Judge Rinder: I found myself doing the cha-cha-cha in Tesco’s freezer aisle

Our Strictly Come Dancing columnist is battling with the cha-cha


It’s official – I have become possessed by the spirit of the cha-cha-cha. I recently found myself counting the steps out loud at the freezer aisle in Tesco’s. “And frozen pizza cha-cha-cha and get some milk and cha-cha-cha.”


If this continues, I shall have to find a stone- faced man of the cloth to perform some sort of glittery exorcism. Craig Revel Horwood would actually be perfect, although if he ever met the devil, I’m entirely confident that Mr Revel Horwood would be distinctly unimpressed:  “Well darling, I get the horns, but you need to work on pointing those hooves and that fire and brimstone thing is so last season!”

I think the reason I’ve developed this obsession is that the hardest part of learning the dances is remembering the steps. I know that a number of the other celebrities have exactly the same frustration but, for me, it is particularly infuriating.

As a barrister dealing with complex cases, I would often have to memorise huge amounts of information and could usually recall intricate details of a fraudster’s accounts after only one reading. I can also sit at a piano and pick up tunes by ear. So it’s maddening that when my dance partner, Oksana (or “Madame” as I like to call her), teaches me a new move, it goes in one ear and out of the other.

Before Strictly began, I thought that, if all else failed, I’d be able to rely on my memory, but it turns out that my dance-brain is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Sure, it has made learning the dances more difficult, but it has also been way more rewarding on the rare occasions that I remember the steps perfectly. Better still, when I do, it makes Madame smile, which is the best incentive I can think of.


Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 6:20pm with the results show on Sunday at 7:15pm – both on BBC1