Friday, 21 November 2008

John Sergeant quits 'Strictly Come Dancing'

I have a confession to make ... I'm not sure how to say this ... well, here goes ... I've never watched 'Strictly Come Dancing'! Gosh I feel better with getting that off my chest. Why I'm devoting a post to this subject of course is because of the withdrawal of John Sergeant from the competition. I've just done a Google Blog Search on "John Sergeant" and see that there have been nearly 6,000 blog entries in the past week including those words. Of course there might be another John Sergeant but I bet most of those entries refer to our man.

Although I'm watching this saga unfold with wry amusement it's our love affair with audience participation TV that is really intriguing me and is the reason for this post. 'Strictly', which seems to be the accepted abbreviation for the show, is just one of many current and recent TV programmes which invite the armchair audience to vote on the proceedings. From the producer's perspective it is a wonderful formula - come up with something that's cheap, popular and a source of income from a share of the cost of the phone calls, it has to be a winner. Actually I'm not sure about the "cheap" aspect on reflection, I don't know how much it costs to have Bruce Forsyth in as compere or the judges for that matter. The motivation for people to spend money on phone calls could be a combination of factors. Two of these might be, firstly, a desire to be able to influence an outcome in as much as we might feel that most of what happens in our country today is out of our hands particularly in the political arena. The second point I thought of is do we need periodically to be part of some collective action, something we feel we want to share with millions of other people across the country, rather like those big sporting occasions in which Britain might just have a chance to win. H'm, can't make up my mind on that one.

Come this weekend it will be decision time for me: do I watch 'Strictly' to see what all the fuss is about or do I go with my normal instinct and not waste time on it. I won't commit myself at the moment. One other thing to mention is the clip of JS and his partner on the news since the furore broke of John seemingly walking across the stage to the right with his partner in tow behind him. I feel that I'm nowhere near up to date regarding today's fashions in dancing!

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