Warming sight of the Rev Richard Coles will ward off the winter blues

The Rev Richard Coles
The Rev Richard Coles
24 August 2017 8:35AM

Don't worry if you feel you have read this column before, a sense of deja vu overwhelming you.

As those of you who are regular readers will be aware, the end of August symbolises the start of my annual seasonal affected disorder.

This is the time of year when a dread starts to settle on me and I start to develop a nervous twitch at the mere thought of Christmas.

I have written (ad nauseam, some may say) about my winter misery, but I have had many people say they felt the same so I can sort of justify my columns as a public service.

In the past few years, this has been triggered by the start of Bake Off. However, the move to Channel 4 hasn’t really grabbed me yet.

Instead my heart has been slowly sinking at the drip feed announcement of the latest Strictly Come Dancing contestants.

Because, while I love the show, it is, as fans know, the run down to the festive season.

The minute the first dancer is announced you can feel the weather become chillier and you are probably starting to put away your vest tops. (These will be part of the summer wardrobe you bought in May full of hope for the hottest summer on record; the tops will have subsequently been worn under jumpers.)

So to distract myself from any thoughts of tinsel, I thought I would dive into the first, but not last, mention of the contest.

My favourite already, without a hip being shaken, is the Rev Richard Coles. Old enough to remember him as an 80s pop star, and having loved his autobiography Fathomless Riches or How I Went From Pop to Pulpit, I find him charming with a lovely sense of humour.

While I worry he may struggle during the samba and jive numbers, I believe he will make a darned good attempt at a waltz and quickstep. One to watch.

For a woman to win Strictly, she really has to appeal to the females because they can be vicious when it comes to liking the celebrities.

Obsessive fans, such as myself, will only tolerate fake when it comes to the tan.

We can not stand faux modesty (“Oh, it is such a surprise to receive three 10s in the second week! or “No, I haven’t given any thought to winning, I am just enjoying the journey.”)

Nor do we like too much touchy-touchy of the young male dancers by some of the ‘menopausal’ contestants who see donning a sequin headband and some false eyelashes as a reason to “roll back the years”.

Mark my words, one of them will fan their face when there is a prospect of doing a rumba with a toned 25-year-old who is being paid to make a fuss and ignore how she is poured into her tasselled jive dress.

The true joy of Strictly is to watch a contestant, who you completely underestimated, pull it out of the bag and lose their inhibitions on the dance floor.

If there is one thing which can ease the pain of the long winter nights (apart from lying in bed with a bottle of wine), it is an EastEnders actor who isn’t afraid of loosening his hips.

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