Tuesday, 24 May 2011

No Claudia on ITT this year. Sob.

Just when I thought May couldn't have any more bad news, I read confirmation on Strictly Come Blogging that the irrepressible Claudia Winkleman will not be presenting the Strictly Come Dancing Companion show, It Takes Two this year.

This is hardly a surprise. I couldn't imagine her giving birth to her third child in August and then doing a 5 nights a week show from mid September. I'm glad she's still going to be doing the results show on a Sunday evening, though.

It's telling that the quote from her in today's Mirror offers a glimmer of hope that she might come back in subsequent years.

“Everyone who watches Strictly knows how much I love the show and enjoy presenting It Takes Two.
“This year I’m dipping out, but can’t wait to watch it from the sofa.”
 Claudia's pretty much irreplaceable and I don't know how the BBC will do it. Names in the frame so far according to Twitter have been Kate Garraway, Kate Thornton and Miranda Hart. I think that it might be fun, if she is only going to be away for a year, to have guest presenters for a week at a time. I'm not sure there's a studio around that could contain Marian Keyes, but she'd be good. So would Pamela Stephenson. Even Widdy. For a few days she could be tolerable and quite fun. Camilla Dallerup or Matt Cutler could also do a stint.

Or, and this is controversial and Billi will kill me but what about giving the show to Anton Du Beke? Then we get to see him 5 days a week and he could still do show dances on a Saturday night.  That might be the best way to carry on the Claudia tradition.  Is there anything not to love about that idea?

There's also always the option of giving Alesha ITT and bringing Arlene back on to the judging panel, but I won't hold my breath on that one.

Let's hope that the producers consider the fans when they decide on Claudia's replacement. ITT is watched mostly by hardcore fans so they need to be sensitive.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Strictly's Karen Hardy to judge Barclays Live Dance Competition in Glasgow this weekend

Former Strictly professional Karen Hardy, who won with Mark Ramprakash in 2006 and who has one of Strictly's most fondly regarded partnerships with Bill Turnbull to her credit, will be in Glasgow this Saturday, 22 January.

She's going to be one of the panel for the Barclays Live Dance Competition at the St Enoch Centre. She'll be leading a dance masterclass too - I wonder if it will be the same routine as featured in the BBC ident and the Strictly Roadshows. Karen is one of the most talented and creative choregraphers I know and all my friends who've had lessons with her say she's a fabulous teacher, so if you like Strictly and want to meet her, get down there on Saturday. There is some vague connection, I think, to the opening of a new branch of the bank in Glasgow at 83 Argyle Street, but you can just ignore all of that and concentrate on the dancing.

Karen will be judging 10 of the city's top dance acts who will be whittled down to 5 by the judges. There will then be a public vote on the web and the winner will win £1000. They will then progress to a further stage of the competition where there's another £1000 up for grabs.

This is the first time the competition has been held in Scotland. I can't think of a better way to brighten up a miserable January day.

I'm gutted that I probably can't go as I have a meeting in Edinburgh on Saturday morning, but I'll certainly try and get across later if time and energy permits.