My Strictly dream came true | Lou Hannan

Da de da da da da dah, da de da da daaa!

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 6:10 am
Strictly's 2019 winners Kelvin Fletcher with Oti Mabuse.
Strictly's 2019 winners Kelvin Fletcher with Oti Mabuse.

Okay, maybe it doesn’t translate to print too well, but it’s the Strictly Come Dancing theme.

I wanted to share with you an amazing experience I had last weekend as I got to actually sit in the audience at one of the biggest shows on TV.

I’m fully aware that tickets to Strictly are like gold dust.

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I’ve entered the ballot every year for the past decade to no avail.

So, imagine my complete excitement when a good friend of mine invited me to be his plus-one at musicals week.

Not only was I going to see the show but would also be allowed in the VIP marquee before and after the show.

I thought I’d won the lottery.

Anyone who’s ever been a studio audience member will know that with the excitement comes a lot of hanging around and waiting.

Strictly was no different in that the audience members were told to arrive at Elstree Studios for 3pm before getting shown into the George Lucas studio to begin various bits of recording.

Logistics of costume changes, hair and make-up means that a few elements of the Saturday night show have to be prerecorded, including the big opening professional dance.

This was the first thing we watched and I was in awe at how effortless the choreography looked by the pros as they weaved in and out of cameras.

I know people have said this before, but the studio is so much smaller than it appears on TV with dancers skimming the front row of the audience.

Tess and Claudia, the presenters, were consummate professionals, chatting to the assembled crowd before going live to the nation and then moving swiftly around the studio to be in place for their next link.

The most impressive part of the whole experience was watching the crew clear the props and confetti from one routine and set the next one within minutes. Meanwhile, just feet away, the celebrity and their partner chatted to Tess before getting the judges’ scores.

It was choreographed just as well as the dances.

All in all, the experience was fab-u-lous!