Strictly Come Blogging

Louise. Lou. Loulabelle. Loulabelle44. Louby.
Proudly blogging about Strictly Come Dancing ALL YEAR ROUND since 2006. Always spoiler-free.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pro Changes For 2017

There will be three changes to the pro line-up for the 2017 series of Strictly, the BBC has announced.

Natalie Lowe announced last month that she would not be returning for another series.

Joanne Clifton will step down to focus on her stage career. She said: "Being part of the Strictly experience has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I will miss the show so much. It’s been a tough decision but I am looking forward to facing new challenges and focusing on my musical theatre career.”

Oksana Platero will also not return. She said: “I just want to say thank you to everyone involved with Strictly. Last year was my first season and I had an unforgettable time working alongside such amazing dancers and an even better time with Judge Rinder. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and I will never forget it. Thank you so much for the memories.”

Joining the line-up are Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova and Amy Dowden.

Aussie Dianne was a pro on the Australian Dancing With The Stars in 2015. She has also appeared in Burn The Floor (of course!) on Broadway, and is currently on tour with Giovanni Pernice. She said: “What an honour it is to be a part of Strictly Come Dancing. Words can’t describe how excited I am to take on this amazing challenge and give it my everything. See you on the dance floor!”

Nadiya is from Ukraine, and was a pro on the Bosnian version of Strictly. She has won many ballroom and Latin titles. She said: “I'm extremely happy to be joining the Strictly Come Dancing family this year. One of my biggest dreams is to be part of this great show and I can't wait to get started!"

Caerphilly native Amy is a British National champion. She said: “Becoming a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing has made my wildest dreams come true, it does not feel real! I have always been proud of my Welsh roots and feel so honoured to be the first Welsh professional dancer on the most loved show on TV.”

The male pro line-up remains unchanged. I am really sorry to see Oksana leave so soon. She did a really good job with Robert Rinder, and I would love to have seen how she would have got on with an even stronger partner.

I don't think anyone will be surprised by Joanne's decision. Things seem to be going well for her on stage at the moment.

I'll be interested to see how the new pros get on. I also really hope that Neil is part of the competition this year. I really enjoyed his bits for It Takes Two last year, and I would love to see how he would get on with a celebrity partner. I also hope Chloe gets a partner. It's really hard for new pros to establish themselves when they are not part of the competition. Chloe and Neil were helped by the fact their their partners were part of the main show. It's much easier to keep involved that way.

Rooney Ready To Rumba?

Is Colleen Rooney going to be heading for the dancefloor this autumn?

According to the Daily Star, both Strictly and Dancing On Ice, which is set to return to ITV in the new year after a four-year hiatus, are looking to sign the columnist and WAG. 

A source told the paper: “Coleen is very hot property. She has a massive following of fans. But she is also married to the former England captain. With any project she does, Wayne is bound to be by her side supporting her. Having him in the studio audience would be great for any show.”

Colleen has big WAG wellies to fill if she does do Strictly. Abby Clancy won the glitterball in 2013, and Louise Redknapp was a finalist last year.

From Sweden To Strictly

Former Sweden and Manchester United player Jesper Blomqvist has revealed he would like to have a go at Strictly, after winning the Swedish version of the show. asked if he would like to have a go at the BBC's version: "That would be great. I was looking at the English one to get some inspiration by seeing what they were doing. It is a big show in Sweden but England is a big country and, of course, it's even bigger there!"

Friday, June 16, 2017

Kate Humble: "I Will Stick To Animals And Being Mucky"

Kate Humble has revealled that she had a meeting about taking part in Strictly, but ultimately turned it down.

After initially rejecting it outright, her Springwatch colleagues convinced her to take the meeting.

She told the Daily Mirror: "When we got to the meeting, the more talk there was of sequins, make-up and Strictly Takes Two, the more I could feel myself pouring with sweat. It’s just not me and I was literally about to have a panic attack at the thought of wearing make up and dresses! My agent realised and gently put her hand on my knee as if to say ‘it’s ok, don’t worry’. There are so many people who love it and get so much out of it but I will stick to animals and being mucky. I am better at that. That’s more my comfort zone.”

We love to see stars who aren't normally glamourous on TV take part. That's why sports stars are so fun to watch. I'm sure Kate would have soon got over his discomfort, just like most the the fellas end up watching more tan and sparkles.

Matt Goss For Strictly 2017?

Has singer Matt Goss signed up to do Strictly?

A source told The Sun that it is the first done deal of the year: “Matt is an amazing coup for Strictly. Bosses were keen to sign him up after he impressed in the Christmas special and he will definitely be a favourite with viewers. He’s one of the best performers in music so he could go all the way and win it.”

I'm not sure the signing is exactly a 'coup'. Matt is still very popular with a devoted fanbase, but most people still remember him from his days in boyband Bros. The tabloids seemed to have it in for the band, and none of the band members have ever really been able to put the bad press behind them.

Perhaps Strictly would be an opportunity to win back the public's favour at last. I met Matt when he was performing at the Palms in Las Vegas, and he was a very sweet, charming man. I think he'd be a good signing.

Matt appeared in the 2013 Strictly Christmas special, dancing an American smooth with Aliona Villani.

Next! Brian O'Driscoll...

Former Irish rugby captain and British & Irish Lion Brian O'Driscoll has revealed that he turned down the chance to take part in Strictly.

He told the Irish Independent"You'd learn a new skill and get incredibly fit, and you'd probably have a good time." But that wasn't enough to make him sign up.

I'd love to see BOD on Strictly. But maybe now there is an Irish version, they'll be able to get him to do that instead...

Next! Joe Wicks...

Despite rumours that producers were keen to sign him, fitness guru has turned down Strictly Come Dancing.

He told Good Housekeeping: "How do you know about that? Who told you I was asked about that? I mean, I was asked. It’s not something I want to do right now."

His publicist confirmed he isn't available: "He’s categorically not doing Strictly. He won’t even be in the country. Maybe in the future, at some point, but definitely not this year."

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Next! Eamonn Holmes...

This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes has revealed that he has been asked to take part in Strictly, but turned it down.

Speaking to OK! online, he said: "I have been asked to do it, but I’m not confident with my hips. It’s not for me. I’ve got rhythm, but I don’t have coordination. I think that’s fair enough"

Rumours about Eamonn and his wife, presenter Ruth Langsford, have been doing the rounds for more than two years.

Ruth, on the other hand, is desperate to participate, but says she has not been asked. She told the Daily Express last last year: “I’m still desperate to do Strictly but they’ve never asked me. Eamonn’s been asked more than once!”

I think Ruth would be great, especially when she's so keen, although I suspect that the producers are looking for that 'couple' angle again, and won't invite her unless Eamonn signs up. I think that's a shame.

Congratulations Anton & Hannah!

Congratulations to Anton du Beke and his partner Hannah, who have recently tied the knot.

The pair were spotted at the Chelsea Flower Show wearing rings, and a spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Mail that they have married .

I'm so pleased for Anton. He is one of the nicest guys on Strictly. Congratulations, Anton!

Can't believe the Mail described it as getting married in "secret", though. Just because they didn't broadcast the news didn't mean it was a secret. Anton is quite private, and has never spoken about this personal relationships. He doesn't post every detail of his life to Instagram. I totally respect that, and wish the tabloids would too.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Dame Joan Collins Denies Strictly Rumours

Dame Joan Collins has denied rumours that she has been approached to take part in Strictly.

She tweeted that the rumours were 'fake news'.
The Sun reported earlier this week that producers were keen to sign her up.

A source told the paper: “She’d bring plenty of glitz and old-school glamour to the dance floor, and she’s full of energy. She’d be a real draw with older viewers too. The bosses are going all out to get her to sign up.”

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

CONFIRMED: Shirley Ballas Is Head Judge

After months of speculation, the BBC have announced that Shirley Ballas will be the new head judge on Strictly Come Dancing.

In the press release, Shirley said: "I am so excited and over the moon to have been given this wonderful opportunity. I can't wait to get in to the ballroom and be part of the incredible and respected judging panel. Strictly is so loved by the British public, I have always been a massive fan. I just can't wait!"

Shirley will join existing judges Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Darcey Bussell, making the panel gender-balanced for the first time.

If you want to see a clip of Shirley from her dancing days, here she is performing the samba with partner Corky Ballas from the 1994 UK Open.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Emilia Fox: "I'm Not Sure I'd Survive"

Silent Witness actress Emilia Fox says she would like to take part in Strictly, but is concerned nerves would get the better of her.

TellyMix reports that Emilia told OK! magazine: "I would love to do Strictly Come Dancing. It would be amazing learning a new skill. I'd just be terrified I would suffer from nerves. I'm such a sensitive creature, I'm not sure I'd survive."

Ellie Downie Would Like To Do Strictly

Gymnast Ellie Downie would like to go on Strictly.

Asked by Newsround if she would follow her Team GB colleague Claudia Fragapane onto the show, she replied "Yeah, if I got asked to".

Friday, May 05, 2017

Natalie Quits Strictly

Natalie Lowe has revealed that she will not be returning to Strictly Come Dancing this autumn.

The Sun reports that Natalie told the Press Association: “This was a very difficult decision for me not to accept the invitation to appear on this season of Strictly Come Dancing. It is with a very heavy heart that I have arrived at this decision. I’ll be forever grateful for the amazing time, opportunities and memories that Strictly has created for me. My time on the programme has been everything that I dreamed it would be and more. From the friendships I developed, the amazing dances I was able to perform in and the experiences that Strictly provided, it has been an incredible and extraordinary adventure.”

I'll be sorry to see Natalie depart. She is a patient and dedicated teacher who has the ability to tailor her routines to her partner. It's a shame, but I respect her decision.

All the new dancers are starting to make me feel old. The first batch of dancers were all around my age. Now they are getting younger and younger, and I'm not.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Shirley Ballas Tipped For Judge Role

Just when you think there can't be any more names in the frame for Len's job on Strictly, the tabloids come up with someone else.

The Sun has reported that Shirley Ballas has had a second audition for the role, after impressing producers with her screen test last week.

Shirley is well-known and respected on the ballroom circuit. She won multiple Latin titles with partner and ex-husband Corky Ballas. She has also coached dancers, including Derek Hough and Julianne Hough, and her own son Mark. She has been a guest judge on Dancing With The Stars in the US.

A source told the paper: “They are definitely interested in Shirley and she’s the only one they’ve wanted to have another look at, which has to be a good sign. She has a ballroom background, like Len, and BBC chiefs are keen to appoint another woman soon now that the audition list has got out. No decision has been made though yet as there’s still some who want a show favourite to land the role for the fans and keep continuity.”

I'd be happy as Shirley as a judge. She has the experience, and comes from the ballroom and latin world.