Strictly Come Blogging

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

Friday, August 26, 2016

Could Arlene Really Return?

Arlene Phillips left Strictly in 2009, after producers replaced her with former champion Alesha Dixon. The decision was very controversial, and was met with much disdain by Strictly fans who felt Dixon was not qualified. After two series she was replaced by Darcey Bussell.

Now rumours are swirling that Arlene could be reinstated to replace Len Goodman next year. A source told The Sun“Producers have a limited pool to pick from for Len’s replacement and they know that Arlene would be a shock to the audience but they would love it. This time her age actually works in her favour as part of the BBC’s new diversity and gender targets. Pro dancer Anton du Beke is still the favourite but bosses love him being a dance mentor to the older women celebs and don’t want to lose him.”

I was quite upset when Arlene was dismissed, but is she right to replace Len? For me, Anton's strength is his ballroom background. He knows the technical aspects of the dances being performed and would give the panel credibility.

We've all noticed that Len's interest in footwork and rules has waned as the show has become bigger and glitzier, and non 10-dance styles have been added into the competition. Is it so necessary to have a ballroom technician any more?

Arlene is a very performance-orientated judge, although she's certainly no slouch when it comes to technique. You can't get to her position in life without knowing what you're doing.

I guess we'll find out what the BBC thinks in about 11 months...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Final Three: Greg Rutherford, Tameka Empson & Lesley Joseph

The final three celebrities were announced on The One Show last night.

Greg Rutherford is an Olympic gold winning long jumper, who has just returned from Rio where he won bronze. He said: “I love being challenged and taking to the Strictly ballroom is like nothing I have ever done before – doing this is definitely a long jump from my day job for sure!”

EastEnders star Tameka Empson has long been a Strictly fan. I'm always excited when genuine fans sign up, and I can't wait to see how she gets on. She said: “I have been waiting for years to take part in Strictly and I’m so excited that finally I get to show the nation my moves! It’s always been a dream and I can’t wait to get started!"

Actress Lesley Joseph completes the line-up.
The Birds Of A Feather star said:Strictly is an iconic show and I have always loved the glamour and the dedication and the entertainment and this year it suddenly seemed right to take part. I am scared and excited and apprehensive and thrilled to be a part of this wonderful show and I will try my best and enjoy this amazing experience!”

So that's it. We have our fabulous fifteen:

Ed Balls
Will Young
Laura Whitmore
Ore Oduba
Melvin Odoom
Louise Redknapp
Danny Mac
Daisy Lowe
Naga Munchetty
Claudia Fragapane
Judge Rinder
Greg Rutherford
Tameka Empson
Lesley Joseph

I had to get the Google machine out a few times this year, but there are some good signings her. I'm excited about Will, Anastacia, Naga and Tameka, and I can't wait to see what Claudia can do.

The launch show, where we get our first look and discover the pairings will be shown on BBC1 on Saturday 3rd September, and competition will begin on Friday 23rd.

Celebrity No. 12: 'Judge' Robert Rinder

TV court judge Robert Rinder was announced yesterday as the twelfth celebrity to join Strictly.

Robert said: “The only thing I knew would make my grandmother more proud than watching my TV courtroom was to see me dressed up in white tie doing the Foxtrot. So although I suspect the latter will be far more difficult, I am doing Strictly Come Dancing for her. No doubt the judges will be as fair, kind and thoughtful as me (especially the charming Craig Revel Horwood). I shall await their verdicts”

I've never watched Judge Rinder, so I have absolutely no idea about him. I hear he has a sharp tongue and may will give a bit of back-chat to CRH.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Celebrity No. 11: Claudia Fragapane

Team GB gymnast Claudia Fragapane is joining the Strictly Come Dancing lineup.

Claudia said: “I am a really big fan of Strictly Come Dancing and am so excited to be chosen to take part this year. I am used to performing in front of big crowds but this is going to be so different to my floor routines in gymnastics – but I love a challenge and performing! I also love dressing up and wearing sparkly costumes!”

Claudia should be a bit good. She won't be fearful of lifts and already understands rhythm. If I was a pro, she'd be the partner I'd be hoping for. She's only about 4'6", though, so Pasha perhaps might be in luck.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Celebrity No. 10: Anastacia

This morning it was announced that singer Anastacia will be the tenth celebrity for Strictly Come Dancing.

Anastacia explained to Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2 that the ball started rolling when she appeared on the show to sing I'm Outta Love last year.

She says: “I'm a total '10' on the level of excitement and definitely a '10' scared! Seriously though, I can't wait to get started. Taking part in Strictly is a dream, it's such a new challenge for me I've never done anything like this before so I hope I pull it off!!! I've got a lot of training to do before I'm twinkle toes so I'm eager to get my partner and get going! I'm ready!"

I've been a fan of Anatascia for a long time, and I have always enjoyed listening to her being interviewed. She is so vivacious, and funny. I'd kind of forgotten until I heard her this morning. She's going to be so up for it.

Celebrity No 9: Naga Munchetty

BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Manchetty is the ninth celebrity for this year's Strictly Come Dancing.

She said: “I was so surprised to be asked to take part - I never thought I'd have the courage to say yes, but it would be simply silly to turn down the chance to learn to dance with a professional. I'm going to give it my very best and enjoy what's bound to be a great adventure. I am equally excited, nervous and scared - I can't wait to start training!”

I really like Naga, and I'm excited to see her take part. She should have a nice breakfast rivalry with Ore, too. And I'm sure there will be a queue of other BBC Breakfast faces happy to give her advice.

Celebrity No. 8: Daisy Lowe

Model Daisy Lowe is the eighth Strictly contestant for 2016.

She said: “I am used to being on the catwalk and campaigns of major fashion brands with lots of eyes on me but this is completely different from anything I have ever done before! My family and friends and I adore Strictly, so when the chance came up to take part - I jumped at it! I am itching to get started and am so looking forward to learning a new skill.”

I don't much about Daisy. In fact, I probably couldn't pick her out of a line-up. But, you know, Strictly.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Celebrity No. 7: Danny Mac

Actor Danny Mac was announced today to join the Strictly Come Dancing line-up.

Danny says: “I’m as terrified as I am excited! I’ve done a few bits and bobs of secret filming for the show and it’s all become very real now. I can’t believe that I am now part of the biggest show on television and I cannot wait to get started.”

Danny was in Hollyoaks for several years , which means I have no clue about him at all. He went to Arts Ed, which means he may have learnt a few dance moves.. According to Wikipedia, he was also in Wicked.

Celebrity No. 6: Louise Redknapp

Yesterday, it was was back to the ones we pretty much knew were coming, when Louise Redknapp was announced on Steve Wright In The Afternoon as Strictly's sixth celebrity.

Louise is probably best known for being one quarter of girl group Eternal in the 1990s, although she has done lost of TV work since then.

Louise said: “I've sung in front of crowds of thousands before but the idea of stepping out onto that famous dance floor with a world class professional dancer gives me butterflies just thinking about it! I’m a big fan of the show and am definitely going to go out there and give it 100% as I want to make my boys proud."

Louise also posted a video of herself on Twitter dancing with her dog Blu...

Friday, August 12, 2016

Celebrity No. 4: Ore Oduba & No 5: Melvin Odoom

The forth celebrity to be announced for Strictly Come Dancing is BBC Breakfast sports presenter Ore Oduba.

Ore said: "I'm still waiting for someone to wake me up and tell me I'm dreaming!!! I've been such a huge fan of the show for over a decade. So to actually take to the Strictly stage myself, I don't think I've been more nervously excited - aside from on my wedding day. Let's hope for fewer tears! I cannot wait to get started, it's going to be so much fun."

I really like Ore, and I'm looking forward to seeing him on Strictly. The last BBC Breakfast sports presenter to take part was Chris Hollins, who went on to win! No pressure, Ore!

The fifth participant is DJ and presenter Melvin Odoom. Melvin is a DJ on Kiss FM's breakfast show, where the announcement was made this morning. He is also known for BBC Three panel show Sweat The Small Stuff where he was a team captain, and for his stint hosting The Xtra Factor on ITV3.

Melvin said: “I’m honoured to be part of Strictly 2016! I’m looking forward to learning some new moves of course… but basically it’s the sequins that clinched it for me. I need sparkle in my life and there’s nothing more sparkly that Strictly. I just hope that my dance partner isn’t too tall!”

I know about as much about Melvin as I do about Laura Whitmore. I've not really seen the shows he's been involved with, and I don't listen to Kiss. I'm sure he's a lovely guy. I guess we'll see soon enough...

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Celebrity No. 3: Laura Whitmore

TV presenter Laura Whitmore has been confirmed as a participant in this year's Strictly Come Dancing. The news was announced this morning on the Radio 1 breakfast show.

Laura said: “I have watched Strictly and been obsessed with the show since series one. It's an incredible show and I feel so honoured to be asked to part of it. I'm not going to lie, I'm slightly petrified too!”

I don't know much about Laura myself, as I haven't watched any of the things she's done. I really don't remember her on Eurovision, which would have been the only thing I might have seen.

But none of that matters, because she's on Strictly now, and that means she's practically family between now and Christmas.

Interesting that all of the celebs announced so far were already rumoured to be taking part. Are there any surprises to come? We all love a celeb that comes completely out of the blue, like Richard Dunwoody...

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Celebrity No. 2: Will Young

Will Young was confirmed this afternoon as the second celebrity to be lined up for Strictly Come Dancing this autumn.

Will said: “As a fan of Strictly for years, I have always imagined myself on the show, but the timing has not been right... until now! Music is my passion and the dancing I have done has always been with a microphone in hand. Now there will be no microphone or band, just me, my partner and the dance floor. Strictly is a show with fantastic live music and has an ethos of positivity and growth. I practice these two things every day, and I will try my hardest to be the best dancer possible.”

Will is a great signing. He is musical, of course, but also dedicated and focused. 

This is the man who stood up to Simon Cowell and went on to win Pop Idol, so I don't think he's going to be too bothered by Craig Revel Horwood.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Celebrity No. 1: Ed Balls

Former MP Ed Balls has been confirmed as the first celebrity taking part in Strictly Come Dancing 2016.

The announcement was made on the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show this morning. Ed told Chris Evans: “I'd like to say I'm just really excited about learning to dance on TV, but the truth is I'm also scared to death. Making a speech in Parliament seems a piece of cake compared to this, but hopefully I can stick around for a couple of weeks, and have a lot of fun in the process. Strictly is a firm favourite in our living room, and it feels like a dream to be going on myself, especially for Len's last series. I'm just hoping it doesn't turn into a nightmare too quickly!”.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Next! Scarlett Moffatt...

Scarlett Moffatt? No, me neither. Apparently people watch her watching TV, and she makes a living. Ten years of blogging, and all I have got are a few DVDs. Pft.

Anyway, who is going to give up sitting on their tail watching TV for money and dance for money? Certainly not Scarlett. She turned down the offer to be on TV, rather than watch someone else being on TV. Got that? Me niether.

The Daily Mirror reports that Goggleboxer Scarlett told the Daily Star Sunday that she turned down the chance to be on Strictly“I was asked to do Strictly Come Dancing which was pretty cool but I love Gogglebox too much. It’s the best and easiest job in the world to sit and watch telly. I would have had to choose between the two and it was a no-brainer for me.”

She also describes herself as a 'ringer', as she was a competitive ballroom dancer as a child. Kbye.

Glitter Balls?

Is Ed Balls about to become 'Glitter Balls'? 

The Daily Mirror has reported that the former MP has signed up for this year's competition, although the story contains no evidence, not even a quote from an unnamed source, to indicate that there is any truth to the story.

It's not easy for MPs on Strictly. While Ann Widdecombe did well as a novelty act, Edwina Currie, who was actually reasonable, was first out of the competition when she took part.