I don’t really see the point in going out on a Saturday night between October and Christmas. What could you possibly do, where could you possibly go – crucially, what could you possibly wear – that would be more glamorous than Strictly? Camaraderie, dancefloor elation, gossip, the full Saturday night package, is delivered to you at home so you don’t have to move. Bliss.

In the unlikely event that I do leave the house on a Strictly Saturday, I take the dress code with me. Not the maribou-edged nudity of the dancefloor, obviously. Instead, the dress code that applies to presenters Tess and Claudia. Every week, those two wear the grownup party clothes: block colour jumpsuits or little black dresses, long dresses with splits or boxy minis. In the Strictly narrative, the dancing couples are all hormones and tears, babbling a mile a minute about how tonight is the most amazing thing that has happened to them like alcopop-fuelled teenagers. Tess and Claudia bring a little grownup perspective, with (respectively) a steadying arm around the shoulder and a dose of wry humour. While everyone around them couples up in Strictly’s weekly parade of state-licensed infidelity, Tess and Claudia are each other’s constant wingmen.

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Vijay Nanda

The author Vijay Nanda

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