Did you notice it? Did you? I talk, in fact, of Debbie McGee’s Strictly Come Dancing debut. She didn’t such a lot take to the ground as tear it up.
Dancing the Paso Doble together with her skilled spouse Giovanni Pernice, she brought about eyebrows to lift, glasses of wine to halt mid-way to mouth, and spontaneous applause in dwelling rooms across the nation. There have been perfectly-executed top kicks (her legs are To Die For), Flamenco, some jiggery pokery with a tambourine at the thigh, hell, she even did the splits. And she ended the regimen via taking Giovanni’s face between her arms, planting a kiss on his lips sooner than casting him asunder.
I imply, come on McGee. Talk about bringing it.
Giovanni – so Italian he may as smartly exchange his surname to Pizza – regarded shell-shocked. The feminine judges – Darcey Bussell and new head pass judgement on Shirley Ballas – have been on their ft. Bruno Tonioli’s head spun with pleasure as he likened her to arrabiata sauce (“hot and spicy”, obvs). Even Craig Revel Horwood, famend for his dour-faced grievance, was once moved to pronounce that she was once “dancing like a 20-year-old”. They scored 30 issues – 2nd at the chief board and the percentages on her successful have been straight away slashed (she’d up to now been an intruder).
This is a girl who up to now described herself as, elderly 58, “the grandma” of the contest. (Debbie, if we glance part as excellent at you at 58, we’ll be punching the air). Who has lengthy been haunted via the tagline “the lovely Debbie McGee” from her days as magician’s assistant. Said magician was once additionally her overdue husband, Paul Daniels – she has suffered the cliché of being extra well-known for the person she was once married to than the rest she did in her personal proper.
And there she was once on that dancefloor. Flexible, feisty, fan-bloody-tastic and obviously having the time of her existence. Strictly, she says, offers her “a reason to get up in the morning”; it’s “the first time since losing Paul that I feel genuinely happy”. (Anyone else unexpectedly were given one thing of their eye?) She is – we expect – going to have the j phrase. I don’t deny that boyband famous person, JLS’s Ashton Merrygold, delivered a spankingly excellent foxtrot, however I concern he’s going to, in Strictly parlance, height too quickly. Everyone loves a adventure (even the ones people who detest this use of the phrase itself). A girl rising from the shadow of a damaged center and previous dating? Coming into herself and eyeing up some 30 years her junior? Hel-lo, darkish horse of the contest.
So, Debbie, we thanks. For demonstrating that braveness reaps praise. For appearing that those that would write off girls over a positive age achieve this at their peril: glance what you’d omit. For the jolt of sheer pleasure that comes from observing any individual having a hell of fine time. For that kiss.
Oh, and ‘that kiss’? Not rehearsed FYI. It was once an impromptu improvisation from Debbie. “He wasn’t expecting it,” she confessed, a glint in her eye.
Neither have been we, Debbie. Neither have been we.