Thom Evans : Yes, in one of the most lazy casting choices in this show’s history, we’re getting two years in a row of retired rugby players who’ve eked out their fame by dropping trou for Boyz Magazine. In these difficult times though, be thankful that I am here to help you tell which fullback turned full-bottom is which.
Things Ben Cohen has done that Thom Evans hasn’t :
- Won the Six Nations (three times)
- Won the Rugby World Cup
- Started up a charitable foundation against bullying
- Received an MBE
- Overcome deafness to have a successful international sporting career
Things Thom Evans has done that Ben Cohen hasn’t
- Softcore incest porn
- Dated Kelly Brook
- Been in a boy-band that supported Peter Andre on tour
As you can see, despite the initial similarities, they really are two very different people.
Monkseal’s Suggested Pro : A stunningly handsome sports star with a boyband background in the YEAR OF THE MAN? Has Natalie’s ever been more nigh (that’s Australian for “now”)?
Simon Webbe : See, I thought the Christmas Special was supposed to be used as a testing ground to see if possible contestants were interesting and potential-filled enough with to do a full series, but first Fern and now Simon Webbe have been promoted to the main show after utterly forgettable showings (and Simon was with KATYA, so that should be impossible) whilst Su Pollard and Sheila Hancock are both still sat mournfully keening by the phone waiting for that call. (Oh and Barrowman I guess) (*full body shudder*). Still, apparently they’re now casting by shutting their eyes and pointing at third-tier pop-groups, so here we are. Simon was one-quarter of Blue. It’s a bit easier to remember the names of Blue than it is to remember the names of The Saturdays because together their initials spell out LADS. The initials of The Saturdays don’t spell out anything other V.FRUM, which will really only mean something to my Jewish readers. To put it one way Simon was the one who wasn’t the gay one, the annoying one, or the one who pissed on a cashpoint. To put it another way, he was the black one. He was announced as a Strictly Pro this morning on Susanna Reid’s hit new ITV show “Good Morning Brian”, named in tribute to its only viewer. He seemed really proud of how he scored 36 on his Xmas Special despite the fact that, if memory serves, that is the lowest score ever achieved on a Strictly Christmas Show. And erm…that’s Simon Webbe.
Monkseal’s Suggested Pro : Kristina, why not?
Mark Wright : So they finally went and did it. After years of using rumours of the likes of Joey Essex, Katie Jordan Andre Hayler Price Reid and Helen Flanimals to scare the horses, then pulling back to reassure people that they would *never* stoop so low, don’t worry, you can still affect that your Saturday night race to the glitterball is “classy”, Strictly have finally done it. They’ve finally cast somebody *shudders* *turns up nose* *turns green* ITV2. Mark Wright came to fame as the resident heart-throb on The Only Way Is Essex, which I have watched a grand total of 5 minutes of before turning it off because I just couldn’t. Which to be fair is as much as I’ve seen of Made In Chelsea, Geordie Shore, Desperate Scousewives, The Valleys or…I dunno, what’s another one? Rutland Slags? I’m not really *overly* excited for a contestant who probably puts his dick-snaps as a profile picture on his CV, but on the other hand this show has often made a decent hash of “making classy” celebrities who have come in as a bit of rough and polish them up til they gleam (Alesha, Chelsee, arguably Abbey if you’re into that sort of thing) so maybe it’ll be interesting to see them try that sort of thing with a man? Maybe? LOOK, I’M TRYING HERE.
Monkseal’s Suggested Pro : I feel like if anyone could drag the humour out of Mark, it would be Iveta Lukosiute. But he kind of feels destined for Ola?
Jake Wood : Jake Wood plays Max Branning, the beta version of Eastenders’ ongoing quest to have their central heart-throb be a balding ruddy vaguely tuberous middle-aged ginger guy with a transparently hotter brother. Although at least this time they did get his arse right. Apparently. So the Internet tells me. Ahem. In truth, Max Branning feels kind of irrelevant now that Danny Dyer runs the square with an iron fist and everyone’s more interested in Who Killed Lucy? (my money’s on a Dalek, with the whole thing resolved in an hilarious Comic Relief Dr Who crossover episode ending with Peter Capaldi and Letitia Dean having a twerk-off to “Turn Down For What”). So what better way to breathe life into a fading soap character than by having them work themselves into a zombified stupor doing double-duty filming traumatic storylines about crack addictions on the same day as having to learn a jolly quickstep? Hopefully Jake is hardier than his soapie brother, and can make it more than a month into the show without slipping into a coma. You know. If he should have to.
Monkseal’s Suggested Pro : Ola Jordan. Just high-profile enough to derail James’ huffy claims that she’s bound to get a duffer, not high-profile enough to, you know, do well.
Steve Backshall : Why we should all be very excited y the prospect of noted herpetologist Steve Backshall doing Strictly Come Dancing – a Short Photo-Essay :
He’s An Adventurer :
He’s Flexible :
He’s Kind To Animals :
He’s Fondled A Cockatoo :
He Knows How To Give Good Injury Porn :
He’s Not This Douchecanoe :
Monkseal’s Suggested Pro : Give him to Joanne, just because it’s only fair that both Clifton siblings get to do a routine on this theme.
Scott Mills : I would imagine that, as soon as Scott Mills digital sub-dermal microchip started bleeping on March 28th this year, he began looking for a way out of Radio 1, just so he could avoid the grisly disturbing Logan’s Run esque fate that befalls all BBC Radio 1 disk jockies the second they join the ranks of the over-40s (they get a show on Radio 2). Graham Norton having easily outflanked him for the plum main Eurovision role, he’s obviously been left flailing around for the only other option currently open to a middle-aged gay man in the BBC – be the token homo on Strictly Come Dancing. Sure the 6 weeks of humiliation as you get bipped on the nose with a rolled up newspaper and told to “BE MORE POOFY!” by Bruno Tonioli, like a Springer Spaniel puppy that just pissed on the carpet must be annoying, but a guy’s got to eat, right? And if it gets you time off from having to do constant interviews with Rita Bora, Sam Smugth and Five Seconds Of Summer (Is Five Seconds Too Many) all the better. I mean, we can all dream that they’ll just let the poor man be and do the dances with a minimum of glitter cannons and giant pink hairdryers but…as last year’s fourth-placer once put it, a pessimist is never disappointed.
Monkseal’s Suggested Pro : Aliona Vilani – she’s both never had a middle-aged man before (…quiet) and also you know she’d welcome the chance to legitimately choreograph an entire series around top 40 r & b club bangers.
Gregg Wallace : If you don’t know Gregg Wallace then lucky you. But if you need him explaining then in terms of the Masterchef franchise he’s the Dr Watson to Michel Roux’s Sherlock Holmes, the Amos Tupper to Monica Galetti’s Jessica Fletcher and the Penhaligon to John Torode’s Cracker. In short he gets to say “indubitably” a lot, and is occasionally allowed to hit a sitter (“I fink your combination of potato and grapefruit was a bit of a mistake mate”) but otherwise his job is to be consistently wrong and to be utterly irrelevant to any conclusions ultimately reached. And he goes on about how much he likes pudding. A lot. In a sexual way. With the appropriate inappropriate faces. His appearance on Strictly feels like the logical extension of the mid-life crisis that has so far seen him get a series of much younger girlfriends, lose loads of weight, misguidedly try to open his own high-end restaurant, and I dunno, probably buy a motorcycle or something. Interestingly, Gregg has judged Craig Revell-Horwood before, when the latter finished 3rd on Celebrity Masterchef 2 behind Nadia Sawalha and Midge Ure. So sadly we won’t see any It Takes Two segments where Gregg challenges Craig to TRY TO BE GOOD AT COOKING THEN IF YOU THINK YOU CAN JUDGE MY DANCING SEE HOW YOU LIKE IT. Which is a shame because it was hilarious when Dennis Taylor tried to teach him how to play snooker and he actually took Izabela Hanna’s eye out. Actually given that he finished 3rd on Celebrity Masterchef, Craig is probably a better chef than Gregg is. ALSO Gregg Wallace competed against Brenda on Just The Two Of Us and got beaten hollow by him, so there’s a score to settle there. A score I can only hope goes 2-0 to Brendan by the end of this series.
Monkseal’s Suggested Pro : Karen I AM SO SORRY KAREN I DON’T MEAN IT IT’S JUST CIRCUMSTANCE.
Tim Wonnacott : Is basically David Dickinson with the orange sanded off.
Monkseal’s Suggested Pro : Janette Manrara because she is left and I was presuming there would maybe be more male contenders at the tail end of the list…