Strictly Come Blogging

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

Monday, July 24, 2017

Judges' Pay

A lot has been made over the past week about the salaries of high-profile BBC talent, and about the gender pay gap. But the BBC's Annex to the BBC Annual Report and Accounts 2016/17, which revealed the figures, threw up some interesting questions regarding Strictly.

According to BARB, Strictly was second only to The Great British Bake-Off in viewing figures (which also happens to be presented by two women!). The final of Strictly was the highest-rating episode, with an average of 13.3m viewers. 

Admittedly, Strictly is only on air for three months - some of the presenters on the list work daily for most of the year - but for such a high-rating show, is it fair that Tess Daly is only paid £350-£400k? Claudia Winkleman earns £$50-500k, but this includes other work such as radio, not just Strictly.

It Takes Two host Zoe Ball earns between £250-300k, again including radio and other work.

What's more of a mystery to me is the difference between the pay of the judges. As far as I can see, they do exactly the same amount of work, and yet Len and Bruno get paid more than Craig and Darcey. Len and Bruno earn £200-250k, while Craig and Darcey earn £150-£200k. I really can't understand this at all. Even if you wanted to argue that Darcey is less experienced (which would be ridiculous anyway), Craig has been with the show since day 1, and therefore should be earning exactly the same, surely.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Quick, Quick, Glow

You can now get that Strictly glow, with a new range of tanning products.

According to Glamour magazine, a Strictly Come Dancing branded range of tanning products from tan speciallists Norvell will be available through shopping channel Ideal World TV, or directly through the Norvell website.

The range consists of Dazzling Shimmering Mist, Perfect 10 Self Tanning Airbrush Spray, Perfection Self Tanning Mousse and Show Stopper Colour Booster Skin Perfector.

Fake tan seems like a logical step. There have already been Strictly make-up at Boots, and Strictly fragrance from Avon, so a fake tan makes total sense.

If anyone tries out the products, do let me know what you think. Tune in to Ideal World at 2pm on Friday to hear more.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Congratulations Janette & Aljaž!

Big congratulations to Janette & Aljaž, who got married at the weekend. 

No formal photos from the day have been released, but Janette did share a candid photo on Instargram.

A post shared by Janette Manrara (@jmanrara) on

According to reports, several Strictly stars were in attendance, including Craig, Darcey, Anton, Zoe, Louise Redknapp, Ore Oduba, Daisy Lowe, Ed Balls and Jeremy Vine.

Next! Levi Roots...

It seems that a way to get a quick bit of press is to announce that you turned down Strictly. There have been dozens of these stories recently. Or maybe it's just that the press ask everyone they interview if they would do it, in the hope of getting a headline.

Either way, latest to state his rejection of Strictly is food entrepreneur Levi Roots.

Levi told The Sun that the nature of the show goes against his beliefs: “My family and friends say I should do Strictly and go into the jungle and do all these shows I’ve been offered. But the decision is mine, and I have to think, ‘Is that the way of the Rasta?’ And to me, it isn’t. I’m quite comfortable holding on to what I’ve got, and people seem to like me the way I am. I turned down all those things because it’s not the way of a Rastafarian.”

Monday, July 10, 2017

Next! Martine McCutcheon

Martine McCutcheon was reportedly offered the chance to appear on Strictly, but turned it down for health reasons.

The Loose Women panelist told the Daily Star: “I have been offered Strictly numerous times and a few of the others."

But she decided to put her health first: “Out of all the reality shows I would have absolutely loved to have done Strictly, but I would have struggled with my health. Even people who are really, really fit have told me it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done so I know it wouldn’t have been possible. I never felt I would be well enough to return to music after all my health problems with ME and Lyme disease. I am fit and well at the moment but while I am healthy I want to concentrate on the things I love the most, like music.”

Is It Finally Ruth Langsford's Year?

Ruth Langsford's name has been connected with Strictly for over two years, but it always seemed that producers were only keen if her husband and This Morning co-presenter Eamonn Holmes would sign-up too. Eamonn has repeatedly made it clear that he doesn't want to do it.

Now the Daily Mail is reporting that Ruth will be signing up, alone, to the next series. Confusingly, the article implies that she has needed convincing, but I doubt that is the case. A source told the paper: "Ruth has always been a big fan of the show, and producers are thrilled that she has changed her mind and will be taking part this year. No one has signed any contracts for the show this year but she has had long talks with show bosses and, barring any injury, will be waltzing her way onto the show this autumn. Eamonn is really excited about cheering her on."

I love seeing genuine Strictly fans taking part. I think Ruth would be great.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Alexandra Burke Already Signed?

According to The Sun, singer Alexandra Burke has signed up to take part in this year's Strictly.

A source told the paper: “Alex loves theatre, but she wants to relaunch her TV career. This seems the perfect way for her to do it. She has heard a lot about how great the experience is and can’t wait to get started. She is already working hard on her fitness.”

Alexandra might have one of the judges on her side. She has recently been in the touring company of Sister Act, directed by Craig Revel Horwood.

Charlie Stayt Would Not Do Strictly

Despite the number of his co-presenters who have given it a go, BBC Breakfast's Charlie Stayt will not being appearing on Strictly.

He told the The Sun: "Lots of my colleagues have competed on Strictly Come Dancing and had great fun, but it’s a very straightforward ‘no’ from me. I know from their experience that to do a show such as Strictly and to do it well, you’ve really got to want to do it."

There are very few people left on BBC Breakfast who haven't done it already. My money would be on Steph McGovern to be next.

Stacey Solomon: "Never Say Never"

Presenter Stacey Solomon has indicated that she would consider taking part in Strictly, but would like to keep the frocks.

She told OK! magazine: “I’d never say never, I would do it for probably just for the costumes but I'm a terrible dancer. I wonder if you get to keep them - that would be make or break for me. It would be so rubbish to get to wear all of those clothes and not get to keep them!”

Someone tell her the dresses cost thousands and get passed on to other Strictlys around the world. She could buy one...

Ed Sheeran For Strictly... One Day

Singer Ed Sheeran says he will do Strictly at some point in the future.

TellyMix reports that he said: "I will 100 percent do Strictly Come Dancing one day. I think something like I'm a Celebrity... would be fun, too."

He had better hope it's still on by the time he's ready.

Next! Tim Henman...

Former tennis player Tim Henman has emphatically turned down the opportunity to appear on Strictly Come Dancing.

He told the Daily Star"I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than do it. I have two left feet, and I can’t dance anyway.”

That's alright, Tim. I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than watch you. I always liked Greg Rusedski better anyway.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pro Changes For 2017

There will be three changes to the pro line-up for the 2017 series of Strictly, the BBC has announced.

Natalie Lowe announced last month that she would not be returning for another series.

Joanne Clifton will step down to focus on her stage career. She said: "Being part of the Strictly experience has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I will miss the show so much. It’s been a tough decision but I am looking forward to facing new challenges and focusing on my musical theatre career.”

Oksana Platero will also not return. She said: “I just want to say thank you to everyone involved with Strictly. Last year was my first season and I had an unforgettable time working alongside such amazing dancers and an even better time with Judge Rinder. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and I will never forget it. Thank you so much for the memories.”

Joining the line-up are Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova and Amy Dowden.

Aussie Dianne was a pro on the Australian Dancing With The Stars in 2015. She has also appeared in Burn The Floor (of course!) on Broadway, and is currently on tour with Giovanni Pernice. She said: “What an honour it is to be a part of Strictly Come Dancing. Words can’t describe how excited I am to take on this amazing challenge and give it my everything. See you on the dance floor!”

Nadiya is from Ukraine, and was a pro on the Bosnian version of Strictly. She has won many ballroom and Latin titles. She said: “I'm extremely happy to be joining the Strictly Come Dancing family this year. One of my biggest dreams is to be part of this great show and I can't wait to get started!"

Caerphilly native Amy is a British National champion. She said: “Becoming a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing has made my wildest dreams come true, it does not feel real! I have always been proud of my Welsh roots and feel so honoured to be the first Welsh professional dancer on the most loved show on TV.”

The male pro line-up remains unchanged. I am really sorry to see Oksana leave so soon. She did a really good job with Robert Rinder, and I would love to have seen how she would have got on with an even stronger partner.

I don't think anyone will be surprised by Joanne's decision. Things seem to be going well for her on stage at the moment.

I'll be interested to see how the new pros get on. I also really hope that Neil is part of the competition this year. I really enjoyed his bits for It Takes Two last year, and I would love to see how he would get on with a celebrity partner. I also hope Chloe gets a partner. It's really hard for new pros to establish themselves when they are not part of the competition. Chloe and Neil were helped by the fact their their partners were part of the main show. It's much easier to keep involved that way.

Rooney Ready To Rumba?

Is Coleen Rooney going to be heading for the dancefloor this autumn?

According to the Daily Star, both Strictly and Dancing On Ice, which is set to return to ITV in the new year after a four-year hiatus, are looking to sign the columnist and WAG. 

A source told the paper: “Coleen is very hot property. She has a massive following of fans. But she is also married to the former England captain. With any project she does, Wayne is bound to be by her side supporting her. Having him in the studio audience would be great for any show.”

Coleen has big WAG wellies to fill if she does do Strictly. Abby Clancy won the glitterball in 2013, and Louise Redknapp was a finalist last year.

From Sweden To Strictly

Former Sweden and Manchester United player Jesper Blomqvist has revealed he would like to have a go at Strictly, after winning the Swedish version of the show. asked if he would like to have a go at the BBC's version: "That would be great. I was looking at the English one to get some inspiration by seeing what they were doing. It is a big show in Sweden but England is a big country and, of course, it's even bigger there!"

Friday, June 16, 2017

Kate Humble: "I Will Stick To Animals And Being Mucky"

Kate Humble has revealled that she had a meeting about taking part in Strictly, but ultimately turned it down.

After initially rejecting it outright, her Springwatch colleagues convinced her to take the meeting.

She told the Daily Mirror: "When we got to the meeting, the more talk there was of sequins, make-up and Strictly Takes Two, the more I could feel myself pouring with sweat. It’s just not me and I was literally about to have a panic attack at the thought of wearing make up and dresses! My agent realised and gently put her hand on my knee as if to say ‘it’s ok, don’t worry’. There are so many people who love it and get so much out of it but I will stick to animals and being mucky. I am better at that. That’s more my comfort zone.”

We love to see stars who aren't normally glamourous on TV take part. That's why sports stars are so fun to watch. I'm sure Kate would have soon got over his discomfort, just like most the the fellas end up watching more tan and sparkles.