Strictly Come Dancing 2017 celebrities: Simon Rimmer
Strictly Come Dancing code name: Bacchus, the god of agriculture, wine and (weirdly) fertility. With Simon’s background as a chef and restauranteur, he’s surely the god of food and drink!
Dance: Charleston to Fit As A Fiddle (And Ready For Love) by Gene Kelly
The judges’ verdict: Oh dear, Simon. He was stuck on 19 points for the past three weeks and then he ended up in the dance-off. Again. The Scouse chef didn’t wow the judges with his first performance. Darcey said, “you went for it, it was sweet and charming but the recipe was missing some ingredients, lacked swivel, musicality and character.” Simon replied that he can’t swivel after he snapped his Achilles tendon a few years ago, to which Craig responded that there was “no swivel on your good leg either, darling.” Ouch!
It left Rimmer in the dance-off with Brian Conley and his partner Amy Dowden, where all three judges (fourth judge Bruno Tonioli being absent) chose to save Simon and Karen.
Dance: Samba to Copacabana by Barry Manilow
The judges’ verdict: Simon isn’t making any progress (he’s been stuck on 19 for three weeks in a row) but he does seem to be having fun. Bruno called it “more Benidorm than Brazil” while Craig said it had turned into “a mess” – despite his early promise. Shirley did find some basic Samba in there… but again, too many mistakes.
Dance: Quickstep to You’ve Got A Friend in Me from Toy Story
The judges’ verdict: Shirley Ballas had a lot of praise for Simon. “When you hold your frame, you actually have one of the best frames in this competition”. Shirley also appreciated his “basic” Quickstep and that he didn’t “overdo” the performance. Craig Revel Horwood completely disagreed, saying that he found Simon’s frame to be loose and Bruno Tonioli said that he felt as though Simon looked like he ran out of rocket fuel during his dance. Darcey Bussell picked up the fact she was bothered by Simon kicking up his heels during the dance, but that his hard work would soon start paying off.
Score on the leaderboard: 19 (36 combined with week 1)
Dance: Waltz to You’ll Never Walk Alone by Rogers and Hammerstein
The judges’ verdict: Shirley Ballas struggled to hold back tears after the performance, which was dedicated to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster – a tragedy which Simon witnessed first hand. She praised his emotional performance and gave him a 5, but the other judges scored him lower and pointed out where he’d gone wrong. Craig said: “A real shame, showed promise, I felt for you, you were too busy concentrating to perform,” while Bruno said it’d “started well but then an accident happened.”
Dance: Paso Doble to Song 2 by Blur
The judges’ verdict: Darcey said that Simon had determination and strength and that he had “all the assets” but would have to shape his performance a little better. Shirley thought he came across with “sheer determination” and that he had to “rotate” his body more. Bruno thought Simon was like a pressure cooker ready to explode and Craig commented that there was a lot of “stomping around” and that it lacked “a lot of shaping”.
Radio Times spoke exclusively to Simon Rimmer:
Why are you doing Strictly?
“It’s an honour to join this magnificent private members’ club, so, although I can’t dance, I’m 54 with dodgy knees, a dodgy back and a dodgy hip, the pluses outweighed the minuses.”
Any dance experience?
“Genuinely none. When you become a father, the nurses snip an invisible cord in your back so that your top and bottom half no longer coordinate.”
Hear more from Simon and Karen in our exclusive interview below:
What is Simon Rimmer famous for?
Simon is best-known for presenting Sunday Brunch and previously Something for the Weekend with Tim Lovejoy. Of signing up to Strictly, Simon said: “I am so excited, terrified and proud to be invited to be part of Strictly 2017.
“I’ve always been a HUUUUGE fan of the show. When I put on my sequins and hit the floor it will genuinely be my very first time dancing ballroom and latin. Nobody will try harder, have more fun or get more out of it than me. I can’t wait.”
The TV chef who established his first restaurant to critical acclaim in the 1990s. His face began popping up on screen as he cooked up a storm on shows like This Morning.
After presenting his own shows for the BBC like This Little Farmer and Making a Meal of It, he began hosting Something for the Weekend alongside Tim Lovejoy on BBC2.
When the BBC announced that they were cancelling the programme in 2012 after six years on air citing budget cuts, Channel 4 swooped and picked up the duo. They then launched an almost identical programme – and lo, Sunday Brunch was born.
Simon has also written five cookery books, regularly contributes to food magazines and is both the chef and owner of nine restaurants in England and also has one in Dubai.
Does Simon Rimmer have any dance experience?
Simon’s official announcement said that being on the show will “genuinely be my very first time dancing ballroom and latin”, whilst speaking on Sunday Brunch after being announced as the seventh confirmed celebrity, Simon said he’d “never ever danced in my life”…which surely bodes well, right?
Last updated 22nd September 2017