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Right folks, have a stretch and get warmed up, as we are about to cha cha once more around the Strictly Come Dancing Final………

Before I start, I have to say there are some naughty readers out there – Not only do they want all the gossamer goss but, some have stressed, that they would really like to hear about the muck ups….the falls…..spangley knickers and bums in the air moments. Well……..I have to say, apart from one very brief and quickly covered up foot error, there were NONE!! How bloody professional are this lot eh?

So,where were we? Ah yes, the warm up man………

At one point during the warm up, our host asks us who would like to impersonate the judges and sit in their chairs? Hands shoot up all around and there is a loud whooping from the row in-front of us, where two very excited jumpy girls are sitting/wriggling about. One of them stands excitedly, fingers pointing toward the sky. There’s a thick cloud of “pick me” desperation in the air as Mister warm up man chooses a pregnant female Craig, a non-descriptive Darcey, a female Bruno and then scans the room for a Len…..We wait with bated breath as his eyes slowly peruse the room. They land on the grinning face of jumpy girl in front of us, then swivel up to the balcony above. They wander behind the panel, then roam once again over to our girl and I can feel myself willing him to pick her…she really really wants to be Len. At last, he points at her and I breathe a sigh of relief as she runs whooping down the stairs like a contestant on an American game show.  All eyes are on our grinning panel as Mister Warm up questions them and they do their best to impersonate their seat owner. It is a lovely memorable moment for them, one they can dine out on in years to come…”do you know I was once a judge on Strictly Come Dancing” they will say to their grandchildren – sweet :-)  The only downfall of course is that no-one has been allowed to bring cameras or phones in and so, there can be no souvenir of this experience for them. I find that quite sad and it crosses my mind that perhaps Mister Warm up could have allowed one of the professional photographers to take a photo.

The judges wander in and take their places on the warmed up chairs. It’s not a grand entrance, no airs and graces, they just wander nonchalantly across the dance floor like they would at home from kitchen to lounge – there’s not even a demi plies from Darcy.

An expectant hush fills the room. The camera man is signalling with his fingers…a countdown; It’s time for the show to start. Our pre-recorded intro is playing on the screen and we, the audience, are now on our feet clapping as Bruce makes his entrance on the far side and the impossibly glam Tess gives us a nod as she makes her way in from our side of the stage. Bruce and Tess look normal sized, unlike the dancers who all look like they have been hoiked off the top of a wedding cake….tiny little things the lot of them.

So, the dancing? Well, you watched that didn’t you so no need for me to give you chapter and verse. The entertainment? Well Bruce did announce that Robbie Williams would be performing later………

There is of course a break and during this, I grab my umbrella and head toward the portaloos. As I cross the marque, I could swear I glimpse Orlando Bloom……mission accomplished, I decide to have a quick puff outside and am standing there, fighting the wind with the umbrella, when it turns completely inside out…. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  As I wrestle with it, a voice floats through the air

“Here, let me help you with that”

It’s Orlando Bloom in a Tux…..well, that’s what I think anyway, until I look closer…… nope, not him, but chivalrous all the same. I thank him and head back inside.

Mentioning this to Heather a bit later and pointing out Orlando’s lookalike who is now sitting in a prime seat, she informs me that he is actually Tom Chambers. This means diddly squat to me as I have been out of the country so long, I’m not up to date with telly actors.  However, what a nice guy, well done Tom :-)

So yeah, the entertainment….I’m sure you Robbie fans are dying to hear all about that? Well, let me give you the scoop…….

Bruce has just announced him and there’s an expectant hush all around the auditorium. Intro music fills the air. Heads turn toward the stage stairs…nothing. Heads swivel toward the stairs to the right of the judges….nothing hmmmmmmmm and then, by telly magic, there he is, Robbie Williams, putting on the Ritz as he fills up the big screen……pardon?  As I glance around the crowd, I can see the confusion turn to realisation as the penny drops. Robbie is pre-recorded. I am laughing.  Watching the crowd, I see the Great British public at their best – no-one is talking about the elephant in the room. No-one is nudging their companion and saying “bloody cheek, he’s not even here” – Faces are frozen in false smiles and the incident is swept under the carpet in terribly British style – Gawd bless em.

Well, you know Abbey and Alijaz won don’t you – you saw them lift the glitter ball, and well deserved too even if I did feel a little sorry for Natalie, whose dancing was blooming awesome.  There was much joy, much whooping and cheering and much jumping up and down. It was a fabulous atmosphere.

People are leaving now and instead of using the normal exit, Darcey, is walking past us to use the one at the back. “Oh, Bye Darcey” I say casually. She pirouettes,  looks me directly in the eye and smiles. “Bye Kym” she says…..ok she may not have said the actual word “Kym” but I’m sure she meant to. The rest is true lol

A couple of observations….

The back view of Alijaz in those white trousers, had the women in my section salivating. He also has a “tell” which I can only attribute to nerves – curling his hand behind his back and jiggling his fingers up and down. Oh and he is dating the pocket-sized Janette, who gave him the biggest of snogs when the camera’s stopped rolling.

When Natalie stood behind the silver curtain, before making her entrance for the American Smooth, she was sobbing her heart out.

Craig Revel Horwood is lovely.

Being there was so very different from watching on the telly – Every pointed toe, every arm extension and every tear was amplified and accessorised with an emotion rippling through the crowd and making us a part of it. The skill and grit determination of the dancers was admirable and their fear and joy was tangible.

On the way out, Louis Smith is half an inch in front of me – I am trying to cajole Heather into pinching his arse, just for the crack  - she refuses – spoil-port. What do you mean why didn’t I do it? I’m a married woman I’ll have you know!

By the time we collect our phones and coats and are out of the studio, it’s getting on a bit. I have three trains to catch and am eager to get gone as I don’t want to be stranded anywhere. Heather says she will drop me at the station. Now,do you remember what I said in part one? The bit about Heather moving her car, and that it would come back to haunt us?

Walking, we head in the opposite direction of the train station, toward the car park where earlier, Heather left her car.  She says it’s just up by the roundabout but as we approach said roundabout, I try not to worry as I hear her say “oh this doesn’t look familiar” – We continue to the next roundabout and I breathe a sigh of relief as I see fellow Strictly viewers making their way to a large car park, to retrieve their wheels.  I try not to panic when we reach the car park, wander around for a bit and hear Heather say again “oh this doesn’t look familiar”  - I then try not to double panic when I check the time.

Bag lady

Heather as a Bag lady

“Errrrm, I’m really sorry” I say, “but I may have to leave you otherwise I might miss my train”.  “That’s ok” she says, but of course it’s not. I look at her in her halter neck dress, laden down with bags and wandering around in the dark on the streets of Borehamwood, and know I can’t leave her and her dippy memory on her own. Back the way we came we go, to the first roundabout.

“I think it’s down there” she says pointing to a side street. Hmmmmmmmm

My ‘Hmmmmm’ turns into a ‘phew’, as we find the car, strap ourselves in and hurtle toward the station…..a station that has all the shutters pulled down…What?!!

Heather waits while I run over to a parked cab and ask him what the situation is with the station. Apparently there is a side entrance….another ‘phew’ moment.

Sharing the journey with the Jumpy Girls

Sharing the journey with the Jumpy Girls

On the platform, I am delighted to find those two energetic, jumpy girls from the row in front of us (who turn out to be in their thirties) and we share the journey all the way to Kings Cross. After that, it’s just me and a few druggy drunk kids hmmmmmm.

Changing trains at Blackfriars, I jump on the circle line and sit opposite a young girl and her parents. On the seats by the carriage connecting door are two philosophers……sorry, I mean drunks…..proper drunks, not ‘pissed up on the way home from a club’ drunks but, ‘hairy, down and out, drinking from a paper bag’ drunks and they are putting the world to rights while colouring the air blue. I catch the eye of the young girl opposite and she gives me a half-smile, her eyes twinkling at the innocent excitement of hearing such graphic language. I grin back at her and roll my eyes. We are now co-conspirators, secretly acknowledging the show, without alerting her parents.

As my eyes wander around the carriage, I spy an ad for a dating agency that says “Imagine everyone in this carriage is single and looking to meet someone new”  - It makes me laugh out loud.

I do of course make it home – in fact, I make it back at least an hour earlier than expected. Taking a Grand Pas I Jete into bed and fall instantly to sleep.

OK folks, that may be the end of Strictly for a while but, it’s not the end of my show viewing.  My friend Crystal is currently in rehearsals with Anton Du Beke for his “Ballroom to Broadway show” - I will be going along with my friend Julia (Crystals mum) in support and will, of course, tell you all about it.

Hope you all have a foot taping, hip swaying, up tempo kinda day