THAT WAS THE BOX – December 2014 (Week Three)


STRICTLY COME DANCING 2014 – The Final‘ (BBC 1 – BBC iPlayer)

Fifteen weeks have gone by and it’s finally here and we have Simon, Mark, Frankie and Caroline battling it out for the glitter ball. Some might say either Mr Webbe or Mr Wright is there at the sacrifice of Pixie Lott, but that’s how the cookie crumbles. For some reason Claude was wearing a weird dress that looked like those things you did as a kid when you fold over a piece of paper and cut out holes then open it up to see what you’ve got, but Tess looked very nice in red.

Tonight the judge’s scores are only for guidance which is a shame for Caroline because she was the first person in SCD history to score 120 in the final, but more of that later.

The first set of dances were ones chosen by the judges that were considered to be their weakest performance. The first to dance was Frankie and Kevin and their samba, which was a hundred times better this time around, earning them a whopping 39 points (guess who gave the 9!) Mark and Karen got to dance their cha cha cha again, and Mark looked terrified, bless him. He naughtily did the caterpillar, which Len warned him about, but he still scored 35 points, which once upon a time would have been considered a really high score.

Caroline and Pasha also danced a cha cha cha, which was the first dance performed in the whole series. Like Frankie, the improvement in Caroline’s performance was remarkable and enough to earn her the first of those 40s.

Simon (who I thought would have gone weeks ago) has improved considerably, and his and Kristina’s Charleston to My Old Man was fun and lively and once again scored 39 due to Craig Miser-Horwood.

Next came the showdances and Frankie and Kevin kicked things off with an old style routine to Get Happy, which looked like something from a Fred and Ginger movie, and I guess when The Saturdays fold, Frankie will be able to get a role in Top Hat or something like that. The dance was smooth and graceful, but there were times that it seemed to get lost in Frankie’s skirt wafting. They got a 38 from the judges and I think that was justified.

Mark tapped into his exuberance and excitable nature for their showdance. He and Karen seemed to spend most of their time running around the studio to Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen, but it summed up Mark’s personality perfectly, and he’s such a sweetie, everyone roots for him. He scored 35 which is probably fair because there was little dancing, but hey ho.

Caroline and Pasha then did the most beautiful showdance I have ever seen, to Angels by Beverley Knight. It was romantic, passionate and balletic, and Darcy told her she would accept her into her company any day. It was amazing. One of the two dances of the night. Along came that next 40.

Simon and Kristina danced to A Little Less Conversation by Elvis, and they detracted from the lack of dance content by stripping off several layers of clothing. I thought they could have pulled the stops out a bit more, but I guess they were saving the best till last. They scored 39 which I think was generous.

As I predicted to myself, Mark was the first to go, but I wasn’t sad for him because I think he was just glad to have made the final.

We then moved onto the contestants’ choices, and Frankie and Kevin chose their paso doble to America from ‘West Side Story‘. It was the best performance I’ve seen Frankie give. She is a little bland and so it was good to see her giving it some attitude. Once again, she was given 39, which I thought was wrong. Craig could have at least got his 10 paddle out for her.

Caroline and Pasha chose their Charleston and I wish they’d chosen their Argentine tango, but the Charleston was good and obviously they got another 40. I just think it wasn’t their strongest dance.

Second dance of the night was Simon and Kristina’s Argentine tango. It was sexy, intense and passionate. It almost felt as though we were intruding in something private and they were the only two people in the room. Deservedly so, Simon got his first 40.

Of course, naturally, Caroline was crowned winner and if she hadn’t, there would have been something wrong with the universe. Congratulations Caroline, it was about time she put those fantastic legs to use.




Now, I have very little time for Russell Brand, I think he is an egomaniac who thinks a little success and marriage to a pop star warrants the right to lecture society on their wrongs. He did however go up in my estimation when he called Nigel Farage a “Poundshop Enoch Powell” (although it could be said RB is a ‘99p Shop Messiah’), so I thought I would give this show a try, where our hero takes on the government’s war on drugs. Brand is a recovering drug addict and this is a subject he knows a lot about, and in this programme he came across like the anti-Jeremy Kyle. He showed addicts sympathy and compassion and was clearly on their side as opposed to the law enforcement agencies who try to keep addicts off the streets by arresting them.

As well as trying to convince the likes of Nick Clegg that change has to happen now, rather than in 50 years time, Russell also met with Samantha, a beautiful crack addict who wouldn’t have looked out-of-place on the front of Vogue, but from the age of twelve she had spiralled into a life of crime and drug taking. Her friend Kelly had suffered an even sadder fate – having her baby taken away from her after it was born with heroin addiction.

As much as Brand thinks he’s terribly important, he does come across as very likeable and warm, and it’s pretty difficult to argue with him. As one academic argues with him that drug addicts make up a small percentage of society, and that the general population needs to be taken into account of what they want. I’m sure the general public would think differently when they discovered that although there are a small percentage of addicts, a large percentage of annual crime is committed by said addicts. Drugs and crime go hand in hand, and it was immoral that there are so few rehabilitation centres for addicts in the UK. Surely Brand is right in that it’s more important to get to the root of the problem, why people start taking drugs in the first place, rather than punishing them once they’ve become hooked. People usually become hooked on drugs because of poverty, low self-esteem or a history of childhood abuse and neglect. These are all problems that could be addressed with counselling and support rather than self-medication, but these people who have often been forgotten by the authorities, need to be taken care of, for all our sakes. I just hope Russell doesn’t start talking sense on any other topics, or else I might end up voting for him for Mayor!


TV REVIEW: Great British Bake Off Masterclass

Photographer: Andy Devonshire



In a world far away from Russell and his dingy Birmingham shooting galleries and crack houses being raided by the police, we had this piece of food porn courtesy of the makers of ‘The Great British Bake Off‘. Clearly aimed at those who shop at Waitrose, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry showed us how to make a selection of delicious Christmas cakes and buns, where budget didn’t seem to be a factor, more time, in the assumption that everyone in the land as a big family, like in all the TV adverts, where people seem to visit each other’s houses like they’re in some sort of Jane Austen drama.

Funniest part for me was the beginning, with Paul dressed as Santa. To me he’s more like The Grinch who stole Christmas. He’s so snappy and sarcastic and I don’t see the fascination that many of my fellow women share. I can’t find a man sexy who gets so narky over a decoration being put in the wrong place on a cake. I do however enjoy his relationship with Mary Berry, they are like a squabbling mother and son, but I would like to see an out-take where Mary sticks her tongue out behind Paul’s back when he’s berated her for using ready-rolled pastry or whatever. I wanted to shout through the TV at him that his precious kransekake looked like a Dalek and Mary’s Genoa cake with pineapple looked heavenly – so nar!


Share This


Wordpress (0)