Bruce Forsyth proves why it’s time to quit Strictly

bruce forsythHow ironic that something someone else had done has highlighted why it’s time for Bruce Forsyth to hang up his Strictly Come Dancing hat.

The furore over Anton Du Beke’s use of the word ‘paki’ towards his dancing partner Laila Rouass had all but died down, when Bruce entered the fray earlier today.

The Daily Mail reported this morning that Bruce had said that Du Beke’s comments were no worse than Americans calling us ‘limeys’ and he effectively criticised the culture of political correctness that exists in the UK.

But less than 12 hours later, Bruce seems to have backtracked and now says that ‘Du Beke was wrong’.

Bruce Forsyth may have been a wonderful entertainer in his day and have delighted audiences, but it’s clear that the BBC might have to wave goodbye to his multitude of talents after this faux pas.

Equally, the powers-that-be will be wondering what to do about Du Beke. There had been whispers that he was in line to succeed Brucie and his latest gig on Hole In The Wall seemed to endorse that fact, but this is likely to put a dent in that ambition.

Privately, the BBC is still backing Bu Beke, but the rumours that Terry Wogan is a candidate to take over Strictly next year will become much stronger after this latest furore.

Sadly, it seems that even the slightest of tongue-slips can dent the loftiest of ambitions and it’s not always the older generations, such as Forsyth and Ron Atkinson, who are prone to gaffes.

Strictly Come Dancing fatigue

Erin Boag and Ricky GrovesI never thought I’d hear myself say this, but this year I’m already suffering from SCDF – that is, Stricly Come Dancing fatigue.

I love the show and enjoy the ‘journey’ (ugh!) many of the Strictly celebs go through, but I haven’t been able to get into it at all yet this year.

The problem, as I see it, is that the BBC – in their eternal quest for ratings and freshening it up – has gone a step too far.

The introduction of a Strictly show on Friday is unnecessary, even if they have ditched the Sunday results show. It feels too early in the week.

My other big gripe is with the number of contestants. They’ve split them into two groups for while, but unfortunately, as the Strictly budget has been cut, so has the calibre of celebs.

Think back to the early years and every single participant was a household name – even Quentin Wilson, bless his cotton socks.

Now, you need to be the king or queen of trash TV ‘and’ an avid sports fan to have any idea of who they all are. Let’s face it, how many Crimewatch-loving, Hollyoaks-goggling, horseracing and tennis fans do you know?

Ricky Whittall may be a darned good dancer, but I don’t give a monkey’s about him at the moment.

Proof that I’m not feeling Strictly yet, either, is to be had because I haven’t set the series link for Strictly: It Takes Two. Love Claudia Winkleman, but not this early in the ‘season’.

Of course, I can guarantee that by the end of the series, I’ll be glued and desperately hoping Ricky Groves wins – C’mon Ricky!

Why John Sergeant’s swansong was too little too late

John Sergeant and Kristina RihanoffSo John Sergeant performed his last waltz on Saturday’s Strictly Come Dancing and bid adieu to the competition.

Ironically, it completely failed to boost ratings and Strictly still lost out to X Factor.

But for me, it smacked of a desperate attempt by the powers-that-be to try and ‘make things alright’. For starters, there was the insincere ‘fulsome praise’ from Len Goodman, on behalf of all the judges. What rot! They were the architects of his downfall and as such had no right to say how wonderful they thought he was.

Then there was the ludicrous spectre of him performing a dance again. The whole appeal of John Sergeant on this year’s show was the opprobrium that the judges heaped upon his attempts each week. Without that, his waltz just felt a bit limp and flat – in spite of the standing ovation he got from the audience.

And then there was the rather bizarre parting, where John eulogised Kristina Rihanoff and she said how much she had enjoyed dancing with him. At no point, did he indicate what had finally forced his hand and made him leave, even though Bruce Forsyth rather cringingly asked him if he was pushed into abdicating his place in the show.

In yesterday’s News Of The World, it was pointed out that John Sergeant was asked three years in a row to take part and he only finally agreed because of his allegiance to the BBC. That he felt kicked in the teeth by the enusing events goes to show why he found such solace in the continuing public support.

To be honest, John and Kristina are possibly the only people who have come out of all this well. John Sergeant played the game brilliantly and will no doubt have already had a chat with his agent about how much more he can command for future after-dinner engagements and TV work.

And Kristina was given the perfect platform for her first foray into Strictly. How many of us can remember the name of the other blonde debutante dancer who partnered Mark Foster? It was Hayley, in case you can’t, but many viewers will have already forgotten her.

In some ways, I feel sorry for the remaining couples still in the show. Whether it’s Tom, Austin or Christine (massive public support) who wins, this year’s series will always be remembered for John Sergeant alone.

And I’ll be interested to see if they can pull it out of the bag for next year. A new rule has already been planned to stop ‘bad’ acts continually knocking other better dancers out, but that seems too little too late. They always say that a show is bigger than the people within, but for once John Sergeant may well prove that wrong.