APPARENTLY, Strictly Come Dancing’s producers are having trouble persuading celebrities to appear on the smash-hit show.
Many are blaming the reluctance of stars to take part on the so-called Strictly curse – where the marriages and relationships of contestants crumble after they appear on the show.
Louise Redknapp’s marriage to footballer-turned-pundit Jamie collapsed after her 2016 appearance on the show.
Countdown star Rachel Riley split from her husband and went on to date her Strictly partner Pasha Kovalev in 2014. They are still very happy together, while Ben Cohen left his wife of 11 years for his dance partner Kristina Rihanoff. They now have a daughter together.
All the way back to the very first episode of the show in 2004, Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole were the subject of rumours of an alleged fling. Natasha has always denied any romance, but there are lots of other examples.
Those who have turned down the chance to be covered in fake tan, spangles and sequins and learn to cha-cha-cha apparently include EastEnders actress Lacey Turner, Martine McCutcheon and Claude Littner from The Apprentice.
I have been asked myself in the past to take part in Strictly, but even though it is one of the best of all the family TV shows, I much prefer to watch from the safety and comfort of my own sofa.
I don’t think for a nanosecond that I would be a victim of any romantic “curse”.
My reason for turning down the show is far more simple. I know that I would be absolutely dreadful – and not in an amusing or entertaining way. I just would be very, very bad at trying to dance.
Anton du Beke once told me that he reckoned he could teach anyone to dance, but when he tried to do the waltz with me, he declared that it was like dancing with a tree. He was quite right – I’m not really a natural mover.
So I think that the fear of being thought of as dreadful and dire is probably why so many might have decided not to take part.
There aren’t many people like 2017 winner Joe McFadden, who had virtually no dancing experience, but took to the dancefloor like a cute little duck to water.
He was brilliant and one of the joys of watching the show last month was seeing him improve and grow in confidence week after week.
Joe loved doing the show and he’s currently looking forward to taking part in the Strictly tour later this month alongside Susan Calman, Debbie McGee, Jonnie Peacock, Alexandra Burke, Gemma Atkinson and Davood Ghadami.
I am sure, though, that despite some people perhaps turning down the chance to take part through a mixture of fear and looking silly, there will still be a starry line-up at the end of the year for another cracking series of Strictly.