After checking the diary, I confirmed that I wasn’t doing anything, and she then announced that she had managed to get tickets to be in the audience for Strictly Come Dancing that night, and would I like to go with her. Would I? Would I!! Of course I would!
So, plans were made for Dad and Julie came down to stay on the Friday and spend a little bit of time with us over that weekend.
Now, here’s the thing, just because you’ve received the tickets, it doesn’t actually guarantee you a seat in the audience. They send out twice as many tickets as there are seats, and then you queue up at Elstree Studios on the Saturday morning for them to be validated. These tickets are like gold dust. Millions of people apply for them, and only 500 actually get in to see the show live.
Ross and Julie came up with a plan that would see them get to the Studios at about 8:15am. (Thankfully I didn’t need to be there for that bit.) But it’s a good job they didn’t leave it any later as some people had been queuing with chairs/blankets/tents since 4am! Once the tickets were validated, all that remained was for Julie and I to come back at 4pm with our Glad Rags on.
I’d spent the majority of Thursday, Friday and Saturday in bed because I knew this event was going to take it out of me, but I wasn’t going to miss out. By 3:45pm, we were dressed to impress, and on our way down the A1 to dazzle with the best of them.
We had our tickets and ID checked, went through security and found ourselves in a waiting area. After finding somewhere for me to sit, Julie went off to get us some Strictly Swag and when she came back we chatted to some nearby people. Phones were banned so there was no taking photo’s unless you wanted an official one taken against a Strictly backdrop. The queue was massive, so we opted out. There was lots of glitter, sparkle, excitement and prosecco in this room.
At about 5:30pm, just before they started to get people organised into queues to go into the studio, we thought about asking a steward if I needed to do anything differently because of my mobility issues. We did, as it happened. I had to stand in a “Special” queue, which got let into the studio first. Yippee!! We were escorted into an area which was directly below the “Clauditorium”, beside the staircase that the dancers run up to be interviewed after their performance. Great seats, but we weren’t likely to be seen on the tv.
The warm up man came out and after a few gag’s, rehearsed lines, recorded links, it was time for the main show. What can I say - it was amazing! The energy given off by some of the dancers was intense. Some wowed us, others less so. At one point, Aljaz came over, shook my hand and asked if I was enjoying myself. Yes - I definitely was! The whole atmosphere was electric…and before we knew it, it was all over.
The whole thing was Fab-U-Lous. Am-Az-Ing!
An experience never to be repeated, and one that left me exhausted and in my PJ’s for most of Sunday. Would I recommend it to any other Strictly fans? Absolutely. Have a look on the BBC website and register. You’ve got to be in it, to win it.
And on that note…keep dancing!