Come Dancing – with being too judgemental

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Strictly Come Dancing Live Manchester

Those famous Craig Revel Horwood words were resounding around the Arena with justification as the Striclty greats put on a glittering show-stopper as part of their live tour.

Strictly Come Dancing left our small screens and hit the road....and what a journey they took us on.

The crew rolled into Manchester at the end of its short tour and brightened up what had been a miserable and wet day for me and a few thousand others.

The packed audience braved the elements... torrential rain and heavy winds, to enjoy two hours of light relief as the professional dancers put the show’s stars through their paces., or was it the other way round?

An impressive line-up included the finalists from the last TV series – winner Abby Clancy and her partner Aljaz Skorjanec, Natalie Gumede with prevous winner Artem Chigunster and BBC Breakfast presenter Susanna Reid, along with Deborah Meaden partnering Robin Windsor, Hairy Biker Mark Benton bopping along with Iveta Lukosiete and former Westlife heathrob Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer. The show, hosted by larger than life funny girl Lisa Riley, took pretty much the same format as the television show, with judges Craig R H , Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli providing endless criticism, praise and wit .

The audience too had a chance to play a part by voting for their fave dancer during the interval – and ex Corrie star Lancashire lass Natalie Gumede finally got to take home her well-deserved glitter ball! The standard was very impressive, the outfits spectacular.

The mood inside the Phones for U Arena was bustling and the audience were easy to cheer – and equally quick to give Craig a verbal roasting when he turned on his “nasty” button.

The musical accompaniment was superb and the show was packed with glitz, glamour and talent.

Whether it was the gloom outside or the size of the audience ( which was huge) there just seemed to be something missing that I didn’t get from the TV show. Nevertheless, it was well worth the drive and I’m already looking forward to the next series.

Sonya Astbury