14 Jan 19
The Scottish Sun
TELEVISION hell is littered with the corpses of shows that thought they could sponge a living off the Strictly Come Dancing magic.
Dance War, DanceX, Britannia High, So You Think You Can Dance, The Nation’s Favourite Dance Moments, Dance Your Ass Off, Got To Dance.
The Greatest Dancer judges: (L-R) Oti Mabuse, Matthew Morrison, Cheryl
Unfortunately, the living world is crammed full of TV executives who think viewers have the memory of a care-home goldfish.
So there’s another one ready for the furnaces now on BBC1.
The Greatest Dancer, which began its run by proclaiming: “This is an audition and a studio like no other.”
Instantly, then, you knew it was an audition show like every other created by Simon Cowell, with tears, journeys, backstage eccentrics and a mic’d up studio audience who can part the stage mirrors if 75 per cent of them vote for the dancer.
A doddle, frankly, as this lot are suckers for a plucky underdog and a sob story.
There’s also more than a hint of the familiar about the regulars, as we’ve got Alesha Dixon and Ashley Banjo’s brother Jordan hosting the show and three judges who, to give it the vaguest illusion of originality, have been re-branded as “dance captains”.
The Greatest Dancer budget has clearly gone on Cheryl who is now coming over like she’s Anna-bloody-Pavlova
One is Matthew Morrison off Glee and another is Strictly try-hard Oti Mabuse, who’s fast earning the nickname OTT Mabuse.
All the money and attention, however, have clearly gone on “Cheryl”, who’s still above having a surname and is now also coming over like she’s Anna-bloody-Pavlova, boasting about her time at the Royal Ballet (summer school) and looking properly exasperated with the studio audience “who aren’t technically minded” enough for Her Ladyship’s liking.
Every now and then we’ll also get to see one of the contestants, who are competing to win £50,000 and “a slot on Strictly Come Dancing”, the size and scale of which will probably depend on the success of this series.
So expect to catch the next glimpse of them mid-October, wheeling on Claudia Winkleman’s terms-and-conditions board.
It should be a straightforward process of elimination, of course, as auditions have so far included “street”, “contemporary”, “freestyle”, “Afro-dance” and lots of other styles that could be placed under the same umbrella heading of “tw*tting about”.
Strict rules of political correctness, though, muddy the waters.
A partner or relative is allowed to plead on their behalf before they’ve even set foot on stage, meaning Rudolf Nureyev could turn up here, spin his ar*e off and still not get 75 per cent approval unless he was bullied at school or had a dead granny.
Surprises, then, have so far been limited to one incredibly camp bedroom-dancer called James, represented by a woman who dropped every jaw in the theatre when she announced: “I’m his fiancée.”
SPOT OF DUSTING
That was enough of a shock to send him swinging through to the next round.
That’s just about your lot, though, as the rest of the series has moved with all the unpredictable thrill and dynamism of your tax returns, even stopping at one point so Amelia, the reception desk flirt, could do a spot of dusting.
If anything ever summed up the result of this grinding and predictable approach to light entertainment, it was the feel-good slogan behind a young Irish auditionee, called Fionn, on Saturday night.
“Dance like nobody’s watching.”
Good as done.
[boxout headline=”TV Gold” intro=”Lee Mack dismantling all-comers on BBC1’s stand-out Would I Lie To You?.”]Tom Jones showing everyone how it should be done with his spontaneous version of I Got A Woman on The Voice UK.
Ten years of brilliant and brave Twitter hero Rachel Riley on Countdown.
ITV’s Manhunt managing to survive the miscasting of Martin Clunes in the main role.
And The Paras: Men Of War selection process proving every bit as brutal and unforgiving as you’d hope. So expect some politicians to miss the point entirely and make it more “inclusive”.
Icon-ned by box tickers
ASKED to produce a list of the 20th Century’s most iconic explorers, everyone would probably name Scott of the Antarctic, Roald Amundsen, Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.
Everyone, that is, except a group of BBC “experts”, who ignored all of the above and replaced them with Jane Goodall and Gertrude Bell last week.
BBC PC box-ticking ‘experts’ replaced iconic explorers with people like Gertrude Bell
I don’t even need to explain why, obviously.
The names alone tell you it’s all down to the deranged, obsessive PC box-ticking that governs everything the BBC does and makes a farce of its new voting series Icons, which has the nerve to claim: “We want your opinion.”
It doesn’t, obviously. It wants to impose the BBC’s right-on opinion on you and swallow its rewritten version of 20th Century history in the process.
So for quota-driven reasons, Elvis didn’t make the entertainers shortlist and Alexander Fleming was left out of the last four scientists, despite discovering penicillin.
But while Margaret Thatcher was included among the political finalists – and, boy, that must have hurt the BBC – they totally ignored her Falklands and Cold War victories in favour of re-styling her as a female gender warrior, almost the very last thing the former Prime Minister actually stood for.
The episode where this series’ barmy levels of political correctness will really be laid bare is the Sports Stars episode, which has named Labour-supporting Paralympian Tanni Grey-Thompson as one of the 20th Century’s four greatest icons, but left out Jesse Owens, George Best, Usain Bolt, Rod Laver, Olga Korbut, Roger Federer, Eric Liddell, Martina Navratilova, Seb Coe, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Carl Lewis, Diego Maradona, Michael Jordan, Ayrton Senna and even the talisman of our greatest trophy-winning team of all, Doug Rougvie.
[boxout headline=”Reporter of the week”]
This Morning’s Alison Hammond, 2,500 metres above sea level, in the ski resort of Val D’Isere, interviewing skiers wearing skiing gear: “Why are you here?”
Mac & cheese on menu
THE Voice UK contestant Dean Mac is living the dream. How do we know?
He told us all, on Saturday night.
The Voice hopeful Dean Mac ‘unleashed the beast of his showmanship’ and …nothing
“I’m living the dream,” he boasted, “in a really cool penthouse apartment, in the centre of Manchester. Duplex, with a pool table.”
He also told us he performed “baby-making music,” though the world had been surprisingly slow to acknowledge Dean’s “triple threat” potential.
“I went to LA, Paris, Liverpool, as a choreographer/dancer, and one day a music producer said, ‘You need to be the front guy’.
“The next stage now is to release the beast of my showmanship and have my craft appreciated.”
So, on Saturday, he unleashed it in the direction of the four Voice judges and, honestly, the reaction was almost perfect.
Hardly a serious button flinch or a twitch or a hint one of them was going to bite. In fact, he’d have had more luck getting the four heads on Mount Rushmore to turn.
A response that said: “If that’s baby-making music, the human race is gone in 100 years’ time.”
The saving grace of the ITV show’s format is that there’s nothing he could do or say to the judges afterwards either.
Dean Mac just had to trudge back to his “really cool penthouse apartment”.
Living the dream.
[boxout headline=”Great sporting insights”]Mark Lawrenson: “One thing’s for sure, a goal is a goal and a chance is a chance.”
Chris Kamara: “He headed his shot just over the bar.”
And Jamie Redknapp: “It’s unstoppable because you just can’t stop it.”
(Compiled by Graham Wray).
Great TV lies and delusions of the month
Life After Love Island, Jack: “The whole of the UK wants us to get married.”
Celebrity Coach Trip, Lisa Maffia and Sugababe Mutya Buena: “We’re musicians.”
And The Last Leg Of The Year, Nish Kumar: “I don’t wish to bring race into this, but . . . ” But let’s face it, he’d have no career if he didn’t.
[boxout headline=”Tour guides of the week” intro=”ITVBe’s Jack and Dani who, to cope with the excitement of their new sofa arriving on Life After Love Island, were sent packing to Italy and came up with these gems.”]
The food: “Pizza, pasta, ravioli and all that s***.”
The Colosseum: “Some mad s*** went on in there.” The Vatican: “I bet he does ceremonies, like mass and s***.”
I know. Close your eyes and you could almost be there. And s***.
Quiz show dough-balls of the week
Tipping Point, Ben Shephard: “On a computer keyboard, the abbreviation PGDN is short for page what?”
The Time It Takes, Joe Lycett: “Who wrote Handel’s Water Music?”
The Chase, Bradley Walsh: “What name links a chocolate bar and a ship on which a mutiny occurred?”
And Ben Shephard: “In which century did the Second World War take place?”
[boxout headline=”Random TV irritations” intro=”The gormless, cult-like expression newsreaders adopt whenever they mention “Saint” Olivia Colman.”]Ant & Dec getting a National Television Award nomination when 50 per cent of them have spent the year in rehab.
An epidemic of head-tilting right-on morons telling us: “It takes a whole village to raise a child.”
Loose Woman Gloria Hunniford conjuring up a horrific mental image when she told ice-dancing Saira Khan: “I worry about you when the one-hand job comes in.”
And Icons presenter Chris Packham boldly comparing himself to Marie Curie and Einstein with the observation: “I’m a bit of an outsider too.”
Though, just so we can put their achievements in proper perspective, neither Marie Curie nor Einstein ever got their own episode of Celebrity Cash In The Attic.
[article-rail-section title=”most read in opinion” posts_category=”14″ posts_number=”6″ query_type=”popular” /]
This week’s winner is Ant McPartlin and the cartoon version of Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy
Emailed in by Bailey J. Picture research: Alfie Snelling.
GOOD Morning Britain, Piers Morgan: “I believe in fat-shaming. We need people around us to say, ‘Hey, you’re chunking up a bit’.”
Hey . . .
[bc_video video_id=”5980893582001″ account_id=”5067014667001″ player_id=”default” embed=”in-page” padding_top=”56%” autoplay=”” min_width=”0px” max_width=”640px” width=”100%” height=”100%” caption=”Cheryl breaks down in tears at incredible performance in first trailer for The Greatest Dancer”]