It would be wrong to call Strictly my guilty pleasure.
Because with the suggestion of guilt comes the assumption that there’s something secret or shameful in my love of the BBC ballroom with all its camp, sequins and splendour.
And I’m happy to shout this from this rooftops: Strictly is, without doubt, the best show on telly. And I’m including Danny Dyer’s The Wall in that assessment —though I admit few people share my appreciation of this brand of so-bad-it’s-unmissable Saturday night entertainment.
But back to Strictly, because two weeks ago I received the news that I had bagged a ticket to the final this Saturday — via my aunt’s dogged determination to get everyone she knows to enter the public ballot every week. As you can imagine my excitement was akin to if Dyer had popped round mine for a pint.
My money’s on Emma Barton. Quite literally — the annual family sweepstake means that if my namesake raises the glitterball trophy I’ll be quids in to the tune of £3.75.
Then there’s the matter of what Taylor Swift will sing (fingers crossed for Paper Rings) and whether she’d be up for joining me and my aunt for a pre-lash at the Travelodge.
But the most pressing issue I currently face is what to wear. As opportunities for dressing in more sparkle than the Christmas tree go, the Strictly final is peak. The dress code is broad yet firm. “Glamorous — strictly no jeans!” I had considered a pair of marabou-trimmed cocktail trousers ’n’ nice top to have the appropriate amount of pizzazz, until a friend pointed out that fun trousers and an evening spent seated is a bad combination.
Not to mention a wasted opportunity. Instead, going extra from the waist up is more likely to earn me a TV cameo, which is definitely the goal. And I’m pretty sure you can’t call yourself a Strictly mega-fan unless you’re wearing more sequins than Tess and Claud combined. My first port of call is Kitri — provider of aforementioned feather-trimmed trousers and whose current collection of star party pieces gets a 10 from me.
Among the highlights is a pink tiger print sequined lounge suit (mega) and a blue velvet star-embroidered jumpsuit. But the shimmering metallic jersey wrap dress may top the leaderboard as far as comfort is concerned.
H&M’s Christmas campaign is also suitably glitzy, with a high-collared silver sequin top and calf-length skirt a winning co-ord that’s already had a lot of airtime this party season.
My colleague also offered to lend me her black-and-white striped sequin number she likes to call her Quiz Master Jacket and which wouldn’t look out of place in Bruno Tonioli’s wardrobe.
Either way, a big earring is a must. As is a dancing shoe. Whistles has both: see its gold leather mules and star-shaped hoops for more details.FAB-U-LOUS, darhling. Keeeeeeeep dancing.