Strictly Come Dancing 15 – The Manly Men

Well at least it still wasn’t Tim Lovejoy.

Davood Ghadami :

Nuff said? I mean I don’t like to objectify men or anything (lol) but it’s actually really hard to find pictures of Davood with clothes actually on, so I think this is ok? Davood plays Kush in Eastenders, and as far as I’m aware his role in the show is to stand around with his top off looking gormless as various women do him wrong, and we the audience wonder what divine inspiration struck the casting director who decided to have his mother played by Bonnie Langford. Yes *that* Bonnie Langford. I eagerly await her being front row every week cheering her tv son on to Blackpool, with a whole army of Strallens sat behind her ready to be unleashed backstage to network. Anyway, Davood is this year’s Soap Hunk and yes, again, a step up on that score from Jake Wood (no offence to those of you with a Grumpy Cat fetish).

Richard Coles : Does anybody remember the good old days when you couldn’t hear the comedy contestants coming from further away than a tanked up hen party? I swear the Telegraph had a “IS RICHARD COLES THE NEW ED BALLS? GET HIM TO BLACKPOOL!” article written up within 5 seconds of the reveal. Maybe it’s like the Royals dying dying and they have a whole raft of these profiles prepared and ready to go, from Adam Woodyatt to Zeinab Badawi. Anyway Richard is here because he’s a vicar and everyone loves a comedy vicar. From All Gas & Gaiters to Rev via The Vicar Of Dibley and the hot one from Keeping Up Appearances (SHUT UP, I WAS DEVELOPING!) comedy clergy are a British staple. And even BETTER Richard Coles isn’t just a vicar, he’s a GAY vicar. So there’s the usual comedy tension from when someone gets power within an institution that histtorically sought to undermine and debase them, like when Frasier Crane seized control of the Wine Club, or when a black man became president of the USA. And even better, Richard Coles isn’t just any gay vicar. Oh no, he did the vwoop vwoop electronic noises for THE COMMUNARDS, the gayest band of the 80s. So gay they make Erasure look like Hard Fi, and Boy George like…I don’t know are there any totally straight male solo artists in the music industry? Gary Barlow? Anyway, the joy of Richard Coles is how any coversation can veer from talk of the Ecclesiastes to an anecdote about how he once saw Jimmy Sommeville get fisted by Mark Ashton whilst off his face on poppers in a lay-bye in Hemel Hempsted. All human life indeed.

Joe McFadden : I suppose the hope that the long-rumoured Paralympian this year is Richard Whitehead is too much to ask right? Not that I’d be praying for the opportunity to make gags about semi-forgotten songwriting duos of the 1970s (MCFADDEN AND WHITEHEAD! THEY DID “AIN’T NO STOPPPING US N…oh suit yourselves) because I’m struggling to find anything to say about a guy who I sort of recognise from looking like a little twink lots in ads for broody millennial dramas (The Crow Road! Sparkhouse! Erm…Sex, Chips & Rock’N’Roll!) and more recently in the role of “oh is he in Holby City now good for him” in Holby City. Looking at his resume Joe has also done a looooot of musical theatre from all over the map, from Rent to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, and some of that has had to involve some dance routines right? Hopefully Joe brings some charm and twinkle to the floor and let’s hope he isn’t just Tom Chambers Mk 2 I’m not sure I could cope.

Simon Rimmer : The Rimmerveal wasn’t noteworthy so much for who he is, but for how it was done, to the extent that I think there’s a big possibility that come the end of the series I will remember it more than I remember anything he does as a participant. The scene was Channel 4s Sunday Brunch, and amidst the articles about how kindness can help you lose weight and the new song by Louis Tomlinson (called “Take Me Back Daddy Harry” or something like that) we were teased with potential contestants one by one. Mathew Baynton (unlikely but yes please), Lee Ryan (no), Danny From The Script (NO, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NO) and Martine McCutcheon (YES, HOOK IT TO MY VEINS, SECOND COMING OF DENSE VAN RINGAH BUT MORE SO) were all mooted and teased and then…it turned out to be second tier host/resident chef. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Simon, because he seemed into it (and who doesn’t love an enthusiastic Rimmer?) but veering from extreme to extreme like that left me feeling entirely Zen and neutral and opinionless about his participation. Other than the fact he looks really good for 54. The show’s not had the…best track record with dancing chefs, as Aliona and Karen Hardy’s shared, very rich, therapist will tell you, but maybe Simon will be the one to change all that.

Aston Merrygold: So Strictly breaks its embargo on former X Factor contestannts with JLS, currently the third most succesful group in the show’s history and the most succesful to audition as a group in their own right. Consisting of Daddy JLS (Marvin), Fedora JLS (Oritse), Merry Christmas JLS (JB), and the One Who Actually Sang And Danced And Did Stuff JLS, and it’s no surprise that it’s that JLS that has made it onto the big name reality shows first (no Celebrity Masterchef doesn’t count, and Stepping Out CERTAINLY doesn’t count, why are you even asking?). Like Louise before him, Aston has the minor obstacle in his road to victory of having publicly judged a televised dance competition before, although he has the advantage of said televised dance competition being Sky 1s “Got To Dance” which even fewer people watched than So You Think You Can Dance. Yes, that is possible. They invented numbers that low, I think it was the Persians who did it. Anyway, depending on your perspective, Aston is either a massive ringer, or it’s all hippity hop and it doesn’t count. Get ready to hash it out in the comment forums of the Internet for the next four months and a bit!

Brian Conley : Some of you may be confused by this, as it feels like Brian Conley has been part of this cast longer than anyone else already. In my head it feels like we’ve known Brian Conley has been on for even longer than we’ve known who Nadiya Bychkova is. This is because, as he is wont to do, Dan Wootton leaked all over Lorraine Kelly, and so we’ve all had to sit here for the last week pretending it didn’t happen. And now we find out he’s on 5 seconds before Bruce died, so it’s even more of an anti-climax. Anyway, Brian Conley was the Jim Davidson of the 90s, except with the racism dialled back a bit, playing numerous comedy characters on ITV, all of whom have devolved in the cultural memory into one soggy half formed mush screeching “IT’S AAAA PAPPPPPETTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!” nonstop for a decade. Fortunately for my eardrums and sanity Brian Conley buggered off from television to the wilds of regional musical theatre as soon as the Millennium hit, except for periodic appearances in things like a crap Marple and “The Life And Times Of Vivienne Vyle” (ooft). Out there he has starred in Oliver!, Barnum, Hairspray, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Music Man, played Buttons in panto 15 (!) times, and also starred in a touring version of a Neil Diamond musical directed and choreographed by one Craig Revel Horwood (*wink wink*). Anyway, let’s hope his time in the wilderness has made him more bearable I bloody hope so.

Jonnie Peacock : So, more ground broken with our final male contestant – Jonnnie is officially the first Paralympian to ever compete on Strictly (although not, despite the banner headline, the first contestant with a disability) (I know, what fun, let’s all sit and debate exactly what “disability” means I can’t imagine a better use of time). For those not caught up in Paralymics fever, Jonnie’s particular event is the 100m sprint, his particular disability is that he has a prosthetic right leg due to a bout of meningitis when he was 5, his particular level of success is two gold medals, in London and Brazil, and his particular level of sexy fit hotness is “quite very”. There is already an established record of contestants with protheses doing well in the franchise (Cassidy winning The People’s Strictly, and Amy Purdy and Noah Galloway both reaching the final of Dancing With The Stars) (no Heather Mills didn’t do terribly well but she’s HEATHER MILLS) so hopefully they don’t make too big a deal of how much he has to overcome, whilst at the same time respecting he has a higher hill to climb than, say, Aston Merrygold. Also if he and Davood could do some sort of shirtless rumbathon for bonus points that’d be grand, thanks.


53 thoughts on “Strictly Come Dancing 15 – The Manly Men

  1. ChaChaChavvy

    Davood – lewd, Ghadami – salami, Kushy – tushy: Bruno, your work here is done.

    If he can dance he’ll get to the final.

    1. monkseal Post author

      OK but you need to be pounding the desk or falling off your chair whilst saying it, that’s a good 60% of the work.

  2. smaoifs

    All I want now is Carmel in EE to tell everyone how there’s a dancer who looks just like her Kushi on Strictly and her CRH thinks he’s a winner.

  3. DJ Mikey

    I found a picture of Davood with his clothes on, I can’t say I liked it much – the picture you provided is much better…

  4. ChaChaChavvy

    80s synth-pop is my childhood, so I’m pretty happy with the Rev signing up. I am dreading the too on-the-nose music choices though. I want him partnered with Oti.

  5. Chris

    I’m still holding out hope that the powers-that-be will let Richard be a low-key charming Mark Benton-brand comedy contestant, instead of being a one-man gif parade (but unlike Ed Balls, he’s at least not coming into this as a fully-fledged meme)

      1. monkseal Post author

        Judge Rinder & The Rainbow Regime play the hits of the 70s every Friday night at thee Holiday Inn Petersborough.

  6. Ross

    I’ve had “Missionary Man” by Eurythmics down as a Tango for ages, I’m so glad there’ll finally be an appropriate use for it. ❤

  7. ChaChaChavvy

    So, do we think the Saturday announcement is meaningless or a sign that they got the willies over all the crocks and dropouts last year and have upped the number of celebs?

    As for Joe, if they want me to vote for him, they have to make his Strictly journey all about Take the High Road: Mrs Mack, Davey Sneddon, Inverdarroch (a person, not a place, confusingly), that hotel with the name I can’t spell. Going on holiday to the Lakes or Scotland and finding it was on in the evenings felt like a rare treat as a child. That ‘Andy Murray and Some Woman from Take the High Road Should Present Strictly’ person from Digital Spy is having a red letter weekend right now.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I think it’s just been paced to get it done by this Friday. I am fairly sure it’ll be a 15 again. Or at least it better be.

  8. Neio

    Ooh, Joe used to go to the same gym as me. He doesn’t look quite as good as Davood with his clothes off, but nearly 😉

  9. ChaChaChavvy

    For a good 20 minutes this morning I thought Tim Lovejoy might be going on Strictly. I feel like an American who’s just lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis.

  10. BeyonceLikesRimmingJokes

    Gregg and Gary set the bar low but Ainsley made it to week 5 bless him.
    I forgot James Martin came 4th. I’ll take a punt on Simon lasting longer than Ainsley but not as long as James (now watch him go week 2).

  11. Kitty Mittelschmerz (@Pity_Kitty)

    Aston: I once had a really boring Zombie Apocalypse dream where we had to just live in municipal buildings and push the zombies out of the way to get to work. The zombies that hung around outside my front door were Aston and Marvin.

    I presume they had devoured JB and Oritse.

  12. dex

    JB did that terrible ITV dance thing with his wife and was all “I’M NOT A DANCER, I JUST NODDED A BIT IN JLS”. Doubt that will wash with Aston. He’s from my city so the local paper will be fucking insufferable until his inevitable victory. He’s friends with Louis Smith so expect his joyless mug in the audience.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I was about to correct and say that that was Oritse but that I remembered that ITV have tried that shit twice.

      1. dex

        Yeah, this was yet another doomed attempt to fill the DOI slot. It was won by some guy off Eastenders who rang harder than DVO on a chair, and his equally ringah civilian girlfriend. The less accomplished celeb dancers seethed throughout.
        Doi is back in January…

  13. Stormy

    Since I don’t follow most celebrity chefs, Simon Rimmer is going to do nothing but make me think of Arnold Rimmer from Red Dwarf every time I hear his surname.

    1. ChaChaChavvy

      I’m a total hypocrite on ringahs, and the amount I give a toss directly correlates with the amount I like the celeb. Last year I went, ‘That Danny seems a bit full of himself and Essex-y. He’s a filthy, dirty ring ….. Oooh, he’s hot when he dances. Forget about the ringah stuff. He probably just sat on a chair.’

      I don’t know much about Aston, so how much I hold ringah-ism against him is yet to be seen.

  14. ChaChaChavvy

    I find Brian Conley a really bizarre signing. It’s not as if we’re all pining for the days of ITV c. 1990, is it? I feel a bit bad being mean about him as a friend of mine worked in a theatre where he was appearing in a musical and said he was the loveliest person and adored by everyone. We’ll see …

      1. BeyonceCastle

        Brian is a reasonable signing given his musical background. He worked with CRH 2011 but then did IACGMOOH the following year (the year Helen lost all the trials, he lost over a stone and stopped taking his anti-depressants whilst there).
        Fun fact: his brother was floor manager for Strictly series 7 semi and final!

    1. monkseal Post author

      I’ve heard erm…different accounts, but I guess it can depend where in someone’s life you have to work with them.

  15. Marcela

    As I didn’t grow up in Britain, I have zero idea who Brian Conley is and I want to keep it that way untill I see him in action.

    1. ChaChaChavvy

      Brian Conley on Strictly, Bradley Walsh as the new Doctor Who companion; I bet Barbara Broccoli is on the phone to Les Dennis as we speak.

      1. MartianAndy

        Might be best to get it out of the way week one when a minimum of actual dancing is required.
        Run around a bit, play to the crowd, jump up and down throw in some air guitar. Little bit of tramp kicking and hip wiggling. Job done, difficult dance out of the way early, 6s and 7s across the board.
        It worked for Greg last year.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Please do not introduce stimuli that will encourage me to misspell Jonnie’s name, I am finding it very difficult already.

  16. posie

    I thought I was going to have nightmares about Debbie McGee tonight, then you gave me the Davood/Jonnie shirtless rumbathon. Sweet dreams now await me…

  17. ChaChaChavvy

    There are already snippy remarks on social media about Jonnie getting the sympathy vote. It’s almost as if people think this is a show where tubby politicians get held to the same standards as young, female popstars.

    My own high standards mean I might throw a few votes Jonnie’s way if his artistry is anything as magnificent as Greg’s.


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