Find that the number of visitors to Random drops at the weekend - well, naturally you all have better things to do which I hope include slobbing about and having a lie in. I have a couple of bookish posts ready to thrill you with but will hold those over until Monday when the week begins once more.
So today I am giving you my thoughts on this year's Strictly Come Dancing. Exciting no? Oh, ok...
My first thoughts are that despite the annual assertion from Len that this is the 'best series ever' it is not. We have the usual Eastender (Sid Owen) which seems obligatory, somebody from a series called Tracey Beaker of which I know nothing, a breakfast presenter called Richard, again of whom I know nothing and who is incredibly creepy, and other assorted luminaries. I won't go through them all but just pick up on a few.
Jerry Gosh I have such a sexy Texan Drawl Hall - ex super model ex Mrs Jagger. Freely admits to putting in the minimum amount of practice hours as set by the BBC, describes herself as laid back (bone idle is the term I use) and is doing a lot of flouncing around the stage, posing and flashing her legs which we all know she can do supremely well. But can she dance? Well the answer is no she can't. Her partner is poor old Anton du Becke, aka The Berk, always with a smile and oozing charm, who is beginning to look increasingly tightlipped each year and his patina of aforementioned charm is beginning to wear thin. Who can blame him? His last three partners have been Anne Widdicombe (the less said about her the better); Nancy del Olio (even less said about her the better - she was on It takes Two this week totally unintelligible as ever and flashing her legs about and licking her lips at the camera) and now he has Ms Hall. Triple whammy. Ms Hall is relying heavily on her sex appeal to get her through. Won't cut the mustard - neither Craig nor Bruno are going to respond to her allures, Len gets fed up at her lack of technique and Darcy, well not sure what Darcy thinks. I predict she will go out soon as feel the public are not warming to her either.
The creepy breakfast presenter Richard is so smarmy and tactile and keeps hugging and kissing Erin and going over the top and though she has a sunny smile on her face not sure she is too keen on it. We shall see. Did a good routine last night to Nine to Five and I predict he will survive another week.
Brendon was initially thrilled when he was given Olympian Victoria Pendleton as a partner but not sure he will be much longer. First week she did the cha cha cha and it was a disaster; second week fox trot which was better and judges so relieved at this they greeted it as it if was the second coming. Last night she had to do a rumba and be sexy - as it was Hollywood week Brendan was dressed up as Richard Gere a la Officer and a Gentleman. She had a 'wardrobe malfunction' with the chiffon on her dress catching on her heel and generally getting in the way (Wardrobe - why does this happen on such a regular basis? sort it out for heaven's sake) and it all went pear shaped. Tears threatened but I think the public will vote her through.
Better not go on too long else this post will stretch out for ever and will write further next weekend. All I do want to say is that Denise Oh I really really can't dance Van Outen is clearly the judges's favourite which might do her no good in the long run. She has no business being on this show; despite her protestations that she has had no dance training and 'ballroom dancing is so different to anything I have done before' the fact that she was in a run of Chicago for a year gives her an unfair advantage. Her dance muscles are trained, she has the moves and is streets ahead of anyone else. Judges are drooling over her performances - this may put the public into Bloody Minded mode eventually, it always happens when they show their preferences too clearly so fingers crossed.
Lewis Smith, the Olympic gymnast, whose latest hair style is grotesque, has clearly got the women going. Not quite sure why but then I am hardly in his age category ('sigh') and his rippling muscles pass me by. Not exactly a sparkling personality on the floor, but well aware that Darcy has gone all soppy on him, and as he is partnered with Flavia, should do well. Memo to Lewis: Flavia has form. She ditched her long term partner Vincent a few years ago for her Strictly partner, then ditched him a couple of years later for her next Strictly partner so if I were you I would be very very careful....
And finally cannot end without mentioning Lisa Riley. She is LARGE, very large though shrinking by the week and like all large ladies is very light on her feet and has a personality that lights up the room. Came out the first week and did a cha cha cha which brought the audience to their feet (not hard to do admittedly but deserved this time), a charming Viennese waltz last week, and last night did the jive. I saw her in the last series of Scott and Bailey (detective series) recently and she turned in a stunning performance so she is a multi-talented lady. She is partnered with Robin who seems to have a knack with more mature ladies, Patsy Kensit and Anita Dobson being his last two, and they obviously hit it off very well. A favourite with everyone and she will make it through to the semis in my opinion. A far more worthy contestant than Miss van Outen.
Results show tonight - why they bother I do not know as everyone knows it was recorded last night. The only people who do not know who is leaving are the studio audience who are stuck in the studio and so their reactions are genuine (I did hear a rumour that they have to hand in their mobile phones so they cannot track down the result). The rest of us wait until about 11 pm, log onto a well known website and find out who is going. This makes the result show great fun as we all know who is getting the boot and so can relax.
I love Strictly. All the naffness of it all, the sequins and the fake glamour and the crazy mix of slebs we have each year who, whether I have heard of them or not, I get to know and like/dislike in equal measure. Of course we could all do without the vacant space that is Tess Daly (the memory of her part in the BBC coverage of the Jubilee still brings me out in hives) and, much though I love Bruce, I wonder how much longer he can get away with it.
Judges are as ever with the bonus that this year we no longer have Alesha Dixon and are thus spared her penetrating insights 'that woz wicked' 'I commend you' etc etc. Instead we have La Bussell and at least she has knowledge of the dance world and can make suggestions as to how the contestants can improve but she has the most irritating Sloane type drawl with an upward inflection at the end of each sentence, and the first week said 'Yeh' so many times the commentary boards on various newspapers were awash with complaints. She has obviously had this pointed out to her as she has reined herself in, but you can see it is a struggle.
But Saturday nights up to Christmas are now set in stone. 6.30pm I am there in my armchair ready with the mute button which I use when Bruce and Tess are yakking and I would not miss it for the world. Now tonight it will be Downton Abbey (still recovering from the trauma of last week) and then Homeland.
I tell you it is all go at Chateau Random.....