Ex-Eng­land man­ager ‘Big Sam’ to sign up for Strictly

Daily Mail - - Life -

His 67-day ten­ure as Eng­land foot­ball man­ager was ig­no­min­iously ter­mi­nated fol­low­ing a ‘ st­ing’ op­er­a­tion which ex­posed his ap­par­ent will­ing­ness to ac­cept pay­ment in re­turn for cir­cum­vent­ing FA trans­fer rules.

But now ‘ Big sam’ Al­lardyce is on the thresh­old of a new role which may pro­pel him to na­tional trea­sure sta­tus.

For i can dis­close that the 64-yearold, whose most re­cent stint in the man­age­rial dug-out was at Ever­ton, is in dis­cus­sions with the BBC to ap­pear on its flagship pro­gramme, strictly Come Danc­ing.

‘He met TV ex­ec­u­tives this week in a ho­tel bar,’ my se­quined in­for­mant tells me, be­fore adding that ‘Big sam’, who owes his nick­name both to his height – 6ft 3in – and sub­stan­tial physique, took the op­por­tu­nity to in­quire what sort of stan­dards he needed to meet.

‘They as­sured him that the show’s edited so that no one comes across as a ter­ri­ble dancer, men­tion­ing Katie Piper as some­one who was not “a nat­u­ral” but who got the pub­lic be­hind her.

‘They were talk­ing to him about the Christ­mas spe­cial but em­pha­sised that they want him on a whole series, rather than just a one-off.’

This seems to have heart­ened Al­lardyce, who in­quired about two pre­vi­ous stars from the world of foot­ball — for­mer Eng­land striker John Barnes and com­bat­ive Welsh mid­fielder Rob­bie sav­age, once dubbed the dirt­i­est player in the history of the Premier League.

sav­age, who part­nered Ola Jor­dan in 2011, man­aged sixth place, while Barnes was sev­enth in 2007, with the con­so­la­tion of be­com­ing the first male celebrity con­tes­tant to se­cure a per­fect ten from the judges for his salsa.

That was good enough for Big sam, known for his un­com­pro­mis­ing work in mid­field dur­ing his play­ing days.

And it seems he is not wor­ried about pub­lic crit­i­cism of his danc­ing. ‘He said: “What­ever they can say, i’ve had twice as bad.” ’

The BBC de­clines to com­ment on his prospec­tive de­but, while Al­lardyce’s spokes­woman says that she is ‘not able to con­firm any­thing’. Let’s hope that the Beeb bungs him a de­cent fee.

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