My Strictly Diary:
“Oi Oi, let’s have it!”

Friday 0757Friday 757

It’s a bit early for my dance buddy I think! She is having some Radio 1 tea while we wait to go into Nick Grimshaw’s studio to do an interview about Strictly, plus appear on the humungously popular Happy Hardcore feature, where apparently I just shout “MAD FOR IT” a lot over loud music. Meanwhile I try to revive Karen with caffeinated drinks. 

Friday 0801 Friday 801

Okay … I think Grimmy’s producer has got my number. She is worried I don’t quite have the hardcore thing, so she has written out phrases that will help. Shout after me:

Oi Oi Let’s Have It! Strictly Crew on BBC Radio 1! Jeremy Vine In The Place! Big Up the Strictly Crew!

This is hilarious, right? When the first caller comes up from Stoke, I shout OI OI LET’S HAVE IT. The voice in my headphones doesn’t really sound like me. 

Friday 0802 Fri 0812

Taken by the Grimster himself, a pic of us doing our Strictly “Thriller” routine in the R1 studio as he plays the record. Michael Jackson released it in 1982. That year, I was 17, and Karen was a newborn baby. Cue Vincent Price laughter … 

Friday 1013 Friday 1013

Meet the runners. If your son or daughter wants to be in broadcasting, this is the place to start: aged 22, on a huge show like Strictly. Tash (left) and Olivia are like engine oil for the production. Their job is to make sure no one gets locked in the loo or misses an appointment with the costume dept. Strangely enough, showing the range of what the Beeb does, the first time I worked with Olivia she was doing the same job on the 2015 General Election in May (in the studio next door). Love these girls! With a career start like this it is not beyond the realms that one of them could run the entire BBC one day. That’s why I try to keep in with them.  

Friday 1023 Friday 1023

It is not just Strictly that has a home here at Elstree. This car must be part of a drama production. Either that or Kristina’s autobiography is selling very well indeed.

Friday 1045 Friday 1045

On the floor on a Friday morning. Normally I come later on a Fri, because I can’t leave Radio 2 Towers till 2.15, but this week I have a break from my noon show (Vanessa Feltz is standing in). This is a plain-clothes rehearsal for a pro dance on Sunday. Now here’s what fascinates me in this photo. Not the pros going through their steps, but the floor itself. You see a chessboard projected onto the ballroom. It looks like it’s raised, but it’s not there! How is it done? If it’s projected from the ceiling why don’t the shadows from the dancers block the effect? Strictly is at the cutting edge of 21st century stage effects, for sure. 

Friday 1412 friday 1412

There are three boys left in the contest. I wondered if the programme would acknowledge the rout of males or pretend it wasn’t happening — full credit to Strictly for being honest about it, and even making a feature of it. Here you see Jay, Peter and me — the endangered boys — discussing how to put a spell on the girls using a cauldron. The spell would apparently stop them dancing. We will float about like ghouls and I will touch Jamelia’s neck in a spooky way. This will be a film for the top of the show. The green sheet allows the producers to add a background later; the same technology we use for the election. And I thought Strictly couldn’t get any crazier. Look how serious our faces are; we are so up for this (mad for it, is that the phrase Grimmy would use?).

Friday 1424 Friday 1424

Nailed it. Hug for Mr Andre. We feel proud because we stayed in character as ghosts throughout. At the end of the video he has to laugh in a totally over-hyped way and I have get a bit dignified and tell him, “That’s a bit over the top, mate, isn’t it?” which made us laugh because every single thing that happens in this building is over the top.

Friday 2155 friday 2155

Kellie Bright decided she wanted an early night, and then this happened! A game of “Heads Up,” where you have to guess the word on your forehead from clues shouted by your friends — in this case Oti Mabuse, Joanne Clifton and Katie Derham. Oti knows how to party, that’s for sure. The table was so loud I had to apologise to a family sitting near us, but luckily they gave us a pass based on the fact that their little girl loves Strictly and recognised all the pros. Then the dancers all asked me to “give us some Eggheads questions,” and you can see what happened when I found them here. 

Saturday 0850 Sat 0850

Breakfast with Katie. She does a weekly column in the Telegraph and when I read it last night I saw they had inserted this (get ready to blush) survey. Katie and I laugh about it. When we chat about this online in our Strictly Whatsapp group one celeb says, “Katie couldn’t shake them any more, she would have someone’s eye out.” Someone else responds that it would be one of few good ways to lose an eye. Boys, boys! All a bit cheeky. By the way I have no doubt that Katie and Anita, the two best dancers-with-no-previous-experience, can win the Glitterball. Katie’s Viennese Waltz was stupendous and Anita’s Tango was one of the top three dances in the entire competition… 

Saturday 0859 Sat 0859

…which gets me thinking over the hotel eggs and bacon: which have been the best dances on Strictly so far? Choosing just four, I am going to go for Jay’s Pulp Fiction jive; Anita’s Temper Trap Tango; Ainsley’s “Don’t You Touch My Tomatoes” with Nat, which made me roar with laughter on the balcony; and Iwan’s breakdance in week one, which gave us the first spectacular moment of the contest, as well as Len saying “I don’t know what that was.”

Saturday 1029 1029

The clothes rail tells the story — by Halloween the men in this contest are feeling seriously spooked. Just me, Peter and Jay left now. SCREAM!! The rail has mainly dresses on. Wondering if Halloween will change this.

Saturday 1235 Sat 1235

Becoming a zombie with Tara. There are no words. It took an hour and 15 minutes, which was pretty speedy work; some of the other dancers were in the chair for more than two hours. Makeup and costume are doing the most sensational job today, running hot. What’s nice is to sit there in Tara’s chair for all that time and talk about life. She used to be a dancer herself and she modelled for art students at the school one of my kids goes to.

Saturday 1247 Sat 1247

See what I mean? Tonight this must be the most fun rooms in the whole country (I want to shout: JEREMY VINE IN THE PLACE!) Here you can see Jay — in case you can’t, he’s the werewolf; spot the green contact lenses. There’s Helen with the fabulous hair (is it all hers? I want some!); just behind her Pasha, who is having his Frankenstein bolt fitted; and I think behind Pasha you can just see Aljaz and Georgia. Jay has been a werewolf since 10am. All the makeup artists are going off photos from movies and books. They are absolutely lovely.

Saturday 1331 Sat 1331

Then there’s Tom, one of the runners. A keen graduate with a big future, no doubt. But for now he has to fit into the Strictly suit of armour. Costume and hair/makeup are both operating at full speed now, not least because there are TWO extra routines in the show, and one involves all the celebrities. The producers also have to film the pro “Chess” routine and then get the pros back into the Halloween costumes to record the results show which is taped on Saturday for broadcast on Sunday. So Pasha, for example, will have to clean up and then be swiftly re-Frankensteined. In our joint Hellraiser dance (for the start of Saturday’s show), I briefly partner Janette, who is Karen’s best friend. She is hilarious. She always yells “JEREMY!” to get me in place at the right moment.

Saturday 1520 Sat 1520

End of the dress rehearsal. Helen in the hair, up on the balcony with Claudia (to her right). We are allowed to celebrate the crazy scores the judges give us in rehearsal — those “judges” are stand-ins, normally runners, who just throw out a figure. Mind you, Helen and Aljaz are dancing well enough for those tens. Good luck all.

Saturday 1534 Sat 1524


Don’t get tangled up in those cobwebs… 

Jeremy Vine official website


  • Gill says:

    Great blog again this week, I laughed out loud at ‘Jay has been a werewolf since 10am’.Sums up the madness really well! We really loved your dance last night, your energy and enthusiasm light up the show and long may it continue – you and Karen look like you are having so much fun, but behind all that is a huge amount of hard work. You’re improving and very entertaining,see you next week!

  • Teena says:

    You guys have such fun , lucky things , so interesting to see how your day’s go , loved the dance, you put every ounce of effort in . It Take’s Two would be proud of this Blog really catches the spirit of Strictly come dancing and the hard work involved as well as the fun 🙂 thanks for sharing xx

  • Allison says:

    Your thriller dance was the most entertaining dance of the night. I think you might just surprise a few people with how long you might stay in this competition. This is the first year that I’m particularly rooting for the person who is enjoying themselves the most, as opposed to the who I can see the best dancer is. You carry yourself with such dignity combined with a genuine sense of fun. It’s a winning combination in my book.
    Keep dancing Jeremy.

  • Dottie says:

    Jeremy you looked as if you were really having fun last night and I do hope that you are back next week. Great blog by the way. One thing I would like to know, everybody else is saying they are losing weight because of all the training, as you have none to lose anyway what’s happening with you?

  • Jude says:

    I love this it’s fascinating, what a an insight. As a long time strictly fan this is perfect. Jeremy you are a top man and your daughters will be so proud.

  • Joanne says:

    Loving your dances, but I now believe Karen is totally mad as a hatter when up with Claudia. ….. you make a great couple though. ……keep Daaancining

  • Moira says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write the blog .. It’s fascinating to see behind the scenes this way.
    I’ve always wondered tho, who chooses which dance you’re doing next and also the music for each routine ? Is is the producers or the pro dancer with or without the opinion of the celeb ? Loving you and Karen, good luck !

  • Helen says:

    Loved this! A fascinating insight into what goes on behind the scenes to get the show together. Fab!

  • says:

    Great blog! Your’re my guilty secret,always vote for you and Karen. I would also like to know who picks the music cause a great dance can be ruined by a bad choice of music!

  • Janet says:

    Really enjoyed reading your blog again this week. It nice to find out what happens behind the scenes. Really enjoyed your dance last night. You and Karen are great team. Keep Dancing!!

  • Angela says:

    Well done Jeremy we are voting for you. And good luck

  • Pete says:

    From a male point of view, you have completely embraced the spirit of this programme and competition. SCD is a light entertainment programme and you and the fabulous Karen bring more to the show than most. Keep it up and good luck.

  • Helen Turier says:

    Fab blog
    Love watching you
    Best ‘dad dancer ‘ ever 🙂 x

  • Karen says:

    What a great idea your blog is. I love all things Strictly and finding out what goes on behind the scenes is a great.
    Loved your dance last night, all your hard work is paying off.
    Keep it up and good luck.

  • Karina says:

    Ahhhh, still in and top of the leader board for a while – thrilling week

  • Jules says:

    Loved this diary blog – you are a great writer Jeremy, you engage the reader and make every sentence interesting. Strictly is fantastic and you make it “read” brilliant too, if you understand that! Keep dancing, we love watching, especially when someone who so obviously had no dancing experience can get through and keep improving. Personally I am hoping you are in the final – go for it 🙂

  • Julia says:

    Jeremy, We all love you!! Keep being yourself :-). You put so much effort in and you can really tell. We love the rapport between you and Karen – you’re our favourites. xx From Germany

  • Dawn says:

    Really look forward to reading your diary every week. Your brilliant writing gives us a insight into the strictly world. I was fortunate to get tickets to be in the audience for one of the 2011 strictly shows, it was fantastic and will always remember it. You have embraced this experience with such enthusiasm it’s a joy to see. Fingers crossed for tickets this year

  • Sophie says:

    I love your writing style Jeremy. After the strictly final is over and once the glitter ball is proudly displayed in your lounge, I hope you decide to blog again about something else (we have lots to learn from you), I’m sure you’ll have plent of followers.

  • Janine says:

    Hi Jeremy, thank you so much for writing your blog. I love how much you love being part of the show. I would have to say it is my favourite show on TV. I was lucky enough to be in the audience during the final the year Alesha Dixon won. That was a fabulous experience and I can recall virtually every minute. I really enjoy your insights into the backstage life of Strictly, which really intrigues me. Long may you remain in the show and keep writing your blog and sharing your videos. Best of luck for the rest of the series.

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