Claudia Connell"s view from the sofa: Darcey is a darling, but thats enough yahs, yah?

Claudia Connell's view from the sofa: Darcey is a darling, but that’s enough yahs, yah



00:09 GMT, 8 October 2012

The dancing has begun, yah!

The competition proper kicked off with a Strictly double bill special, yah!

And already I want to stab myself in the eye with conductor Dave Arch’s baton, yah.

New judge: Darcey Bussell has joined the Strictly panel

New judge: Darcey Bussell has joined the Strictly panel

Darcey Bussell, the show’s beautiful, classy and well-spoken new judge is a great addition to the panel.

She doesn’t play to the camera, she isn’t nasty for the sake of it and – most importantly of all – she actually knows what she’s talking about.

Unfortunately she also has one of the most annoying speech tics ever heard on TV.

Every word of advice is followed by a needless ‘yah’ ‘yeah’ or ‘k’ (‘OK’ is clearly too time-consuming) all delivered with an even more annoying Antipodean-esque inflection.

It’s a shame because I really enjoyed her technical critiques, a refreshing change from the ‘you owned that floor’ style comments we’d come to expect from her predecessor Alesha Dixon.

But, Darcey, all that yahing is rather jarring and must be nipped in the bud, pronto.

While Darcey provided some intrigue, other aspects were reassuringly familiar. Bruce is still stumbling over his words, Craig Revel Horwood still hates everyone and Tess Daly still dresses like she’s come straight from a gipsy wedding.

On Friday, first dance nerves got the better of Victoria Pendleton who earned the lowest score over the two nights with 16 out of 40.

All I can say is: what a difference a couple of months can make.

One minute you’re on top of a podium at the Olympic Games with a gold medal around your neck and the National Anthem ringing in your ears – the next you’re standing on a dance floor in a pair of polyester harem pants sobbing because your cha cha cha was a bit ropey.

‘It’s so hard when you’re used to being the best in the world,’ blubbed (drama) Queen Victoria from whom I expect many more tears to come.

In fairness to her, most of the contestants are pretty rubbish at this stage.

While nerves got to Victoria, the same couldn’t be said for Jerry Hall who performed her cha cha cha like she’d just come out of a five-year coma.

Jerry clearly wasn’t joking when she warned viewers she was lazy.

She didn’t so much dance as arrange herself in various poses while Anton Du Beke gyrated around her fabulous form.

For once Craig wasn’t being overly harsh when he gave her a score of three, saying ‘you take “minimal” to a whole new level.’

Fair: Darcey knows what she is talking about

Fair: Darcey knows what she is talking about

The best male dances of the night came from gymnast Louis Smith and former soap star Sid Owen.

Sid has made it clear his foxy partner Ola Jordan is his favourite professional dancer.

So why hasn’t he taken the time to learn to pronounce her name ‘Holler’ is something they do a lot of in EastEnders Sid, but ‘Ola’ is your partner’s name.

But the best performance of the lot was the fantastically saucy and energetic cha cha cha from Lisa Riley.

Her efforts scored a 30 and even made hatchet-faced Craig smile.

After joining the Strictly line-up, Lisa said she was doing it for ‘chubbers everywhere’ and on Saturday that’s what she did, proving there’s no reason why you can’t be chunky and funky.

Next week the eliminations begin, by which time I hope someone will have cattle-prodded Jerry, taken Tess shopping and had a stern word with Darcey, yah.