Strictly Come Dancing 14 – The Lovely Ladies


Laura Whitmore : If you were expecting them to shuffle out one of their least famous names into the spotlight in the immediate wake of two of their more famous ones, congratulations, you are right. Laura Whitmore presents the spin-off show for I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here, and also does news bits on MTV UK, making her very much the Aldi Caroline Flack. 37 in FHM’s Sexiest list as opposed to Number 5. Hosting the BRIT awards nominations ceremony rather than reporting from the event itself for ITV. Probably shagging that wee blonde Irish one from One Direction rather than Harry Styles, probably, maybe, don’t quote me on that. At the moment, Laura, whilst very pretty and seemingly very nice, does have that whiff of “makes the final but finishes third, because deep down nobody cares” about her, but we shall see.

Louise Redknapp : At only the seventh time of rumouring! Yes, after year after year of rumours, near misses, and “no, really, definitely this time”s and “oh she was going to do it but backed out because Jamie wussed out at the last minute”s and “SHE HAD HYSTERICAL EXPLOSIVE DIARRHOEA, OK!s”, the woman who attempted to pass herself off as the most bland mononym in pop history (you wouldn’t spell “LOUISE!” out in frankfurters at a 8 year olds birthday buffet, let alone put it up in lights) is finally doing Strictly! So let’s peel back the many many layers of dance ringerdom here.

1. Louise went to Italia Conti, along with other talent-reality ringers Pixie Lott, Natalie Gumede, Steph Fearon, Bonnie Langford, Kelly Brook, Sam Attwater, Zaraah Abrahams, and DEREK HOUGH.
2. Louise was in hot 90s R & B girl group Eternal and it wasn’t because she could sing like Dionne Warwick, let’s put it that way
3. Louise then had a solo career built entirely around dance routines because her songs sounded like the sort of thing you’d hear playing out of an 8-bit birthday card
4. Louise was such a sexy mover that in 2004, FHM named her the sexiest woman of the decade. IN 2004! Like, they just gave up and called it there, like how we all knew by Week 4 that Jay had won but for some reason carried on with the series anyway
5. Louise was a judge on two series of the UK version of So You Think You Can Dance, during which time she was asked to judge ballroom dancing routines, which really means that either she was underqualified for that, or she’s overqualified for this. Fortunately, I was the only person who watched two series of So You Think You Can Dance, so they’ll proably get away with it.

Other that that…she seems nice, I guess? Here’s hoping Jamie is front row and often, eh?

Daisy Lowe : A model, for those of you going “who? who?” like a particularly demented owl (and for those of you judging the quality of the cast based on familiarity remember this – before Series 9 you HADN’T heard of Chelsee Healey, and you HAD heard of Bloody Lulu), and like every model ever on this show, one who exists but one degree of separation away from another famous person, being the daughter of Pearl Lowe (of the Primrose Hill mob) and Gavin Rossdale (of being Mr Gwen Stefani). Which means two things – firstly that her family fuck-tree stretches out forever in two directions, like what happens if you stand between a pair of mirrors, and secondly that rather hilariously she has one set of half-siblings called Alfie, Frankie and Betty and one set called Kingston, Zuma and Apollo (ah the transatlantic culture gap). Still, as a model on this show, Daisy has better industry cred than some of the rest. Daisy has appeared in Tatler & Vogue – Jo Wood was the answer to a crossword clue in Take A Break once ; Daisy dated a Dr Who – Lisa Snowdon dated a pretend Dr that now says “who?” every time her name comes up in conversation ; Daisy walked for Karl Lagerfeld and Vivienne Westwood – Abbey Clancy walked for canine muscular dystrophy and raised Β£62.80 via! She may not have much name value with Strictly’s core audience, but Daisy Lowe’s lived damnit.

Naga Munchetty : Well, as someone whose pre-series discussion of potential celebrities every year is 99% “which BBC Breakfast presenter will it be this time?” and 1% “I mean, Paul Rudd MIGHT not be filming something, it IS possible, he *does* love the UK, I saw him say it in an interview once”, I am shocked and delighted to hear that we’re getting two of them early risers this year, as Ore is followed into the Strictly arena by Naga Munchetty. Breakfast wise, Naga sits in the seat previously held by Susanna Reid, ie the “Controversial Woman” main presenter seat ie the one who occasionally expresses an opinion or talks or wears SKIRTS where you can see her KNEES if you sit and painstakingly freezeframe 3 hours of footage every day and then post it on Youtube, endless, endless clips on youtube of 1mm square of Breakfast presenters knickers and bits of bra END THE MADNESS. Ahem. Anyway, despite her ultra-modern, chic, pixie-cut facade, Naga is a woman of many old-tyme hobbies, including golf, jazz trumpet, mixology, and coyly hinting that she shagged Prince once, but who can say whether dancing the foxtrot will soon be counted amongst them? Also, and let’s just get this out the way now, so we can all get the juvenile giggling out of our systems, her married name is Naga Haggar.

Anastacia See Louise? THAT’S how you do being a one-name popstar. Like a long missing Russian princess, a line of cosmetics for drag queens, or a stripper hitting the pole in order to pay her way through vet school, the name Anastacia speaks of a mystique and an exotica that maybe doesn’t quite match Anastacia’s chosen method of musical delivery – belting everything down her nose like she’s trying to dislodge a particularly stubborn snot rocket. Or like Kenneth Williams struggling to claw his way out of the grave through a mouthful of dirt. Or like an electric lawnmower accidentally driving over a rock. One of those. Still, God looked down and decided to make one wedding singer legitimately famous (at least in the UK and Australia and bits of Eastern Europe) and he chose Anastacia, with her hit singles Am Ahtta Lerr and Lefta Sarr Alerun, her terrible terrible taste in sunglasses, her authentic loud’n’obnoxious Chicago personality, and thank god he did, because he could have chosen Carol Manners-Whiting who does nothing but Whitney Houston covers and always nicks more than her fair share of the wedding cake. Anastacia is on one level a massive ringer, in that she she started out her career as a professional dancer for pop videos in the 80s, but on another very real level probably isn’t any more, as her life has been one brush with illness and death after another (Chrons disease, mutiple hernias, superventricular tachcycardia, breast cancer (TWICE), sciatica…) so who knows what she can do these days, other, of course, than be a crystalised Gay Icon par excellence. And for that we salute her.

Claudia Fragapane : And now that the sun has set on Rio (well almost, I’m sat watching the basketball final as I type this) the Olympians can be revealed! Who to match golden goddesses Denise, Victoria and Audley, silver superstars Louis, Colin, Iwan, and Martina, and bronze babe Anthony? It’s…erm…well she was there, that’s the main thing. To be fair, Claudia is only 18, and has plenty of time left in her career as a gymnast, but you’d think that after our most succesful Olympics ever in terms of medals won (nobody counts 1908, it went on for 6 months and half the events literally only had British athletes in them, and even then we rigged the shit out of everything just in case) they might have been able to land someone who got one? Never mind, a female gymnast is at least something new, as is a female celebrity weighing in at just under 4ft 6, and there’s possibly a more prestigious male Olympian in the pipeline for tomorrow, so let’s all count our blessings. Time will tell whether Claudia is a Louis level success or a Gabby level failure, but I think we can at least safely say now that if she doesn’t end up partnered with new minipop pro AJ, I will PICKLE MY WAWNUTS AND SHOW ME BAHM IN TESCOS etc etc

Tameka Empson : Those of you who are versed in Strictly lore will know that Tameka was all signed up and confirmed to appear as part of the cast of Series 11, but then oops, she got up the duff, so she was replaced at the last minute by Natalie Gumede/Vanessa Feltz/Susanna Reid/that estate agent one (*delete as per your preferences*). What a woman. AND NOW SHE’S BACK! Back to deliver that Kim Fox/3 Non Blondes/Background Role In A 90s themed gay film/runner-up on Lets Dance For Comic Relief magic. Tameka has been in Eastenders for 7 years now, during which time her major storylines have been (*checks wikipedia*) giving birth in the Queen Vic toilets, marrying Richard Blackwood, and opening a speakeasy, presumably as part of some sort of time travel week wherein Ian Beale accidentally introduced Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson oops, and Peggy Mitchell parachuted into Vichy France. In terms of her ringer locker, Tameka doesn’t appear to have a lot to draw upon other than a whooooole lot of panto, but then again, this is Strictly 2k16, so…it’s as good a parcel of experience as you can get to be honest.

Lesley Joseph : I love that Lesley Joseph was our last, 15th, and final celeb revealed for Strictly this year. Partly because it’s LESLEY JOSEPH being announced as effectively the headline act on an edition of The One Show that also featured Greg Rutherford’s reveal, but also partly because it’s been so obvious that she was cast for about two months now, and that she’s been in a constant vibrating state of excitement wanting to tell everyone ever since, bless her. Lesley Joseph aka comedy slutty neighbour Dorien Green aka…no that’s it isn’t it…anyway, Lesley has the honour of being by some distance (five years!) the oldest female contestant ever to appear on the show and also possibly the biggest gay icon in a cast already bubbling out of the seems with them. Is there a gay man my age who doesn’t remember her peerless performance of Like A Virgin on that one episode of Birds Of A Feather, skipping merrily about the karaoke stage in a multicoloured bodystocking, and think that right there that that was everything you wanted to be in life encapsulated in 3 minutes of barely there teatime 90s BBC 1 weekend comedy? I hope for the ssake of all our colours of the rainbow that she does slightly better on Strictly than her best mate Biggins just did on Big Brother anyway…


57 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 14 – The Lovely Ladies

  1. Huriye

    Excuse me, Mr Monkseal, “Aldi Caroline Flack”?

    AFAIK Miss Whitmore has spent the crepuscule hours with Hollywood A Lister, none other than Leonardo DiCaprio himself!

    Put that in your Aldi basket and take Ms Flack to Lidl where she belongs!

      1. BeyonceCastle

        Just had a nosey, she is pretty. Now Tristan cannot represent the Irish banter, wonder who’ll she’ll get? Gorka for a showmance?

      2. WCS- WH

        How many attractive women haven’t spent their twilight hours with LdiC? Flackers might be in the more select group.

  2. Huriye

    The tabloids and production team/PR people will have a field day with Ms W, it’ll be Showmance City whichever pro she gets!!…….(even Anton). πŸ˜‰

  3. ChaChaChavvy

    Oh god, if we’re going to have drippy Louise and dreary Will we need Anastacia as the Gina Gershon-esque villain to counterbalance.

    1. Marcela

      Your comment reflects my opinion, I actually thought “Well, she is the female version of Will Young, isn’t she?” when she was announced.

    2. monkseal Post author

      I have no major problem with Louise or Will but please, neither of them are amazing enough to be compared to Nomi Malone.

  4. BeyonceCastle

    Ah Louise. She will always be Nurding to me, in the same way Chezza will always be Tweedy off chicken run. I do not remember a solo career, only the guff cover above which I hope will not mean she has Reservoir dogs for movie night, much as though I might like to see Pasha tied to a chair.
    Her dancing with a mike skills as evidenced on TOTP put her on a par with Will Young. But I quite liked her on GBBO and think shewuzrobbed so will happily give her a chance on this.
    Am backing Ore as my favourite so far though.

    1. Huriye

      I’m with you there Beyonce, Ore is getting me excited of the ones announced, though Will was very humorous on Bake Off and not at all bland.

      Monkseal’s write up was more interesting than Louise will ever be for me. Her voice so grated on SYTYCD, which I watched aswell, and am still giving Arlene evils for her vile comments to lovely Charlie.

      Sadly for Louise, Wardrobe will give Laura the sexiest frocks, but the fat, forty + football fans amongst the Dads will be happy whatever. Frankly, if Jo Wood and Fiona Fullerton can get a gig on Strictly, then I suppose so can Louise. Not that she hasn’t been angling for it for years, and started all those rumours herself.

      1. BeyonceCastle

        Nooooooo. You know she’d do a Zoe and have dancing lessons beforehand. She had cooking lessons pre GBBO and her showstopper sucked. Methinks you trolleth Christopher.

  5. DJ Mikey

    I approve of Louise being on SCD – but I must insist that she dance to:

    Naked – for my amusement, as an army of pearl clutchers launch an avalanche of being offended.


    Light Of My Life – I think it might be a great song for a Viennese Waltz.

    I’m weird out because I actually like the potential ringer – FOR ONCE!!

  6. ChaChaChavvy

    And now a Geldofy/Jaggery model. Theories –

    1) They’ve all gone insane and are actually trying to replicate series 7. We’ll get to the launch show and Darcey will have been replaced with Lady Sovereign.

    2) The celebrity bookers are on a public service pay freeze and are having a protest year.

    3) The final five celebrities are so Bake Offy-Olympiany-Current BBC Drama-y stellar that they can afford to toy with us this week.

  7. Liz

    Daisy Lowe is going out with Darius. They recently asked me where they could buy an ice cream in Regent’s Park. I told them. Not the best Strictly celeb anecdote I know, but an exclusive nonetheless.

  8. ChaChaChavvy

    Me, this morning –

    1) Hurray, Lesley Joseph! Finally, someone with a bit of chutzpah!
    2) Oh, ok, an Olympic golfer … umm … uhh …
    3) One of THESE two? Really?

    The Model by Kraftwerk came on my iPod about 10 minutes after I saw Daisy’s name revealed, so that’s her Week 1 tango sorted. I’m guessing Gett Off or I Wanna Be Your Lover for Naga (feigns innocence).

    1. BeyonceCastle

      I was hoping Flo-rida and then I remembered Tony and Marissa’s cha cha to Low (dwts 2008) and thought, Christ no. Wouldn’t mind a bit of Kraftwerk though.

  9. ChaChaChavvy

    Slay ’em, Anastacia!!!!!!!!!! (The whole Pavarotti/Michael Jackson thing was taking me down a worrying Sarah Brightman route).

      1. DJ Mikey

        Damn it now I want the campest party latin in the world, performed to I LOST MY HEART TO A STARSHIP TROOPER!!

        I blame you MONKSEAL..

      2. Minxy

        Now you all did it
        I want (and so should you) a theme week dedicated to starship trooper. Every contestant having to dance to it but not all doing the same style. Not just party Latin but Ballroom too!
        Carnage or Heroic it would be glorious

        And couldn’t be any worse a song choice than some that have been inflicted these last few years

        If Sarah won’t dance then she could be a special guest judge

    1. BeyonceCastle

      I don’t know her but was compelled by Monkseal’s intro to look up the Prince thing. My God, Lisa Stanfield was rough on that. I would hope Naga was not so embarrassed by it that we get no Prince offering this year. Would love a routine to Little red corvette or even Kiss again. Would also love them to use Bowie for the first time, Let’s dance or Modern love.

      1. monkseal Post author

        Bowie’s been done a few times, including those songs (Ricky G’s tango, Laila’s jive). Although they were both so bad, maybe that was a joke you were making……

  10. Stormy

    *rears her Who nerd head* Oooh, Matt Smith’s ex, eh? I can’t wait to see if the fandom loves her because of the connection, or irrationally hates her because she’s their beloved Matty’s ex.

    As for Louise…wow. You know, some years they at least *try* to be subtle about grabbing a ringer. Poor woman’s going to be flayed by the DS nutters.

  11. Huriye

    I think we’ve just found AJ’s partner……….Olympic Gymnast and Commonwealth Games Champion Claudia Fragapane from Bristol, via Italian heritage, naturally!


    1. Huriye

      BTW Tess better get her name right, it’s “CLOUDIA” she does NOT like to be called Clawdia.
      And it’s Fragg-a-pan-e not Franjipan, as I heard one numpty 5Live sports reporter say. Lord Reith would be turning in his grave at the drop in standards of pronunciation at the BBC!

      Claudia is uber short, well below 5ft, but has good rhythm and is a bit of a break dancer in her floor routines. She also has a hint of Sophia Loren when made up and her hair done. Glitter and sparkle looks super next to her dark hair and eyes. Good Luck Claudia & AJ! In bocca al lupo! πŸ˜€

      1. ChaChaChavvy

        Sorry, but I got a craving for a frangipane tart as soon as I heard her name. I’m going to stock up on them for Saturday nights after a dreadful experience I once had watching GBBO with no cake in.

        I had a dream last night where Yootha Joyce was dancing on the show with Aljaz. Every celeb ever announced now will be a bitter disappointment.

      2. BeyonceCastle

        It must admit I did see the surname and thought it looked very similar to frangipane Huriye!
        Maybe in his head he was going Don’t say frangipane don’t say frangipane don’t say FRANGIPANE fuck πŸ˜‰

        Have been binge watching Stranger things. So so good. So only just got news about diddy bendy gymnast but AJ would be a good match, yes, with them being babbies, bless!

        Have a good Sunday Huriye x

  12. BeyonceCastle

    Oh chacha, so glad it’s not just me. I once went out and bought a happy birthday chocolate cake from Tesco in advance cos I knew Nigella was making one on telly. My husband came in and caught me with this huge cake on my lap, fork in hand and telltale chocolate smudge and said in a mix of shock and awe and utter confusion: but it’s not your birthday til August, is it?
    I used to watch George and Mildred when I was little. I was about to say “Was it a halloween episode in your dream, as I’m sure she’s dead” when I looked her up on wiki. She died so young (liver failure, she was an alcoholic). Brian Murphy was at her side. I was really shocked, I don’t remember that at all. 😦

    1. Huriye

      Twitter was awash with pics of Yootha Joyce, as it was her ‘birthday’ over the weekend, but she’s definitely in that great sitcom in the sky.

      Claudia will be this year’s Chelsee – young, a pocket rocket, and her answers on ITT will be similarly brief.

      BTW Beyonce, did you see Gleb is doing DWTS?

      1. BeyonceCastle

        Yes indeed. They do need a new Derek though plus he didn’t do so much Glebness last time he was on plus Artem gets under-used. It’s pretty much the Val and Mark show now. And Tony, poor Tony, maybe it’s in the name πŸ˜‰ Tony Dovolani = Tony Beak.

    2. ChaChaChavvy

      Yootha was very much alive and tangoing with the lovely Aljaz to La Cumparsita, of course. He was in the full garb, she was in a loud, sunflower-print, 70s maxi-dress. I probably never need watch Strictly again.

  13. Huriye

    I’m still thinking Ruth Langsford will be one of the remaining celebs announced tomorrow, probably on The One Show. Not for nothing has she been walking 10,000 Steps a day and cutting the fat off her bacon. She’s fairly tall, so think Anton.

  14. BeyonceCastle

    Now that would be a nice pairing. If he gets anyone else, the anti Anton brigade will be foaming whereas not sure Ruth will care less about hot messy latin to be honest and can see her doing a lovely waltz. She has a decent sense of humour, they’d get on. But three breakfast people? five presenters? If he did get Anastacia, not sure why people care…The woman has been ill with sciatica hasn’t she? She needs an Anton not a Brendan. Besides, big names in the States Patti Labelle, Chaka Khan did not do well (but I am being awful Anastacia is only 47, they were two decades on). Okay, off for a swim, have a good day Huriye.

  15. ChaChaChavvy

    Yay, Lesley and Tameka! They both seem very oompfy and shameless. I hope Lesley still has the physicality to pull off Like a Virgin.

    They’ve pulled the cast around with these last few announcements but I can’t help feeling there’s a pronounced gulf between interesting/likeable duffers and bland contenders and we could end up with a boring Series 12 final again.

    As for poor Angelica, I did hear of a young, beautiful, former soap actress ringer who got dumped from the cast when someone similar but more high-profile signed up. I wonder if that was the case here?

  16. Huriye

    So Gloria Hunniford was younger than Lesley Joseph? I sincerely hope Lesley moves better.

    Poor Ruth. Left dangling. Still there’s always ITT.

  17. Marcela

    I can honestly say that the producers have read my mind somehow, it’s the line up of my wet dreams! Anastacia, Dorien, and Tameka Kween of Sass on the female side; Judge Rinder, Ore, and Greg Rutherford on the male one. Heaven!

    1. monkseal Post author

      I guess this whole line-up answers whether any straight men work on Strictly any more and that answer is no.

  18. Patrick

    I was sat on a plane next to Harry Redknapp once after being upgraded due to complaining about everthing (<3) and my colleagues were very excited on my behalf – but we remained unacquainted as all I would have to talk to him about is how I'd thought about sleeping with his son around 10,000 times and how I'd prob put his daughter in law's music on in the background for the lolz whilst doing it

      1. DJ Mikey

        Jamie Redknapp is such a diva – if I’d been looking for pics of Ben Cohen in his smalls I’d have found them twice over already. But I did my best.

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