Strictly Come Dancing fans beg David Ginola to sign up for show as they swoon over his Sports Relief performance

STRICTLY Come Dancing fans begged footballer David Ginola to sign up for the show after swooning over his performance on Sports Relief.

The ex footballer performed with pro Anya Garnis on a special segment of tonight’s charity telethon.

Sports Relief fans begged David Ginola to sign up for Strictly after swooning at his performance on the telethon
Sports Relief fans begged David Ginola to sign up for Strictly after swooning at his performance on the telethon
David strutted his stuff on the Sports Relief stage
David strutted his stuff on the Sports Relief stage

As David previously appeared on the French version of Strictly, fans were hoping he’ll catch the dancing bug again.

One fan wrote: “Oh I do hope this means @teamginola is joining @bbcstrictly this year. #SportsRelief.”

The French sportsman‘s female fans were swooning over his turn on the dance floor with one fan tweeting: “@teamginola still has it.”

A second viewer chimed in: “David Ginola is still gorgeous looking,” while a third said: “David Ginola just gets better.”

David has previously appeared on the French version of strictly
David has previously appeared on the French version of Strictly

David took part in a Strictly special alongside Alex Scott and Chris Kamara, as they boogied away to New Order’s World In Motion.

Fans were delighted when John Barnes turned up in the middle of the dancing to perform the famous rap live.

But although David put his best foot forward, judges Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel-Horwood declared Arsenal ladies star Alex Scott the  winner.

Meanwhile Chris Kamara and his partner Karren Clifton didn’t impress the judges with Craig telling them: “It was a complete dance disaster, I’m afraid.

The lift landed really badly. Apart from that, darling, it was perfect.”

Bruno Tonioli, meanwhile, told David: “That je ne sais quoi. That charming savoir faire makes it always cha-cha-charming.

“Even if the dance was a salsa, somehow it worked to your advantage.”

David, now 51, has aged very well according to fans
David, now 51, has aged very well according to fans











TV and Showbiz – latest celebrity news, gossip, photos, TV and film reviews | The Sun


Strictly Come Dancing’s Debbie McGee hits back at claims her ballet training gives her an unfair advantage

STRICTLY’S Debbie McGee has hit back furiously at claims she has too much dance experience to be a fair competitor on Strictly Come Dancing.

The 59-year-old former magician’s assistant received 39 points this week and has left some BBC viewers convinced she’s streets ahead of other contestants like Mollie King, Davood Ghadami and Gemma Atkinson.

Debbie danced a Cats-themed American Smooth this week

Debbie, best-known as Paul Daniels’ widower, has now come out swinging at critics who say her intensive ballet training in her youth and performances throughout her showbiz career have given her the edge.

Talking to the Mail On Sunday, the former Mrs Daniels blasted: ‘The people who say that really have no understanding of dance.

“When I did ballet I stopped as a dancer when I was about 23. That training in a way is a disadvantage because the muscles were trained differently.”

She added: “I haven’t done that for over 30 years.”

WARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture

The dancer says she does not have much more experience than the others[/caption]

In the 1970s, Debbie danced with the Iranian National Ballet and established her own company, Ballet Imaginaire – and continued to practice dance when working with husband Paul for decades.

Now Debbie has been tipped as a hot favourite to win the BBC show and she’s currently locked in a bitter rivalry with the equally strong contender Alexandra Burke.

Her American Smooth to Memory from the musical Cats on Saturday night left her at the top of the leaderboard with Alexandra.

But while Debbie acknowledges that she “makes it look so easy”, she wants to emphasise to viewers that it takes hard work – too much hard work, at times.

She went on: “[Viewers] don’t realise the training I put in and how awful I am on Monday and the progress I make between a Monday and a Saturday. You need to ask Giovanni about that.”

Before this weekend’s shows Debbie had a backstage meltdown over how many hours Giovanni Pernice, her pro partner, was making her train.

And she’s been forced to deny there is romance blossoming between her and the younger Italian after she lost her husband Paul last year.

She said: “People want me to be in a relationship with him and I’m really sorry to disappoint them….

Debbie says it’s flattering that fans think she could be romancing Giovanni

“For a woman of my age it’s very flattering that people think there might be a romance. I do have a little chuckle to myself. We have the greatest working partnership and do have chemistry.

“We are great mates and I think that’s probably more special than if there was anything else going on.”

But fans were certainly given more clues that Mollie King is romancing her partner AJ Pritchard this week when she gave him a special gift and appeared to kiss him during their rumba.

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TV and Showbiz – latest celebrity news, gossip, photos, TV and film reviews | The Sun


Who is Davood Ghadami? Strictly Come Dancing 2017 contestant paired with Nadiya Bychkova and EastEnders actor

DAVOOD Ghadami is known for his appearances on EastEnders as hunky market trader Kush Kazmemi.

But now he’s strutting his stuff on the Strictly 2017 dancefloor – so here’s his full story…

Davood Ghadami is a British actor
Getty – Contributor

Who is Davood Ghadami? What is his background?

Davood Ghadami was born in 1982 and is a British actor.

He was born and raised in Harlow in Essex.

In 2014, Davood joined the cast of EastEnders as market trader Kush Kazemi for which he won Best Newcomer at the TV Choice Awards.

He has tackled a number of big storylines during his time in Walford – including a big wedding and heartbreaking scenes when his unborn baby died in wife Shabnam’s womb.

What else has Davood Ghadami been in?

Before EastEnders Davood was best known as series regular Duncan Clark in Taggart.

He has also starred in TV shows Life’s Too Short, Law & Order, Skins Redux, Doctor Who, Top Boy, Fast Freddie, Silent Witness, Criminal Justice and Spooks.

Davood has also starred in many films, including John Carter, Shop Girl, Red Mercury, Extraordinary Rendition and Survivor directed.

He is also known for his theatre work and most recently played Amir in 13 at The National.

He is famous for playing Kush on EastEnders

When is Strictly Come Dancing 2017 on and who are the judges?

Strictly Come Dancing launched on September 9 on BBC One, with the live shows kicking off on September 23.

Strictly always airs on BBC One in two parts. The main show is on Saturday normally around 7pm and the results show airs on Sunday at a similar time.

There will be a Christmas special again in 2017, with the celebrity participants expected to be announced in early November.

This year sees a new judging lineup after head judge Len Goodman retired.

He is replaced by Shirley Ballas who joins returning judges Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel-Horwood on the panel.

There are three new professional dancers joining the existing pros; Dianne Buswell, Amy Dowden and Nadiya Bychkova.

TV and Showbiz – latest celebrity news, gossip, photos, TV and film reviews | The Sun


10 from Len: Greenhithe’s Strictly judge shares his highlights as he gets set to dance off show

As Greenhithe’s Len Goodman prepares to hang up his scoring paddles and bow out as head judge on Strictly Come Dancing, the ballroom dancing guru looks back at his highlights from 14 series on the show.

This Is Local London | Film and TV


How old is Claudia Winkleman, what is the Strictly Come Dancing host’s BBC salary and who’s her husband Kris Thykier?

CLAUDIA Winkleman is known for her bubbly personality and hilarious skits on Strictly Come Dancing.

The 45-year-old hit headlines when she was revealed as the BBC’s highest-earning female star and she’s now been named as the face of the Beeb’s new cookery show, Britain’s Best Cook – here’s the lowdown…

Claudia Winkleman hosts Strictly Come Dancing with Tess Daly on BBC One
Claudia Winkleman hosts Strictly Come Dancing with Tess Daly on BBC One

Who is Claudia Winkleman and who are her parents?

Claudia, 45, was born in London on January 15, 1972 and is the daughter of former Sunday Express editor Eve Pollard.

Her father Barry was the former publisher of the Times Atlas Of The world.

Claudia’s parents split when she was three and both remarried in 1979.

Her mum Eve married former editor of the Daily Express Sir Nicholas Lloyd and her dad Barry wed children’s author Cindy Black.

How did Claudia break into TV?

Her first major TV gig was on regional discussion programme Central Weekend in 1991.

In 1992 she landed a role on BBC series Holiday which continued throughout the 90s.

She also interviewed celebs on This Morning and presented a few game shows including dating show Three’s a Crowd.

In 2002 she got her first daily TV role as a host on BBC Three show Liquid News.

The following year, she presented daily updates from reality show Fame Academy and in 2005, she began hosting Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two.

In 2012, it was announced that Zoë Ball would be the regular presenter of Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two while Claudia would host the results show with Tess Daly on Sunday nights.

Claudia then took over from Bruce Forsyth as Tess’ co-host in 2014 for the 12th series of the reality show.

Claudia took over from Bruce Forsyth on Strictly Come dancing in 2014

How much does Claudia earn?

The BBC revealed its “talent list” which showcases its high-earners bringing in more than £150,000 on July 19.

Salaries of the corporation’s top earners were released so license fee payers can know where their money is going.

However, the BBC has come under fire for the large gender pay gap among their employees with Chris Evans earning £2.2million a year – four times more than its highest paid woman which is Claudia.

Only a third of its top earners are women, sparking an equality row which Director-General Tony Hall has vowed to address.

Claudia is listed as earning between £450,000 – £499,000.

Who is Claudia’s husband Kris Thykier?

Claudia married film producer Kris Thykier in 2000 in a secret wedding ceremony with just their closest family and friends in attendance.

The couple have three children and live in Connaught Square in London.

Their children are Jake, 14, Matilda, eight and Arthur, six.

Claudia with her husband Kris - the couple have bee married since 2000
Claudia with her husband Kris – the couple have bee married since 2000
Getty Images

What happened to her daughter Matilda?

Matilda’s suffered severe burns when her Halloween costume went up in flames in 2014.

Claudia said the costume went on fire after her daughter brushed against a candle.

Speaking about the incident in 2015, she said: “I bought her costume from a supermarket, she wanted to go as a witch so she had a witch’s hat and a cape and some stripy tights and a sort of long flowy skirt thing.

“I was talking to somebody… and then I heard her shout and she was on fire…

“It feels like she was on fire for hours, but the surgeon said that it definitely wasn’t the case and it was probably just seconds… she went up, is the only way I know how to describe it… it was a spark and she screamed out for me.

“It was like those horrific birthday candles that you blow out and then they come back…it was really fast, it was fast, it wasn’t fire like I’d seen.”

The incident prompted the government to tighten the flame retardant standards of Halloween costumes.

When is Strictly Come Dancing on TV?

Strictly Come Dancing launched on September 9 on BBC One, with the live shows kicking off on September 23.

Strictly always airs on BBC One in two parts. The main show is on Saturday normally around 7pm and the results show airs on Sunday at a similar time.

There will be a Christmas special again in 2017, with the celebrity participants expected to be announced in early November.

TV and Showbiz – latest celebrity news, gossip, photos, TV and film reviews | The Sun


Who is Giovanni Pernice? Meet the Strictly Come Dancing 2017 professional dancer

ITALIAN stallion Giovanni Pernice is returning to Strictly Come Dancing as a professional dancer in the new 2017 series.

He had early success with Georgia May Foote and did less well with Laura Whitmore last year, but who will he be paired with in 2017? Here’s the low-down on him…

Giovanni put on a brave face at the Strictly Come Dancing launch following his split from Georgia May Foote
Giovanni put on a brave face at the Strictly Come Dancing launch following his split from Georgia May Foote
Rex Features

Who is Giovanni Pernice, how old is he and what is his background?

Giovanni Pernice is a 26-year-old professional dancer who joined Strictly in 2015.

He was born in Sicily and started dance lessons at a young age.

He’s yet to win Strictly, and says his greatest achievement to date is winning Italian Championships in 2012.

The star’s “Nato Per Vincere” tattoo means “born to win”, so hopefully his luck will transfer onto the Strictly dancefloor soon.

He says his favourite dance is the jive, as it reflects his cheekiness.

In the 2016 series Giovanni was paired with Irish presenter Laura Whitmore and they came ninth.

laura and giovanni
Laura Whitmore and Giovanni Pernice have been paired up for this year’s series

Is Giovanni single?

During Giovanni’s first Strictly series he was partnered with former Corrie star Georgia May Foote.

The pair fell for each other and did very well on the programme, coming runner-up.

However, just ahead of the 2016 series a year later, the couple unfortunately announced their split.

But the professional dancer put on a brave face, and took to Twitter to show his excitement of returning to the BBC One show.


He wrote: “And here I am !! The best place in the world @bbcstrictly can’t wait to start a new journey!! #excited.”

In early 2017 he was linked to another Corrie star, Katie McGlyn, but both parties denied they were dating.

A year on and Giovanni appears to be single, and he’s been a busy bee with his 2017 tour Dance Is Life.

Giovanni made it to the final in his first series on Strictly Come Dancing
Giovanni made it to the final in his first series on Strictly Come Dancing with Georgia
PA:Press Association

Instagram Photo

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 TV trailer

TV and Showbiz – latest celebrity news, gossip, photos, TV and film reviews | The Sun


Theater: Strictly Delightful “Strictly Dishonorable”

STRICTLY DISHONORABLE *** 1/2 out of ****

One of the greatest talents in film history, Preston Sturges is best remembered for four stellar comedies: The Palm Beach Story, The Lady Eve, The Miracle At Morgan’s Creek and Hail The Conquering Hero. Others also treasure Sullivan’s Travels and Unfaithfully Yours, but however you order them, these are some classic films. And of course he won the Oscar with The Great McGinty. But before all that he was a playwright. In 1928, he starred on Broadway in one show and wrote another one called The Guinea Pig that opened to raves in Massachusetts and transferred to Broadway. But the real monster success came next when Sturges delivered the comedy Strictly Dishonorable. He wrote it in six days, it ran for sixteen months and he grossed a remarkable $ 300,000 just as the Great Depression was hitting its stride. Sturges then wrote three more shows (including a musical!) but Hollywood came calling and he was soon gone for good.

Now The Attic Theater Company has revived Strictly Dishonorable with panache and it sure makes me hungry to see his other theatrical works too. Honestly, I only showed up out of polite interest as a Sturges fanatic, wondering if glimmers of his genius would be visible. Indeed, his sparkling, distinctive gift for dialogue and whiplash changes in emotion from sincere to silly are on full display. And from what I can tell by clips online, this production looks markedly better than the creaky 1931 film version and much, much better than the godawful 1951 remake starring Ezio Pinza and Janet Leigh. You’d be foolish to miss it.


Set in a speak-easy in 1929, it begins with the Italian staff squabbling amongst themselves until their regular customer the Judge (John Robert Tillotson) ambles in for just one drink. Almost by accident, a couple of squares arrive, the prickly Henry Greene (Thomas Christopher Matthews) and his sweet, Southern, slightly put-upon fiancee Isabelle ((Keilly McQuail). He wants to leave immediately but she’s eager to sample a speakeasy and surely none too eager to return to his mother-in-law in West Orange, New Jersey. (The play was written almost one hundred years ago and the jokes about Jersey are still getting laughs.)

Henry’s an unlikable fellow in the usual Sturges manner: he batters down his girl with fast talking, brusquely demands his drink and then wonders why the service is so poor, takes offense easily and is so clueless in his rude indifference to her and everyone around him that you can’t help feeling sorry for the guy just a little, even as you suspect most of us barrel through life just as blithely indifferent at times to others as poor Henry. In walks the good-looking professional opera singer and amateur (but very successful) lothario named Gus (Michael Labbadia) and, well, Henry hasn’t got a chance.

Director Laura Braza keeps this romantic comedy rolling with aplomb, striking the right note with the entire cast. Some judicious pruning might have made the first act fly by quicker. And it’s to be hoped the cast will tighten up and move things along even faster as they settle into the run of the show. But they are in sync with the material from the start and the actors are essentially faultless.

Gus might easily be a cheesy wooer of women, but Labbadia — in his New York debut — gives him heart and humor. And when he’s asked to sing, I imagined they might get a quick laugh by playing a record and having him lip sync (he’s supposed to be a world famous talent, after all) but instead he pulled off a nice little number well enough to maintain the illusion. Funny and winning, he also sports an Italian accent just this side of silly (like all the actors in the show) which is part of the evening’s charm.

As the speakeasy owner Tomas, Christopher Tocco is also excellent, anchoring much of the evening with his affable presence and mining subtle laughs throughout. William John Austin as an Irish cop who happily looks the other way when a glass of “ginger ale” is offered as an inducement, is similarly fun in a smaller role. As a waiter and lookout, Ryan Trout and Nick Ritacco are also spot-on. It’s a pleasure to see a show so well directed where everyone is on the same page.

The handsome Matthews for me was the most empathetic to the style of performing perfected by the actors who worked with Sturges in film after film. He steamrolled through his dialogue with verve, exploded in futile anger with just the right level of indignation and even took a nice pratfall. If Sturges were around, he’d make sure Matthews worked in his next project as well.

Tillotson is a pro as the Judge. I’m not sure if it’s the writing or his performance choices, but I wasn’t always clear as to where the Judge was coming from. And with Sturges, characters are often driven by an all-consuming quirk or passion. Is the Judge in love with Isabelle himself? Or perhaps fancies Gus? An old busy-body? A self-important fool? Mostly Tillotson plays him — rightly — as sweet and good-intentioned. To be clear, he delivers some of the play’s best lines with dead-pan accuracy.

The Judge is perhaps a gentle voice of conventional morality when Sturges will have none of that — we soon see Gus proving his love for Isabelle by not sleeping with her while she’s convinced his refusal to bed her is proof that he doesn’t. And when he begs her to marry him, why she’s convinced even more that he doesn’t! (It makes sense, somehow, while it’s happening.)

And that brings us to the show’s star Keilly McQuail. This is a very fun revival that would surely work with another actress in the part. But McQuail is a genuine find — convincingly Southern, sweetly sexy, timidly bold, believable in her relationship with Henry (hey, it gets her out of Yoakum, Mississippi!) and yet just as believable when she finds the courage to blaze her own path. McQuail brought out the best in everyone around her, handled physical comedy and emotions ranging from aroused to uncertain and looked great in her flapper outfit while doing it.

With modest means at their disposal, the scenic design by Liz Sherrier, the costumes by Travis Chinick and the lighting (David M. Upton) and sound (Beth Lake) all worked in harmony. I’ll be remembering this show fondly at the end of the year. Given the talent on display, I’m hopeful it will be even tighter and better at the finale of what should be an extended run as it was at the beginning. Now bring on The Guinea Pig!


Beautiful: The Carole King Musical ***
Rodney King ***
Hard Times ** 1/2
Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead **
I Could Say More *
The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner **
Machinal ***
Outside Mullingar ***
A Man’s A Man * 1/2
The Tribute Artist ** 1/2
Transport **
Prince Igor at the Met **
The Bridges Of Madison County ** 1/2
Kung Fu (at Signature) **
Stage Kiss ***
Satchmo At The Waldorf ***
Antony and Cleopatra at the Public **
All The Way ** 1/2
The Open House (Will Eno at Signature) ** 1/2
Wozzeck (at Met w Deborah Voigt and Thomas Hampson and Simon O’Neill)
Hand To God ***
Tales From Red Vienna **
Appropriate (at Signature) *
Rocky * 1/2
Aladdin ***
Mothers And Sons **
Les Miserables *** 1/2
Breathing Time * 1/2
Cirque Du Soleil’s Amaluna * 1/2
Heathers The Musical * 1/2
Red Velvet, at St. Ann’s Warehouse ***
Broadway By The Year 1940-1964 *** 1/2
A Second Chance **
Guys And Dolls *** 1/2
If/Then * 1/2
The Threepenny Opera * 1/2
A Raisin In The Sun *** 1/2
The Heir Apparent *** 1/2
The Realistic Joneses ***
Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill ***
The Library **
South Pacific ** 1/2
Violet ***
Bullets Over Broadway **
Of Mice And Men **
The World Is Round ***
Your Mother’s Copy Of The Kama Sutra **
Hedwig and the Angry Inch ***
The Cripple Of Inishmaan ***
The Great Immensity * 1/2
Casa Valentina ** 1/2
Act One **
Inventing Mary Martin **
Cabaret ***
An Octoroon *** 1/2
Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging ***
Here Lies Love *** 1/2
6th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition
Sea Marks * 1/2
A Time-Traveler’s Trip To Niagara * 1/2
Selected Shorts: Neil Gaiman ***
Too Much Sun * 1/2
Broadway By The Year 1965-1989 ***
In The Park **
The Essential Straight & Narrow ** 1/2
Much Ado About Nothing ***
When We Were Young And Unafraid
Savion Glover’s Om **
Broadway By The Year 1990-2014 ***
The Lion ***
Holler If Ya Hear Me * 1/2
The Ambassador Revue ** 1/2
Dubliners: A Quartet ***
The National High School Musical Theater Awards *** 1/2
Wayra — Fuerza Bruta * 1/2
Strictly Dishonorable *** 1/2 out of ****


Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the founder and CEO of the forthcoming website BookFilter, a book lover’s best friend. It’s a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. It’s like a fall book preview or holiday gift guide — but every week in every category. He’s also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day and features top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It’s available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website and his daily blog. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his radio show, also called Popsurfing and also available for free on iTunes.

Note: Michael Giltz is provided with free tickets to shows with the understanding that he will be writing a review. All productions are in New York City unless otherwise indicated.
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