Like autumn leaves, the Strictly contestants are gradually changing colour (that’ll be the fake tan) and falling from the tree, to be swept up and taken away for compost.
The fact that I’m still standing (still dancing might be an exaggeration) is entirely due to my partner Erin. She’s calm, patient, always cheerful, utterly professional and a great teacher.
The relationship with your partner is a close one: you have to learn to trust each other and find a way through the tricky dance routines, hectic schedules, nerves and stress – and judges’ criticisms.
Mondays are particularly hard. That’s when you have to forget the triumphs or disasters of 36 hours ago and start again from scratch.
I’m happy, and relieved, to have got this far, not least for Erin’s sake. I definitely prefer ballroom to Latin and our Top Hat quickstep will always be a great memory, though my Fred to her Ginger was more Flintstone than Astaire.
Erin is continuing her mission to turn me into a Sex God for the Latin routines, but it’s an uphill struggle as I remain a middleaged Scot with co-ordination issues. The cruellest part is when someone is voted off the show: although technically, of course, it’s not that people have voted to get rid of you, it’s just that others have got more votes.
I’m sure Vince Cable, who came second with Erin in the Christmas Special, believes he would have won under a fairer voting system, but that’s the Liberal Democrats for you.
Anita’s husband, Brian May from Queen, hates the vote-off. Together we’re lobbying the producers to replace it with a more humane programme of vaccination. By the time you read this, we may be gone. But at least I’ll have the consolation of seeing my family again. Seeing them only at the weekends is the hardest part of all this, but nights like the Broadway special make it all worthwhile.