Seeing Katie in the final for Strictly was a bit of a treat. It will sound like I’m being a bit of a sap, but the truth is that it feels like I’ve got to know The Derham these past few weeks in a way I never do during the Proms or when she’s on the wireless. I know its been a tough ask and I’ve seen its demanded a lot of her. I’ve seen too those moments when the comments from the judges didn’t land so quite so comfortably.
It’s a measure of quite how much I’ve been rooting for her that when the judges scores been announced that I’ve felt for her a bit. Soppy, I know. Clearly she’s being paid to do the gig. But, like she told me when we met: you’ve got to put the effort in, because the audience will know when you haven’t. Strictly’s a tough gig. It has been so good to back her and Anton.
The judges liked Katie and Anton’s reprised quickstep (below), but weren’t quite so keen on their showdance. Their opinion, technically, didn’t matter. And they were – thankfully – kind on The Derham after what was a rather painful hat-related challenge in the opening sequence of their number. Katie recovered things after what felt like a really painful few seconds, reminding me that watching someone you’re rooting for can be as agonising as watching the UK at Eurovision.
Georgia, Kellie and Jay were good. Georgia in particular was, to my mind, on fire. Her and Giovanni’s Charleston was stunning. Kellie and Kevin’s showdance were especially gripping. But as a neighbour pointed out to me this afternoon, Katie’s achievement was the improvement she made during the series. The final three (Georgia, Kellie and Jay) displayed their talent very early on in the series. Katie worked at it and improved.
This was the first time I’d watched Strictly – primarily because Radio 3 and Proms mascot Katie featured. I really enjoyed it. I’m delighted the two things that I enjoy most from the BBC got plugs every Saturday night for just over three months. Will it lead to an increase in audience share for Radio 3 in the next set of RAJARs? Probably not. And that doesn’t matter. It was just rather lovely to have a place at the top table.