Review: Strictly Come Dancing Live, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Everyone can stop searching - I've found the official cure for the January blues. It's the Strictly Come Dancing tour.
It’s exactly the antidote we need for the cold and dreary winter months - it’s packed to the brim with colour, sparkle and excitement.
Hosted by 2016 champion Ore Oduba, the show was an enchanting way to spend a chilly Tuesday evening. And it flew by in a haze of glittering costumes, live music and spectacular lifts.
Starring 2017 winner Joe McFadden, Alexandra Burke, Gemma Atkinson, Debbie McGee, Davood Ghadami, Susan Calman and Jonnie Peacock MBE, you’re guaranteed to find one of your series favourites taking to the floor (you can even buy your own 10 scoring paddle if you think judges Craig Revel-Horwood, Dame Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli are being unfair).
Seeing the professionals and contestants strut their stuff in the flesh really drives home just how much work goes into the show each week - and how many hours the celebs must put into their training.
We were treated to two dances from each couple, and a number of truly breathtaking group dances.
Personal highlights for me were a sultry and seductive American Smooth from Jonnie and partner Oti Mabuse - the lifts had you holding your breath - and an unforgettable Argentine Tango from champion Joe and partner Katya. All fans of 2017 series will remember THAT ending ...
From the elegance of Debbie to the cheeky chops of Paralympian Jonnie, each celeb has something special - and judging by the cheers in the arena, they’re all someone’s favourite.
And it was the people’s champion who reigned supreme as the audience at Newcastle’s first show voted Susan Calman - my personal hero of the series - as their winner.
She might not have been top of the leader board during the show, but she was top of my list each week for her zest, effort and infectious charm. I couldn’t stop smiling watching her on the telly, and the live show was no different. The dimples in my cheeks will be permanent thanks to cheering along from Susan’s corner.
As pro dancer and Susan’s partner Kevin Clifton quite rightly told the Newcastle audience: “[People] want to feel something, they want to be entertained and they want to smile - that’s why they watch Strictly.”
We sang, clapped and smiled along. And it was fab-u-lous darling!