With more fake tan than the cast of TOWIE, the Strictly Come Dancing tour is back in town at the city’s National Indoor Arena and brings the magic of Saturday night television to Birmingham.
The nation’s favourite celebrities from the hit BBC show, who’ll be in town until the end of the weekend, are performing some of their favourite routines to the eager audiences.
The tour officially kicked off at the NIA last night to a sell out crowd and had the audience roaring, whooping and cheering from the word ‘go’. In its premise, the live show follows that of its televised counterpart - celebrities dance, judges comment and vote, the audience votes and the most popular contestant wins.
This concept already works well for viewers on Saturday nights and so transfers equally well into the live arena with contestants including McFly’s Harry Judd, actress Chelsee Heeley, radio and screen star Jason Donavon and a whole host of favourites taking to the stage.
They clearly engage the crowd and perform with bags of energy. Even Nancy Dell’Olio - who usually does more sitting around on chairs and stretchers than ballroom dancing - is a joy to watch. My personal favourite dance of the night was from Olympic swimmer Mark Foster who performs an enchanting waltz to Journey’s Open Arms.
Due praise must also be given to the Strictly band and singers who accompanied the dancers with pop classics, soulful ballads and rhythmical Latin numbers and the professional dancers who dazzle us with perfect performances.
Popular television personality Kate Thornton hosts the show fabulously and keeps it running smoothly with good banter, a twinkling smile and a couple of beautifully shimmering costume changes while judges Len, Bruno and Craig add their unmistakable humourous innuendo-filled commentary on the celebrity performances.
Inevitably though, when it came down to audiences votes, Harry Judd won the trophy for the opening night of the UK tour. After years on TV and just as many years on tour you would think that audiences (and the producers) would have tired of the show but this tour is bigger and better than ever… catch it before it leaves!