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Strictly Tour is cha-cha-champion

(Left to right) Deborah Meaden, Natalie Gumede, Abbey Clancy and Susanna Reid during a press call for the UK Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2014 starting in Birmingham on Friday at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday January 16, 2014. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

(Left to right) Deborah Meaden, Natalie Gumede, Abbey Clancy and Susanna Reid during a press call for the UK Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2014 starting in Birmingham on Friday at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday January 16, 2014. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Sequins, glitterball and glamour-Strictly was back - not on our screens but on the stage of Nottingham’s Capital FM Arena.

As a huge fan of this fab-u-lous show, I couldn’t wait to see the stars come to life a mere few feet from my seat.

I wasn’t disappointed as from the first sparkle of a sequin it was a glistening sensation as the celebrities and the professional dancers strutted their stuff.

Compere for the night was former Emmerdale actress and Strictly contestant from 2012, Lisa Riley, who was tip-top with her presenting style in the combined role of Brucie and Tess Daly.

She brought plenty of personality to the floor and allowed the couples to express themselves more than ever before when it came to waiting for the scores from the judges.

It was a case of the three amigos with the absence of Darcey Bussell on the panel. Despite this, the exploits of Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood more than made up for the lack of a quartet.

And seeing the three men take to the stage themselves with a few shimmies and sashays, with extrovert Bruno stripping off his shirt for the finale, was a surprise feature.

There were some stunning performances from champions Abbey Clancy and Aljaz and Susanna Reid with Kevin from Grimsby. And the audience got a real bonus when hugely talented Natalie and Artem performed the jive that they were unable to perform on the TV when Natalie fell ill.

Also on the line-up were Dragon Den’s Deborah Meaden, Westlife’s Nicky Byrne, Mark Benton and rugby star Ben who danced with Kristina.

The combination and variety of talent made it an entertaining night but some of the stars were obviously loving the experience more than others.

Abbey continued to gush about how she loved to dance and was ‘so grateful’ to Strictly whilst rugby star Ben Cohen looked like he wanted to be anywhere but the dancefloor as he lunged about the stage like a waltzing wallaby.

It was a stunning spectacle overall but the surprise talent of the show was the band and singers who were quite rightly brought into the spotlight sharing centre stage for several numbers.

This allowed them to be fully appreciated for their fantastic vocals and musical ability which come secondary to the dancing but should definitely be given more prominence on the TV show.

Strictly remains cha-cha-charming as ever and the tour allows true fans access to this TV powerhouse of popularity.

 

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