Strictly Come Blogging

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

Monday, July 14, 2014

Is Gregg Cooking Up Some Salsa?

Could Gregg Wallace be cooking up come hot salsa steps this autumn?

The People reports that Masterchef judge Gregg, who has long expressed an interest in appearing on the show, could finally be doing it in 2014. He wants to clean up his image after a reported fight in a hotel last year, and let the public see another side of him.

A source told the paper: “Gregg is determined to clean up his act. There’s been a lot of bad press over the past couple of years – from the hotel brawl to his string of young women – but Gregg wants to reinvent himself for Strictly, which is a family show. He see this as a perfect opportunity to change the public’s perception of him.”

Gregg told the Radio Times in 2011: "I'd like to do it so you wouldn't have to pay me. I just need the time. I'm a great dancer. John [Torode]'s the chef but I'm the one with rhythm. John's only got rhythm if he's beating an egg."

Helen Skelton For Full Series?

Could former Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton be heading for Strictly? The Sun seems to think so.

TellyMix reports that a source told the paper: “Helen is young, gorgeous and she definitely isn’t afraid to take on a challenge.”

Helen took part in the Christmas special in 2012.

Next! Norman Cook...

DJ Norman Cook, AKA Fatboy Slim, husband of It Takes Two presenter Zoe Ball, has revealed that he has turned down Strictly more than once.

He told DigitalSpy: "I've been offered everything from the family tree one to the jungle to Strictly. They ask me to do Strictly every year, because I kind of know them through Zoe - a) my approach to dancing is somewhat more freestyle than Strictly and b) the whole reality TV thing doesn't do it for me. Some of them I like watching, but I wouldn't want to be in them."

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Good Evans!

Could former Scottish rugby player Thom Evans be heading for Strictly?

The Huffington Post reports that a source told The Sun: “Bosses see Thom as the new show heart-throb. There is no doubt he’d make housewives pick up the phone to vote. It’s the second year in a row Thom has been approached by Strictly bosses. Last year he turned down their offer because he was in a relationship with US actress Jessica Lowndes. It’s different this year after the couple split in October. Thom looks likely to sign in the next few weeks.”

Another ex of Tom's is Kelly Brook, who also participated in Strictly in 2007.

Dave Berry For Strictly?

Could Dave Berry be heading for the dancefloor? The People thinks so, although offer little concrete evidence. Dave would be able to tap Capital Breakfast co-host Lisa Snowdon for tips, at least.

Also linked with Strictly, according to the article, are presenter Caroline Flack, TOWIE star and Heart DJ Mark Wright and former EastEnders actress Michelle Collins.

Craig Bellamy Turns Down Strictly?

Retired Welsh soccer star Craig Bellamy has reportedly turned down the opportunity to appear on Strictly Come Dancing.

The Daily Mirror reports that Bellamy said no because he wants to become a football manager. Although they don't even offer a quote from a 'source' to back up the claim that he was approached...

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

All Four Judges Back For 2014

All four Strictly judges - Len, Bruno, Craig and Darcey - have all resportedly signed up to raise their paddles on Saturday nights again this year.

A BBC spokesperson told the Daily Express: "They're all coming back."

The stability of the judging panel, alongside the recruitment of long-time Strictly presenter Claudia Winkleman to Saturday responsibilities, will be good news for fans in the wake of changes to the pro lineup.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Pro Line-Up Changes

There will be two new pro dancers in this year's Strictly line-up, while three depart.

James Jordan is leaving to persue other projects, although Ola will remain on the show. Artem Chigvintsev has decided to remain in the US, after joining Dancing With The Stars this year. Anya Garnis will remain part of the Strictly family, working as a choreographer.

Joining the show are two new pros.

Joanne Clifton joins the series after working on Burn The Floor for a while. She has already appeared on Strictly as a backing dancer on last year's Blackpool show. Joanne is the sister of Strictly pro Kevin Clifton.

      Photo: Chris Mann Photo

Here is a clip of Joanne performing with Paolo Bosco at the World Dance Show in Russia.

Also joining the line-up is Tristan MacManus. Tristan was born in Ireland, and has also appeared in Burn The Floor. He has appeared as a pro on Dancing With The Stars in the US, partnering several contestants including singer Gladys Knight. Here they dance the tango.

After missing the 2013 series due to a foot injury, Natalie Lowe also returns to the show's main pro line-up.

Female pros for 2014: Joanne Clifton, Karen Hauer, Ola Jordan
, Natalie Lowe, Iveta Lukosiute, Janette Manrara,Kristina Rihanoff and Aliona Vilani.

Male pros for 2014: 
Anton du Beke, 
Kevin Clifton, Brendan Cole, 
Pasha Kovalev, 
Tristan MacManus, Aljaž Skorjanec and Robin Windsor.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Theatre Review: Flash Mob

Flash Mob is a mixed-style dance extravaganza, and the latest to recruit some Strictly star-power to bring ballroom fans into the theatre. Not that Kevin Clifton & Karen Hauer are the only big names on the bill. Flawless are already household names too, and all of the other members of the highly-talented cast will be familiar to most from other TV dance shows.

The first half was not what I expected at all. There was a gentle narrative, linked together via social media and mobile communications. Then audience are taken on an emotional journey of friendship, love, loss and hope. Alleviate really steal this part of the show. The duo are best known from Sky’s Got To Dance competition, and their lyrical numbers are beautiful. It’s not too often I shed a tear, but their performance moved me to do so.

The second half is more what I anticipated the show to be, but no less enjoyable. The opening scene puts the Mob into Flash Mob, with a scene set in a speakeasy featuring the whole company. There is no storyline for the rest of the show, and each performer gets to show what they do best. Strictly fans will be thrilled by Kevin & Karen’s paso and lyrical rumba. But it is not just their show, and it’s the ensemble nature of Flash Mob which makes it so enjoyable. You are not simply waiting for your favourites to come back on stage, because the other performers are so entertaining. Flawless are exactly that. Tommy Franzén (So You Think You Can Dance UK) works hard as the show’s only solo performer. Brosena (Got To Dance) give the show a touch of Irish dance with a modern twist.

With such a diverse range of dance styles, Flash Mob has something for everyone, culminating in a finale that should get everyone dancing in the aisles.

Flash Mob is on at Saddler's Wells’ Peacock Theatre in London until 8th June, followed by a UK tour from 11th June to 2nd August.
Big thanks to the nice people at Sadler's Wells.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Erin Boag Introduces Baby Ewan

Former Strictly pro Erin Boag gave birth to son Ewan on 24th April, and is showing him to the world for the first time in this week's Hello! magazine.

It just so happens that 24th April was also her husband Peter's 50th birthday. She told the magazine: "As I was being taken to the delivery room, I said I wanted Peter to hold him first. When Ewan was born, they wrapped him up, handed him to Peter and I said, ‘Happy Birthday.’ It was a moment I’ll treasure forever."


She also reveals how she told Strictly bosses that she wasn't returning: "We went to see producers in early June and I said, 'Thank you very much, but no thank you.' It was a bit of a shock to them. It was sad, but I was ready. I'd done ten series – it was a great time in my life and I have very happy memories. I loved every series I did, every partner I had. I went out on a high."
You can read the whole interview in this week's Hello! magazine (issue 1329).

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Claudia To Join Tess As Co-Host

The BBC have announced that Claudia Winkleman will join Tess Daly to permanently take on Strictly presenting duties.

As with the shows where Claudia joined Tess in 2013, Tess will become the show's main presenter, with Claudia interviewing the couples when they have finished their routines.

Tess is looking to continuing their established partnership: “I’m so pleased that I’ll be working with Claudia - she’s long been part of the Strictly family and I’ve loved doing the Sunday show with her. It’s really exciting having two women host the show, and we are great mates so there’ll be lots of fun to be had on and off the dance floor."

Claudia echoes the sentiment: “I have loved Strictly since the second it appeared on our screens and I am honoured and thrilled to now be part of the Saturday night team. Working alongside Tess is always fantastic and I can't wait to spend the weekends with her, our amazing dancers and the greatest judging panel on the planet. Sir Bruce is a living legend and we'll all miss him very much."

Friday, May 09, 2014

Ola Returning?

Ola Jordan has reportedly signed up to return to Strictly Come Dancing.

The List reports that a source told The Sun: "Losing her would have been a blow. Now they hope James will follow her lead."

As always, the BBC are not confirming anything just yet. A spokesperson told the paper: "Discussions are on-going with all professional dancers for Strictly's next series, and the line-up will be announced in due course."

The Jordans have had many reported spats with others. James has reportedly had frequent run-ins with Craig Revel Horwood, which led to the couple being dropped from the live tour which Craig produces. And last year, Ola was the victim of a 'bullying' incident in which Karen Hauer allegedly called her a "rubbish dancer".

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cha Cha For Arg?

Could TOWIE star James 'Arg' Argent be headed for Strictly?

He told the Daily Star that it could be on the cards: “I want to do Strictly this year and I’m definitely in their thoughts. I can dance. I have got rhythm. I would shock people with my moves. I have always dreamed of being in the West End and so this show suits me down to the ground.”

Kitten Heels

Atomic Kitten singer Natasha Hamilton has revealed that she would like to have a go at Strictly after her baby arrives.

Natasha told Yahoo! News that she's wanted to do the show for a long time: “I’m holding out for Strictly Come Dancing. I’ve been waiting six years! I could do it this year. I think they should put me on the show this year to show that they have nothing against post pregnancy women! They’ll be all inclusive!”

Natasha is currently expecting her fourth child, her first with 5ive's Ritchie Neville.

Strictly Pay Freeze

The BBC is looking to save money, and it's likely that the stars of its biggest show will have to take a pay freeze, or even a pay cut.

According to the Daily Mirror, Strictly's new host will only get half of the £500,000 that Sir Bruce was earning. The judges, whose pay varies from £100,000 to £150,000, are likely to have their pay frozen should they return.

However, the report claims that the BBC Trust's pay review will not be finalised before the salaries will be set for 2014.