the Judges’ approval too!
I think we all saw a new side to Craig: he said – get this – it was “the most sophisticated and stylish jive we’ve ever had” – Bonanza! Bruno said Katie had “radiant stage presence” and was “first class material to mould into a masterpiece”; Darcey said she wasn’t expecting a dance like that, and that it was a “classy jive”… and Len crystallised my Strictly hopes and dreams, saying “this could be the glory year!”… He also said “this could be the year you realise Strictly goes right up to Christmas!”… Who knew!?!!
We were awarded a remarkable 26 points, overall in 7th place, but just 4 points behind the leaders, Peter & Janette. As I pointed out to Claudia, a score like that is one I’ve hitherto only achieved through weeks of accumulated points!
So with high hopes, and a skip in our step, Katie and I are back in training, determined to build on our very exciting dancefloor debut!
See you back in the ballroom at the weekend… and this week, folks, it’s the competition proper with one couple heading home, so we’ll need your votes to stay in!
Strictly Series 13… Bring it on!