As the days draw in and the English weather starts to get really yucky, if you’re anything like me, a Saturday night sat glued to the TV with a takeaway and a hot water bottle sounds like heaven. So it’s a good job that the new series of Strictly Come Dancing has arrived. Not only does it give me something to do while I nibble on my poppadoms, it also tends to spark some serious debate between the members of the household. Yes, my mother and I have been known to fall out over this.
Strictly has been on our screens for a little while now, and it’s clear who the natural front-runners are. Natalie Gumede, who has sparked debate about her previous dance training, is astonishingly good, along with news presenter Susanna Reid, soap star Ashley Taylor Dawson, model Abbey Clancy, and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor. I really don’t know how they do it. But everyone knows that Great Britain loves an underdog, and the celebrities vying for the most-improved slot, and therefore the viewers’ hearts, are rugby player Ben Cohen, Countdown presenter Rachel Riley, actors Patrick Robinson, Mark Benton and Fiona Fullerton, fashion designer Julien MacDonald, businesswoman Deborah Meaden, ‘Hairy Biker’ Dave Myers, golfer Tony Jacklin, and radio presenter Vanessa Feltz.
With the standard this year higher than ever, it is difficult to guess who the winner will be – my ‘favourite’ tends to change every week – but I know what I’ll be doing on Saturday and Sunday nights from now until Christmas.