I rather like –and agree with most of – what Germane Greer has to about Strictly Come Dancing in the G2 section of today’s edition of The Guardian
Competitive ballroom dancing was always famous for ridiculous clothes, most of them lovingly confected by the dancers themselves or their mothers. In that storm of surging tulle, fashion was no more an issue than taste. For the Latin routines, ballroom dancers wore rather less than the average lap-dancer. This isn’t, needless to say, what ballroom dancing is about. You don’t learn it at school because it’s fun, but because it will be expected of you on formal occasions. You should be able to do it with the bishop without embarrassing yourself or him.
There certainly in what she says by way of conclusion:
If there wasn’t an element of sadism in Strictly, the noble British public would not watch it. The humiliation of celebrities is part of its appeal. Strictly can transform a truly beautiful and graceful woman into a fairground puppet, lacquered bright orange, lips gaping in a perpetual grin, hips grinding, shoulders shimmying. All the lipstick in the world couldn’t conceal the fact that Lynda Bellingham’s fixed smile is a rictus of pure terror. Chris Hollins can puff out his chest and look stern, but nobody will let him forget that it was his mother at rehearsal who had to tell him how to dance sexy. …………….