Strictly Come Backstage


February 9, 2014 by benmblackman

Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised when I tell you, I’m pretty big time. I know people. Specifically people who work on Strictly Come Dancing. But you don’t hear me boasting about it do you? Well, maybe if you don’t read any further you won’t.

It was only a matter of time before it was requested me and The Calpol Kid visit them on tour. I presume it was stipulated in many of the performers contracts. Mrs B had been asked too but she’d gone and had a baby a week previous so had to count herself out of proceedings.

Just 2 bros, wearing denim and slightly matching colours.

Just 2 bros, wearing denim and slightly matching colours.

So my date for the night (a 5 year old) and I got ready. She picked some denim out and then doubled it. Well, it was a special occasion. Mrs B took a picture of us and everything but then spoilt it a bit by saying I looked like I had tried to co-ordinate colours with The Calpol Kid. She then asked if I had ‘a lot of wood to cut when we got there?’ and stuff.

Never mind her, we had each other. At least we did until half an hour later when, as I sang along to our (ok my) favourite Eliza Doolittle song in the car I wondered where my harmony had gone. I looked over to find my partner in crime had decided now an appropriate time to take a nap.

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

Now, usually if The Calpol Kid was to sleep at 6.20pm on a Friday evening it would be cause of THE most epic celebrations between Mrs B and I. Bunting would be out, ticker tape falling from the ceiling, high fiving, wooping and some alcohol or other would be gleefully consumed.

But when you’re due to watch the Strictly Tour at 7.30pm this is not such an ideal situation. Worse when you also have to get from the car park to the box office, pick up your tickets, wait in a queue, and then travel the circumference of an arena to find your seats.

Back in the game.

Back in the game.

On arrival I did what all men would do in such a situation – put off the inevitable and left her sleeping for another 15 minutes. This meant, following the post nap meltdown, we had precisely 11 minutes to get from car to seats.

Obviously I purposely approached the ticket booth any old Tom, Dick, or Harry is meant to use so that I could be told I had to move to the end booth ‘for Guest List.’

"Daddy, please take a picture of me." She did not say.

“Daddy, please take a picture of me.” She did not say.

“Sorry, I said? Guest List? You need me to go to the Guest List booth? Because I am on the Guest List? Oh ok, I’ll just go to the Guest List booth then. Because I am on the Guest List.”

I went to the Guest List Booth. No biggie.

I would spend a few paragraphs describing the show but then I wouldn’t have time to talk about when we went backstage afterwards would I?

Oh ok, we had great seats, it was massive fun, The Calpol Kid somehow managed to stay awake for the whole thing (fuelled by ¾ family pack of Wine Gums; ice cream, and any other high energy substances – usually banned 2 hours before bedtime, let alone 2 hours after – I could get my hands on).

We sang, we danced, we had a great Daddy and Daughter time.

And then it all took a turn for the worse. Damn me and my big time connections. She’d come to see us at half time and said we could come backstage to meet the stars at the end if we liked.

Bless you.

Bless you.

Versus waiting for an hour to leave the car park it seemed like a pretty good deal to me. We waltzed past the dresses and definitely did not touch any of them. Also, if Susanna Reid is reading I am more than certain The Calpol Kid didn’t sneeze on the red one.

The Calpol Kid has been watching Strictly Come Dancing on TV since before she was two so they presumed she would LOVE pictures with all her favourites from this year. Obviously it now being 10pm I couldn’t see this being a problem. Much.

Ironically, I am sitting on a stool and he isn't. But you can't even see that either.

Ironically, I am sitting on a stool and he isn’t. But you can’t even see that either.

I specifically told our lady NOT to cut the kid out of all the photos, thus leaving me to look like some weird 34 year old West Life fan. To be honest though, if she hadn’t been cut out all you would have seen is her back as she point blank refused to be photographed next to the nice man who had been told she was a massive fan (which, don’t tell him like but, she isn’t really). I told him he did my second favourite dance of night and he smelt lovely, which I’m not sure helped the situation.

Even for my hair this is a more than woeful performance

Even for my hair this is a more than woeful performance.

As did Artem (except he hadn’t done my second favourite dance of the night, or my first, so I didn’t tell him that, or that he smelt good). In hindsight, I might have concentrated a little more on posing for the photo and a little less on trying to convey to the photographer, ‘oh sorry – this is awkward – she’s making such a fuss about being photographed next to a strange (yet impressively good looking and smelling Russian) man’. How was I to know THAT would be the moment she would choose to take the photo? Also, even for my pathetic hair, this was a terrible effort.

At least we’d have the one of Deborah Meaden. That one would be fine wouldn’t it? I’d probably open my eyes and everything wouldn’t I?


Second time lucky. Look I’ve got my eyes open everyone…oh. Guys.


Sometimes memories are better than photos though, something in this day and age of camera phones we could all do well to remember. Proved by the fact our best memory of the night will always be – when the lovely lady who won the TV show this year ran past in the corridor and handed The Calpol Kid her 4 bangles. To keep.


Showing her little sis.

Now THAT is worth a thousand old pictures of us with people off the TV. Luckily.


Into the hallowed Jewellery Box.

This is better. She's probably thinking, 'wow, this guy smells real good. What's your scent?' Calpol.

This is better. She’s probably thinking, ‘wow, this guy smells real good. What’s your scent?’




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