Don’t ask me why, but I had the sudden thought: Strictly will happen again next year. And the year after. And the year after that, even unto the next Labour government, even beyond the year they celebrate the 50th anniversary of HS2 and people ask, “What exactly was Bake-Off?”
Strictly Come Dancing will outlive me, and you. It might actually outlive the BBC itself.
It is that powerful a product.
Yes, I thought, compared to the might of Strictly, we are all just flashes in the eye of time. And I imagined myself, as a current contestant, giving advice to those who follow me onto the show, perhaps people not yet born.
So SEVE-ERRRRRN thoughts follow, aimed at some future person wondering whether to take up the offer of a place. Actually, sorry: an extra one crept in. It’s eight.
1. Strictly is the biggest show the BBC has ever created.
After my first foray onto that famous floor, where my meticulously-rehearsed cha-cha-cha turned into a passable impression of a man rushing down the stairs in a blazing house, I emerged shell-shocked and saw the Olympian Iwan Thomas. “That,” I said, “was bigger than doing the first ten minutes of the general election programme.”
The decorated sprinter replied, “No, it was even bigger. It was bigger than an Olympic final.”
A week later he was run out of town, and we watched him disappear in our fake tans and false eyelashes with the blood cooling in our veins.
So do not say yes to Strictly if you have a nervous condition or are scared by an audience thirty times louder than any starter pistol.