Opinion comp image: Claudia Winkleman, Tess Daly on the Blackpool background

OPINION: Strictly Come Dancing at Blackpool is rubbish – I won’t be watching

The remaining celebrities head to the Tower Ballroom this weekend

As a self-confessed Strictly obsessive, I live for the glitz, glamour and joy the glitterball season brings. I never miss an episode. Except when they go to Blackpool.

I think it’s pointless, annoying and a waste of an episode.

In fact, I dislike the Blackpool ‘school trip’ so much I often skip that episode altogether.

The Blackpool Tower illuminated at night on Strictly Come Dancing
The iconic Tower Ballroom will be home to Strictly tomorrow night (Credit: BBC)

Why does Strictly go to Blackpool?

The Tower Ballroom in Blackpool is the home of ballroom dancing. People come from all over the world to perform there.

It has a sprung floor, thought to be better for dancing and more protective from injuries.

The show first went to Blackpool in 2004. They then returned for the final in 2005 and it became a permanent fixture in 2009.

During the Covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the show did not have Blackpool episodes.

Strictly dancers at Blackpool
The space is too overwhelming (Credit: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing’s Blackpool week is rubbish

First of all, the constant, never ending references to Blackpool in the run up to the episode are irritating. ‘I just want to get to Blackpool’ and ‘Blackpool means everything’ – give it a rest! It already makes me not want to watch because it’s so over-hyped.

Yes, Blackpool is the home of ballroom dancing, we know how special it is in that world. But something about it just doesn’t work for Strictly.

The scale of it is too big for the show. What is great about Strictly is the intimacy. A small studio audience and everything feeling like a warm hug. Then we go to this big venue that the dances struggle to fill. The dancefloor is designed for multiple couples to be on the floor at once, not one celebrity and their pro-partner trying to fill that vast space.

It’s because of the sheer size of it that extra dancers are drafted in. Once again, that’s a no from me. It distracts from the celebrities, there’s too much going on and it makes each performance feel like a wannabe pro-number.

The camera also seems really far away from the dancers. I often feel like I’m squinting to make out the moves.

And don’t even get me started on the bouncy floor!

If the celebrities were used to it and dancing on it every week that would be fair enough, but it’s throwing them in the deep end for an over-publicised stunt and it never works. They often can’t get the hang of it and fall out of time with the music.

Hamza and Jowita perform an American Smooth with extra dancers
I’m not a fan of the extra dancers (Credit: BBC)

So what can they do instead?

Although I adore Strictly, I do think it needs a shake up.

Perhaps if they persist in going to Blackpool they could add in the couples all dancing at the same time doing the same dance. (Whatever happened to the jive-off?!)

Or maybe introduce more theme weeks instead. Halloween is always such a big hit with the costumes, make-up and music, surely this is a better way to attract attention? (Though let’s not have another BBC shows theme week, eh?)

For now though, will I be watching tomorrow night? Maybe, because like I say, I’m a Strictly obsessive. But will I enjoy watching? Probably not. Instead I’ll be counting down the hours until Strictly’s back home at Elstree where it belongs.

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Strictly Come Dancing airs tonight at 6.40pm on BBC One.

Do you enjoy Strictly at Blackpool? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think.

Carena Crawford
Associate Editor (Soaps)