If you’re missing your fix of sequins, sparkle and showbiz there can only be one way to transform a freezing January evening into something totally fab-u-lous
The annual Strictly extravaganza cha-cha-cha-ed into Sheffield for two nights at the Arena this week with a guarantee to turn up the temperature thanks to everything that die-hard fans have come to love about the hit BBC show.
The four judges – Craig, Darcey, Bruno and Shirley making her tour debut – were joined by sports presenter and former Strictly winner Ore Oduba, who is reprising his role as host after taking over the honours for last year’s tour.
Fans were treated to all four finalists from the latest show although 2018 winner Stacey Dooley was without partner Kevin Clifton who is unable to take part.
But with Alijaz Skorjanec taking to the floor instead as Kevin’s stand-in for the pasa ‘Dooley’, not surprisingly there weren’t too many complaints from the audience.
First to take to the dancefloor was Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts and her partner Pasha Kovalev who performed their jive from the final, even surviving a wardrobe malfunction when her heel got caught in her hem.
But even the first perfect 40 scored by former Steps star Faye Tozer and Giovanni Pernice with their golden era of Hollywood-inspired showdance wasn’t enough to bring them the loudest cheer of the night.
Not surprisingly, that went to the eventual winners, YouTube star Joe Sugg and partner Dianne Buswell, whose choice of music couldn’t fail to impress the crowd – I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor, by Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys.
Paralympian gold medalist Lauren Steadman proved to be as much of a crowd pleaser with her admission that Sheffield held a special place in her heart – she qualified for her first Paralympics at the Ponds Forge pool.
It was all there – American smooths, sizzling salsas and cheeky Charlestons and even in what must be a Strictly first – a floss by Graeme Swann and Karen Clifton.
For the millions of fans who don’t make the TV audience the live shows are a way of experiencing the Strictly magic and they always offer something extra.
This time it was the judges choreographing a routine for the audience, but that was topped off by a dazzling performance by Darcey and Shirley with the professional dancers.
The tour, which began in Birmingham earlier this month, has its second and final show in Sheffield tonight before heading to Glasgow for the next leg of the tour which winds up next month at the O2 in London.
All in all, a fab-u-lous 10.