Monday, November 05, 2007
Strict but fair
DAILY! Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two, BBC2, 6.30pm
While we do tend to get overexcited quite easily, and spend a lot of time talking about shows that have had huge marketing campaigns and widespread public acclaim, sometimes we like to give some kudos to the shows that fly under the radar. The ones that make the most out of what is perhaps not the largest budget, the ones that promise a lot and deliver just as much, the ones that work really hard to cover as much ground as possible in a short space of time. Yes, it's a lowly spin-off show that's a little bit buried in the schedules, but we're going to come out and say it: we love Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two.
One very prominent reason for this is Claudia Winkleman in the presenter's chair, delivering what we consider to be little short of a masterclass in exactly how you present a show like this: she's extremely enthusiastic and passionate about the programme, she's knowledgeable but at the same time doesn't pretend to know things that she doesn't really know, and she's aware that the show is a companion piece to fluffy light entertainment and therefore doesn't pretend she's hosting Newsnight, but still takes things seriously when necessary. Her interviews with the likes of Craig Revel Horwood, or Brendan Cole and Kelly Brook, last week were very deftly done: she allowed them to talk and explain themselves without constantly butting in, but the second they started talking bollocks, she called them on it. Watching Claudia this week has made us realise just how disappointed we are with Dermot O'Leary being such a yes-man on The X Factor.
Another reason to like this show is that it manages to cram more into 30 minutes than some shows put into an hour. While this does make the pace of the show feel a bit breakneck at times, it still doesn't seem as though things aren't getting dealt with fully. Today Claudia will presumably be chatting with this week's eliminated couple Dominic Littlewood and Lilia Kopylova, Craig Revel-Horwood will probably be there because he almost always is, and we're also promised Pauline Quirke and Jessica Hynes as well during the week. Huzzah to that, say we.