Saturday nights in the countdown to Christmas mean just one thing in this household – Strictly Come Dancing. If ever one of Len, Darcy, Craig or Bruno is struck down with a mystery illness, then Mrs P. is now fully qualified to stand in for them – with her detailed knowledge of framing, timing, top lines, and fleckles. Our son pretends not to take any notice, but even he predicted the first “Tens” of the series this evening!
There has been criticism of Strictly this time around, with claims that now in its eleventh series, the format has become a bit ‘samey’ and predictable. That’s probably fair comment, but equally, given the enduring and continuing popularity of the programme, the producers are probably working on the basis that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Even Bruce Forsyth’s increasingly frequent stumblings over the autocue and dodgy timing of the punchline delivery, seem to be tolerated as the idiosyncrasies of a favourite great uncle
What has been interesting this time around has been the hypocrisy associated with former England rugby union player Ben Cohen’s appearances on the programme. This reached new heights this evening with Cohen appearing topless in what was clearly a deliberate attempt to distract 3 of the 4 judges and (presumably) curry favour with the middle aged women who comprise the majority demographic of the voting audience. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticising Cohen for making full use of all the assets at his disposal to maximise his chances of winning the competition. What does annoy me, though, is the difference in the way that Cohen’s flaunting of his physical prowess is received in comparison with (for example) performers like Lady Gaga, whose appearance on last week’s X Factor in only slightly less clothing than Cohen tonight, was met with a chorus of disapproving tuts
It’s the worst kind of double standards and serves simply to reinforce the inescapable fact that it’s much more difficult to be a woman in the media eye than ever it is to be a man