Gone are the days when the BBC shoved Come Dancing on in the graveyard slot late at night, with Angela Rippon presenting and about 17 people watching.
Now the British public can’t get enough of ballroom dancing, mainly thanks to the Beeb’s sexy 2004 revamp of the show, changing the title to Strictly and pairing celebrities with professional dancers.
It might have upset a few purists but no one can deny it has led to a huge resurgence of interest in dancing – particularly handy in Blackpool, where dancing has long been a huge part of the furniture.
Well, good news for those who can’t get enough of the salsa or foxtrot for Craig Revel Horwood – who made his name as the Mr Nasty judge on Strictly – is taking a brand new show across the nation, including a stop-off in our resort.
Strictly Confidential, starring Lisa Riley, Artem Chigvintsev, Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite, and written and directed by Revel Horwood, comes to the Opera House on Friday, July 26.
The idea is to give theatre audiences the chance to get up close and personal with some of the stars of the TV show. It also tells the personal story of Riley, as she moved from soap actress to winning the hearts of the nation on Strictly last year.
“I can’t wait to star the tour,” said Riley. “To get as far as I did on Strictly was a dream come true and to be now doing a theatre tour and keeping my dancing shoes on for the rest of the year is brilliant.”
Strictly Confidential gives fans the chance to relive some memorable dances from the series, as well as enjoy brand new routines across various genres of dance, choreographed especially for the tour by the team behind the BBC show.
Revel Horwood said: “Fans will also learn about what it takes to be a professional dancer in the country’s biggest dance show and, for the first time, some of Strictly’s most glittery and glamorous iconic costumes will be exclusively displayed for audiences at each venue.
“This is something that has never been done before and it’s a real romp through every genre of theatre.
“Fans will get a unique chance to learn about some of Strictly’s favourite stars.”
Tickets priced £19.50-£39.50 are on sale from www.blackpoollive.com or the Winter Gardens box office on 01253 625252.