Men dancing together – why did it take so long? CHRISTOPHER STEVENS watches a watershed moment on Strictly Come Dancing
- Latest Strictly Come Dancing 2021 news on Series 30 judges, dancers and contestants here
Strictly Come Dancing (BBC)
Like a Boeing 747 with glitterballs for jet engines, every new series of Strictly requires a colossal burst of energy to get it airborne.
After a fuel-blazing, 141-minute blast up the runway, this year’s show is finally off the ground. And it promises to lift us as high as ever.
Before the dancing began, everyone was talking about the Covid controversy, with several vaccine refuseniks among the cast.
And last night it emerged that two people had indeed tested positive.
A full outbreak could cause a serious crisis – but for now it’s Strictly business as usual.
On Saturday all eyes were on TV chef John Whaite, dancing with pro Johannes Radebe as the show’s first same-sex male pairing.
In dark suits and polo necks, high-stepping to the robotic Blue Monday by New Order, they looked more like duelling secret agents than ballroom performers – easily the least camp of all the men.
On Saturday all eyes were on TV chef John Whaite, dancing with pro Johannes Radebe as the show’s first same-sex male pairing (pictured)
Far more flamboyant was Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty, in a gauze shirt slashed to the waist.
McFly boy-bander Tom Fletcher, who opened the contest waltzing with Amy Dowden, was strutting and pointing like a drag queen in his tight pink suit.
The only question to be asked about two blokes dancing together on this show is – why on earth has it taken so long?
Don’t expect the boys to have it all their own way, though.
TV presenter AJ Odudu raced away on the scoreboard, performing a spectacular jive in a miniskirt apparently made from spray-painted straw.
AJ is a veteran of every reality show from Celebrity Big Brother to Celebrity Karaoke and Celebrity SAS – a professional celebrity contestant, in other words.
I had assumed that she was on Strictly as a makeweight, and I was completely wrong.
Far more flamboyant was Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty, in a gauze shirt slashed to the waist (pictured with dance partner Katya Jones)
McFly boy-bander Tom Fletcher, who opened the contest waltzing with Amy Dowden (pictured together), was strutting and pointing like a drag queen in his tight pink suit
Comic actor Robert Webb, while no contender for the crown, looked like he was having the time of his life in a paisley jumpsuit.
And on the judging panel for the first time, though he made a nervous start, Anton du Beke was soon laughing and confident.
He’s trained with the best, learning from Bruce Forsyth and Len Goodman. That pedigree will pay off.
This year, there are no politicians in the line-up, which seems bizarre.
The producers can’t have been trying hard enough. Don’t they see that nightclub denizen Michael Gove is simply screaming to take part?
And Jacob Rees-Mogg already dresses in top hat, white tie and tails.
He’s ready to leap straight into a Fred Astaire routine. Come along, Jacob – show Nanny your quickstep.
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