STEPPING OUT (ITV, 6.30pm)****
Strictly Come Dancing may have had its glitzy opening ceremony last weekend, but so what... until that starts at the end of the month, we’re glued to this just-as-sparkly effort, Stepping Out.
There’s something hugely entertaining about famous folk trying to put their best feet forward and learn a new talent (even more so when they spend half their time tripping up).
We might have known that Denise Welch and her new hubby Lincoln Townley would be the couple to provide us with the most laughs given their ability to simply giggle at themselves, while Oritse Williams and girlfriend AJ Azari manage to make any challenge look effortless.
Whichever way you look at it, this has been perfect viewing for reality telly fans to bridge the gap until the incoming series of Strictly.
For host Davina McCall, Stepping Out isn’t that big a step away from her recent hosting duties on Sky1’s Got to Dance, and it’s clear to see she loves her job. She’s in her element.
Davina explans: “I love dancing so much. It makes me so happy and I am looking forward to
seeing how the couples cope. I know it sounds cheesy but it will be interesting to share their journey. It sounds mean to say this but I like it when people have a bit of a struggle!
“The British champion the underdog, especially if that person is not in the public eye. They might be with someone who is famous but they won’t be used to the limelight and that will be difficult for them.”
But asked whether or not she’d trade places with any of the competing stars, it sounds like a resounding no.
“I am definitely not envious of the couples taking part on the show. I know how much work and effort goes into something like this. What professional dancers can learn in an hour would take us normal people weeks to learn to make it look good.”
For the lovely Davina, who keeps snatching brilliant gig after brilliant gig, Stepping Out caps off a fantastic year. It’s been confirmed that there will be another series of the other ITV favourite, Long Lost Family, but the presenter just feels lucky to be content in both her work and home life.
“I love being able to dip in and look at the sparkles and the shiny floors of Saturday nights and then come home, put my wellies on, do some cooking and then do the school run.”
Back to the dancing, and the pressure is on the contestants more than ever this week.
In this third instalment, the five remaining couples tackle dance styles including rock n roll, street and Broadway, before the Front Row give their scores.
But will Mel B, Jason Gardiner and Wayne Sleep be even more tough on them as we race towards that semi-final?
We can only be certain of one thing - by the end of the evening, one couple will have danced their last dance.