Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

I watch Strictly

There you go - when I am here, I watch a TV programme on a Saturday night that is all about people ballroom dancing, and I am not afraid to say that I absolutely love it. I never used to, indeed I used to think it was a pile of steaming dog poo for people who really should know better, but I have a wife and two gorgeous girls who watch and enjoy Strictly Come Dancing and a couple of years ago I did what I told myself I would not do and gave in to it................

My girls watch very little TV as we happen to think there is a lot more to life than sitting in front of it, but they are girls and my girls do like a bit of dancing stuff - as does my wife who is a girl as well. Obviously. I am a bloke though and I don't do people dressed up in daft costumes flinging themselves around a dance floor. I don't do celebrities and I don't do "light entertainment", hell I only found out who Taylor Swift was the other evening as we were sitting around the kitchen table having supper. "Who's he ?" I asked when my eldest girl started talking about some song. Me, not down with da kidz ? Well Taylor Swift ain't metal so I am told, so to be honest she (see, I'm learning) has not been on my radar of late.

My girls are very into spending as much time as possible outdoors, but when it comes to a Saturday evening at the backend of the year, they do like to sit down with my wife and partake of a bit of Strictly, although most of the time we let them watch about half of it, then put them to bed and they finish it off on a Sunday evening. Now I used to moan and grumble and sit next door reading a book when Strictly was on. Me watch that sort of tripe ? Never in a million years. It's for girls isn't it ?

A couple of years ago and I agreed to move into the sitting room when Strictly was on so that at least I could watch my girls get dressed up and dance around to the music. Resolutely though I refused to watch the actual programme, or at least I would only occasionally have a look from behind my newspaper and offer some really helpful comment on so and so dancer looking like a right prat. The fact that I began to realise some of the professional female dancers were rather, how shall we say, "interesting looking in their often rather revealing costumes" had nothing to do with my gradual interest, but still I resisted and grumbled.

I live in a house full of women. I would not change having girls for the world. I love how they can be so girly the one moment and then as tough as you like the next. I can't pretend that I am the most sensitive of blokes, but I try my best and I am already planning on how I am going to "deal" with the boyfriend years - applying for a shotgun licence might well be a move in the right direction, but how on earth did I get to the point that I actively like watching Strictly ? Strictly isn't for blokes is it ?

Well I guess these things kinda creep up on you. My move into the sitting room soon became a bit of interest in what on earth these people were doing as they pranced around the screen bathed in what are a lot of bright lights and completely over the top costumes - or lack of with some of the professional girls. All fine by me. One Saturday night and I find myself involuntarily cheering when some "celebrity" scored a ten from one of the judges, but of course I then tried to backtrack and claim to my girls that I had a tickle in the back of my throat.

What's the point in resisting ? My grandmother used to take us grandchildren to the pantomime when we were younger and we loved it. Strictly is pantomime is it not ? It's so gloriously over the top, so ridiculously camp, so stupidly kitsch and so infuriatingly addictive that I found myself simply giving in and starting to enjoy it. If I didn't have a couple of girls then I am pretty sure Strictly's charms would have passed me by, but they love it, my wife loves it, and I am not remotely ashamed to say that I now love it. OK, so I know nothing about ballroom dancing, and apart from the mighty rugby player Ben Cohen, I ain't got a clue who the other "celebrities" are, but if we are going to watch one TV programme a week as a family (albeit it's challenging to actually see the TV screen with my girls dancing all around the sitting room and changing costumes I don't know how many times), then I reckon a dollop of Strictly Come Dancing can't be so bad. But it's got people prancing around the place hasn't it ? Yep, and it's great.........................

Henry Gilbey10 Comments