Strictly Come Dancing - a masterclass in how to promote a show
There may not be an Ann Widdecombe, Ed Balls or even a John Sargent in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing but the show - the nation’s favourite Saturday night viewing - moves inexorably onwards.
This year’s loveable incompetent, Clive Conway Productions favourite the Rev Richard Coles, was just too much a clodhopper to survive.
He also combined two left feet with the seemingly impossible achievement of creating dance floor moves that were simply too camp for Strictly or any serious dance competition for that matter. The Vicar was unceremoniously voted off after a couple of weeks.
Never mind, the show remains a masterclass in how to micro-manage popularity. Quite apart from the popularity of the programme itself and the mainstream publicity it generates, every utterance, every tweet, every available opportunity seems to be weighed up by its publicists and then, if appropriate, spun to devastating effect. It works a treat.
It’s popularity on social media feeds directly into newspapers, magazines, TV and radio. Everyone wants a piece of the action.
So it is that Strictly’s surprises are sprung - some deliberate, others purely by chance. Watched nine or ten million viewers each week they are then shared across multi social-media platforms.
This year’s big surprise is a very conventional one. The sheer talent f someone but known as a conjurors assistant. In other words who knew Debbie McGee was such a good dancer? Well the fact that she trained at the Royal Ballet School and used to work as a professional dancer might have been a clue.
That was a long time ago though and viewers have been stunned by her performances on the show. Impressive stuff certainly but imagine the extra viewers that get pulled in by the attendant ‘news’ stories.
There was speculation over whether she’ll have to miss out on long pre-booked pantomime performances if she makes the finals. There was even a story asking if she might be having an affair with her Strictly dance partner 26-year-old Giovanni Bernice. Needless to say Debbie delighted in denying this although she admitted that any suggestion that a hot twentysomething Italian might fancy her as she approached 60 was extremely flattering. It was also yet another story. This week we even had Debbie inviting Giovanni home to watch re-runs of and her and her late husband magician Paul Daniels in action one his TV show.