Monday, 17 November 2008

DANCING ATTENDANCE

So, last night, the BBC's former Political Editor, John Sergeant, again survived the public vote-off in TV's Strictly Come Dancing contest and will, once more, be blundering around the dance floor next Saturday evening.

More outrage and condemnation have, naturally, followed, but A A Gill, writing in yesterday's Sunday Times - before the latest news broke - put the controversy neatly into perspective...

On Strictly Come Dancing, a terpsichorially challenged audience failed to dismiss the political broadcaster John Sergeant for not dancing properly, or at all. One of the judges — the strangest collection of human effluvia this side of Grimms’ Fairy Tales — admonished us by saying we must remember this was a dancing competition.

Now, I think it’s time I called the old dancing judges... into my office to remind them of a few home truths. Listen carefully, all of you.
Strictly Come Dancing is not a dancing competition. The X Factor is not a talent contest. The Queen Vic is not a real pub, and Basil Brush isn’t actually a talking fox. They are all entertainments.

Dragons’ Den
isn’t real venture capitalism, and I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! isn’t a real jungle or, indeed, real celebrity, and everybody there has been begging their agents to get them in it. You are all suffering from a common green-room delusion: you believe your own billing. You are not on television because you’re experts or gurus. You’re there because you’re either funny, hateful or shaggable, and if you’re in any doubt which, then it’s not the latter.

That pretty much sums it up, I'd have said - though I was devastated to read that revelation about Basil Brush!

It should also be pointed out that the Beeb clearly invited John Sergeant (as they did Jimmy Tarbuck last year) with an eye to his adding a little comic relief to the proceedings - and, in the early stages of the competition, making the other dancers look better than they actually were. If the great British public have now seen through that somewhat callous ruse and decided to continue promoting the jester towards the throne, well, then they've no one to blame but themselves.

17 comments:

Suzanne said...

I think John's lovely, but it's true he can't dance to save his life. But what worries me is that people are voting to keep him in to watch him humiliate himself dancing a jive (which we all know he'll never manage), or worse still to see him attempt a raunchy rumba (God save us from that sight!)

Brian Sibley said...

I'm not sure that John Sergeant - who clearly has his eyes firmly set on the crown (and frustrating the professional judges who've given him such a hard time) is capable of experiencing humiliation whatever the cost to his dignity!

LisaH said...

I do feel sorry for Cherie because she is one of the best dancers and although yes, it is meant to be entertainment and a lot of money is being raised for charity, all the contestants have been working incredibly hard and putting in a vast amount of effort.
With John's success this year, I wonder if Jo Brand has already been booked for the next series.

Brian Sibley said...

Even as you speak, Lisah, even as you speak...

Anonymous said...

Lord Mandleson also wants to be asked to appear ! The mind boggles at this. Glad I don't watch very much entertainment

Andy J. Latham said...

To be quite honest, I'd like to see him win. Maybe it will break down the idea behind a talent show and cause some of them to be removed from the TV!

Brian Sibley said...

Good point, Andy!

KEEP VOTING for JOHN SERGEANT!!!

Jen said...

totally agree with Andy & A A Gill which is why I did vote for John a couple of weeks back(I've never voted for a tv show before)I just loathed the way judges were unacceptably rude & wouldn't mind seeing them put through their paces where they don't excel but maybe that's the next show in the offing? & John's given up wine for the show- now that is serious attitude!how Brits love the underdog.

Brian Sibley said...

Maybe Craig, Len, Arlene and Bruno should try their hand at political reporting...

Andy in Greece said...

My guess is that the public will realise that they can turn this event into something infinitely more interesting than a so-called dancing contest by voting for John. Let's hope they do. I wonder how long the Beeb will allow this to continue before ammending the results themselves.
Only a couple of weeks ago Rick Astley was voted 'Greatest Performer Of All Time' as the result of rigged internet voting.

Boll Weavil said...

I don't watch any entertainment that requires my participation for its continuance on the pure principle of the thing. I pay my licence fee to the BBC so THEY can entertain ME and they do not need my help for this via voting, guessing things or evicting show participants. I don't go the art gallery to see the Mona Lisa only to be allowed in on the understanding that I help out with finishing the nose because Da Vinci is struggling a bit.I don't watch football and then ring up to vote to decide who wins at the end.It's all getting very silly. Why doesn't that nice Mrs Palin do something...

Brian Sibley said...

Give her time, Mr Meldrew, give her time...

Jen said...

Stripe me pink! John's quit.
What a to do. The word verification is harbolic. I think my dad used to wash with that soap......now it's demisti, as in Play demisti for me?

Brian Sibley said...

It's the problem with two left feet - all too easy to fall on one's sword!

Brian Sibley said...

Harbolic? Yep, so smelly it must be good for you!

Anonymous said...

Shame he pulled out, I thought if he could succeed on a dance show there might be a chance for me to succeed on a singing show despite my lack of talent (is there a category for over 65s on the X factor? The XXL factor, perhaps!). Now he's gone, perhaps I'll stop fantasizing ( the nation breathes a sigh of relief).
Roger O B...
(agrit: small pebbles added to farmland to aid drainage)

Brian Sibley said...

As with John Sergeant, your contribution to the talent of our nation will, I can assure you Roger, be missed...