Strictly Come Blogging

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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Celebrity No. 14 & 15

The last two celebrities were announced on The One Show on Thursday - Iwan Thomas and Kirsty Gallacher.
Former 400m sprinter Iwan won silver at the Atlanta Olympics in the 4x400m relay. He has also won gold in the European and World Championships. Iwan said: “I’m extremely excited and scared at the thought of taking part in Strictly. I love watching the show and I can’t believe I’m swapping my running spikes for dancing shoes. I used to be quick at running around the track and I’m just hoping my dance partner doesn’t leave me behind.”

Kirsty Gallacher has been a presenter for more than 15 years. She is currently a regular presenter on Sky Sports News. Kirsty said: “I’ve always been a huge fan of Strictly so am very excited to be taking part in the show this year. Sport and fitness have always been a big part of my life but dancing is an entirely new challenge for me! I can’t wait to get started!”

I think Kirsty is possibly the celebrity I am most excited about. I can't wait to see how she gets on.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It Takes Two Gets Bigger

The BBC have announced that It Takes Two is going to be bigger and better this year.

Zoe Ball is back as host, and the Friday shows will now be an hour long, and will have a live studio audience.

Karen Hardy and Ian Waite will also return, but will now be joined by two new regulars. Fan favourite Robin Windsor will now have a role on the show, along with current pro Joanne Clifton.

I so need to get a place in that audience...

Strictly Fabulous At Woburn Abbey

If you have even been to see Strictly in person at the studio or on tour, you'll know how much more amazing the dresses look in real life.

If you've never seen the dresses, you now have the change to see some of them up close at a new exhibition at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire.

The exhibition will feature 16 dresses made by dancewear speciallists DSI. One of the star attractions is Caroline Flack's final-winning Charleston dress.

Costume designer Vicky Gill said: “The Abbey is a truly wonderful setting to house the 2014 collection of Strictly dresses and I hope the visitors will revel in seeing the dresses up close in the exhibition. I’ve been working on designing the Strictly dresses since the 2nd series in 2005, and it never tires. It involves a lot of hard work from both teams at DSI and the BBC but it’s all worth the effort as we begin to prepare for yet another series of fun, fantasy and glamour.”

The exhibition runs until 1st November. Tickets can be purchased for the Woburn Abbey website.

Celebrity No. 13: Helen George

The thirteenth celebrity announced for Strictly Come Dancing is Call The Midwife actress Helen George.

Helen studied at musical theatre at the Royal Academy of music, so one would imagine that she'll have a good understanding of music, and therefore, dance.

Helen said: “I'm really excited to be joining Strictly. I know it's going to be a challenge and if I'm honest I'm slightly terrified, but I can't wait to get my tan and sequins on!”

Celebrity No. 12: Jamelia

Singer and 'loose woman' Jamelia is the twelfth celebrity to join Strictly Come Dancing.

Jamelia said: “My girls are huge fans of Strictly, but when I told them I was doing it they laughed as they know that dancing is not my forté! The girls are amazing dancers though so I definitely want to learn a new skill so that I'll be able to give them a run for their money, and end them teasing me once and for all!”
I would expect Jamelia to be quite good, since she is a singer. But I am not sure if the public will warm to her.

Jamelia's Disney code name was Elsa. If anyone can work out why, please let me know...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Celebrity No. 11: Anita Rani

Presenter Anita Rani is the 11th celebrity to sign up for Strictly Come Dancing 2015.

Anita has presented or reported for various BBC shows including The One Show, Countryfile and Watchdog. This week she can be seen co-presenting The World's Busiest Railway 2015.

Anita said: “So many elements of Strictly terrify me but I shall try and think #BeyonceAlwaysOnBeat as I hit the dance floor. I'm so excited to indulge that fantasy and hopefully learn some mean moves in the process. Let's get our groove on!”

Celebrity No. 10: Jay McGuiness

Jay McGuiness, formerly from boyband The Wanted, was announced yesterday as the 10th celebrity to join the 2015 Strictly Come Dancing lineup.

Jay said: “My family are such huge Strictly fans, I know I've made them very happy by taking part - I can’t wait to get started! I love to dance but this is going to be so different from anything I have done before, I'm up for it!"

I don't know anything about The Wanted, so I'm not sure what to make of this signing. Perhaps their fans will counterbalance the Daniel O'Donnell army...

Celebrity No. 9: Anthony Ogogo

Professional boxer Anthony Ogogo is the ninth celebrity taking part in Strictly Come Dancing.

Anthony won a Middleweight bronze medal in the for Team GB at London 2012. He also won silver in the 2010 Commonwealth games. He made his professional debut in 2013, and is currently undefeated after eight bouts.

Anthony said: "I've faced a lot of tough opposition in the past, but I've never faced anyone as tough as the Strictly judges before! My Mum is a massive fan of the show so I will be trying my hardest to make her proud."

Boxers haven't had the best record in Strictly to date. Joe Calzaghe came 12th out of 16 participants in 2009, and Audley Harrison was 9th out of 14 in 2011. Anthony will no double be hoping he can instead follow in the footsteps of fellow Olympian Louis Smith.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Celebrity No. 8: Daniel O'Donnell

The eighth celebrity taking to the floor this autumn is Irish singer, Daniel O'Donnell.

Daniel said: “Earlier this year, I decided to take a short break from touring and told myself that I would only consider doing something if it was both different and exciting, well what could be more exciting than Strictly Come Dancing? I love to dance and boy am I looking forward to getting started and being the best that I can be!”
Daniel is a huge star in his native Ireland, and to a lesser extent in the UK. He has sold over 10 million albums worldwide, and is famed for his close relationship with his fans, whom he invites to his mother's house annually for a 'tea party'.

In return, Daniel's fans are obsessively loyal (a bit like Donny Osmond fans if that's any frame of reference), which makes me think he has a good chance of winning, no matter how he fares on the floor. His fans in Ireland will almost certainly find ways to make their votes count over here.

He looks like he could have some moves too. Here's a clip of him dancing - Daniel is the one in the navy trousers, who starts on the far right of the shot.

Celebrity No. 7: Peter Andre

Last week, singer and reality star Peter Andre was confirmed as the seventh celebrity to sign up for Strictly Come Dancing.

Peter said:Strictly Come Dancing is an incredible show. I’ve always loved watching it on TV and to be honest I’m flattered to have been asked to take part before, but due to certain work commitments was unable to. I now feel the time is right to give it a go - everything has just clicked into place to do it this year. Wish me luck please… argh!!”

I remember the girls at my comprehensive were very uncomplimentary about Peter and his dance moves, especially his interpretation of the bogle,  which can be seen in his famous Mysterious Girl video.

I think Peter will have a decent chance in the competition. He has a lot of fans out there, and is quite a likable guy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Congratulations, Frankie!

Congratulations to 2014 Strictly participant Frankie Bridge and her husband Wayne, who have welcomed new son Carter to the world.

Frankie Tweeted the news on Saturday:

Frankie suffered with severe morning sickness early in her pregnancy, forcing her to pull out of the 2015 Strictly Come Dancing Live tour.

Congratulations, Janette & Aljaž!

Congratulations to Janette and Aljaž, who announced their engagement last week.

Aljaž told OK! magazine that he chose to propose at Dance Attic, the dance studio where the pair met five years ago: "I even managed to hire the same room! I told Janette we were going to a promotional event for my friend and that there might be press, so to look nice. I'd actually bought a ring two weeks beforehand and had been waiting for the right time."

Janette said: "I was about to start crying and then I thought, 'what if he’s just tying his shoes. Then I saw the box come out and thought, 'Oh my God, it's happening!'"


Celebrity No. 6: Carol Kirkwood

This morning on BBC Breakfast, Carol Kirkwood was announced as the 6th celebrity to join the 2015 series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Carol is BBC Breakfast's weather presenter. She had been rumored to be a part of the show for quite some time, although frequently denied it when Chris Evans repeatedly probed her about it during conversations on his breakfast show.

Carol said: “I am beyond excited to be taking part in the best programme on British telly and have been a huge fan since it started! I can't wait to learn to dance and hope my experience on Strictly will be a breeze, whether it will be or not is one forecast I cannot predict!”

Monday, August 17, 2015

Celebrity No. 5: Katie Derham

Without any ceremony, the fifth Strictly celebrity was announced in the small hours of Saturday morning - Katie Derham.

Katie has in recent times presented the BBC's Proms coverage, as well as a show on BBC Radio 3. She is also been a newscaster with the BBC and ITN.

Katie said: "Strictly Come Dancing is a national treasure, and I'm extremely excited to be part of such a wonderful show. I spend hours admiring professional musicians and performers at the Proms and at BBC Radio 3, so I'm thrilled to have the chance to throw myself into an equally demanding and beautiful world. It will be a totally new experience for me, and I can't wait to get going.”

I have no idea if Katie will be able to dance, but I look forward to seeing her on the show.

I can't help wondering why the announcement was so quiet. All the other stars to date were announced on the big BBC shows - The One Show, BBC Breakfast and the Chris Evans Breakfast Show. Katie's announcement slipped out overnight in a press release. I am not sure why she didn't get the fanfare that the others were afforded.

The next announcement will be tomorrow morning (Tuesday 18th) on BBC Breakfast.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Celebrity No. 4: Georgia May Foote

This morning it was announced that actress and model Georgia May Foote will be the 4th celebrity participant in this year's Strictly Come Dancing.

Georgia is the first contestant I have had to Google. Wikipedia tells me that I share a birthday with her. It also tells me that she played Alison in Grange Hill for three years and until recently played Katy Armstrong in Coronation Street, having portrayed her for five years.

Georgia said: “I am so excited to be part of Strictly 2015! It is something I have always wanted to take part in and now I just can’t wait to get started! I love dancing and I love a challenge so this is the perfect experience for me.”

Since I don't watch Corrie, and stopped watching Grange Hill in the mid-1990s, I don't have any opinion about Georgia yet. But that's not a problem. I usually have to Google one or two. Last year it was Steve Backshall and Sunetra Sarker, and I ended up enjoying watching both of them. Except possibly Steve's jive.