Let’s watch Strictly pair face the mu­sic

The Herald - - OPINION -

LOVE the hypocrisy sur­round­ing Strictly this week. As we know, yet an­other dance cou­ple has ap­peared on the show and trans­gressed the re­la­tion­ship bound­aries. Two more con­tes­tants – co­me­dian Seann Walsh and pro dancer Katya Jones – have found them­selves cha-cha-ing with their dance part­ner out of hours.

And the judges of the na­tion’s moral­ity have thrown great bolts of light­ning at their heads.

Dancer An­ton Du Beke, for ex­am­ple, has main­tained he is “dis­ap­pointed on so many lev­els” by the cou­ple’s in­abil­ity to un­tan­gle tongues out­side a Lon­don bar.

Du Beke, whose an­gel wings could clearly be de­tected be­neath his heav­enly white gown, then went on to of­fer the spir­i­tual ad­vice that re­ally should be prac­tised by ev­ery re­li­gious leader in the land. “If that is some­thing that hap­pens when you drink, then ‘stop’.”

Wow. There’s a rev­o­lu­tion­ary thought to all drinkers when out with some­one you quite fancy and con­fronted by frisk­i­ness: put down your glass im­me­di­ately and go home and watch re-runs of Bar­gain Hunt. Try wear­ing one of that show’s blue or red one-size-fits-all fleeces and see if you still feel a bit of a buzz. Or look at pho­tos of Ja­cob Rees-mogg or Ian Black­ford un­til your urges go away.

Piers Mor­gan, too, got in on the act of con­dem­na­tion, “slam­ming” the kiss­ing cou­ple, one mar­ried (Jones) and the other in a re­la­tion­ship. (Or at least he was un­til the smooch pics ap­peared in the pa­pers.)

But the crit­ics of the late-night kissers, who’d spent sev­eral hours in a Lon­don pub talk­ing no doubt about the main­tain­ing their body arches, the per­fect feet po­si­tion, etc – be­fore in­dulging in face sook­ing – seem to be ig­nor­ing a cou­ple of points: Strictly is all about sex. For the most part, the se­ries places at­trac­tive peo­ple to­gether who are then taught to dance provoca­tively while wear­ing out­fits that com­mand their part­ner to won­der how quickly they can be re­moved.

The suc­cess of the show is very much pred­i­cated upon the chance of what hap­pened on Wed­nes­day night in Cen­tral Lon­don.

The show’s pro­duc­ers know that when dancers spend dozen of hours in the re­hearsal stu­dios to­gether, hold­ing, clutch­ing, sweat­ing, breath­ing heav­ily – all to the heady beat of sen­sual mu­sic – they achieve a level of in­ti­macy most mar­ried best not to seem in­ter­ested in each other, which of course de­feats the ob­ject of the pro­gramme.

It seems they will per­form the Charleston. The Ar­gen­tine tango, as we know, helps con­trive tin­gles in ar­eas as­so­ci­ated with car­nal­ity. The salsa is the sex­i­est thing you can do that doesn’t lead to pro­duc­ing chil­dren. The Charleston, how­ever, is like spend­ing the night read­ing from the Old Tes­ta­ment. In An­cient He­brew.

But let’s not blame the co­me­dian and the pro dancer, even if Walsh did add an ex­tra “n” to his first name (in­spired by some Amer­i­can ac­tor). Tele­vi­sion, as we know, is in­creas­ingly de­pen­dent upon re­la­tion­ship crises; shows such as Love Is­land, and Big Brother build up pos­si­bil­ity, with the hope chaos – and rat­ings – will re­sult. Rus­sia is more moral.

The losers, how­ever, are the part­ners of those who take part in the show who have to watch their re­la­tion­ship crash and burn, along­side eight mil­lion other peo­ple.

So let’s not kid our­selves we’ll take de­light in watch­ing this week’s show play out, know­ing it has noth­ing to do with dance. It will be about Jones try­ing to make her mar­riage work with her dancer hus­band, and Walsh re­al­is­ing his pop­u­lar­ity on the com­edy cir­cuit will be sorely tested.

Let’s en­joy watch­ing them chan­nel their in­ner Irv­ing Ber­lin and say “Let’s face the mu­sic – and dance.”

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