It was as smooth as the smoothest American Smooth, as sharp as the sharpest Argentine Tango and as beautifully timed as the show stopping Jay McGuiness jive. This week the public dumping of cheating Strictly Come Dancing comedian Seann Walsh by his girlfriend earned a ten from me. And I hope he falls flat on his face.
On Saturday night his girlfriend of five years, actress Rebecca Humphries, wept with pride in the Strictly audience as Seann smashed his Matrix inspired dance with partner Katya Jones on Movie Week.
It was pure box office.
The sequel was not so well received when the following day photographs of him and Katya snogging each other’s faces off emerged in the Sunday papers.
Not only that but they were taken on the night his real life partner stayed home alone on her birthday. Oops, tripped up there, Seann.
Within hours both he and Katya were dancing to a different tune. Cue the well choreographed snivelling apologies. It was a drunken mistake, he said. I love my husband, she said. We are both so so sorry. It was all as toe curling as a John Seargant Paso Doble but it would be business as usual said the Strictly team.
No one was leaving anyone, let alone the show. Only it seems the only person to whom Seann hadn’t apologised was Rebecca. In fact he had seemingly told her it was all in her mind.
Before we go any further I don’t believe in the Strictly Curse and Jeremy Vine describing it as ‘a powerful thing when you spend eight hours a day within two inches of a goddess’ is as pathetic and laughable as his dad dancing. Break ups happen . People fall in and out of love all the time. It’s hardly front page news. But this time it was more than a stumble.
This time we got to hear from the actual woman who has been led the merry dance and Rebecca’s words were as explosive as Russell Grant being fired from a cannon. Let’s be honest, as she said in her statement, she could have chosen to be portrayed as the sad victim of a broken relationship. Only she has deliberately decided not to become the victim. She is, she said ‘a strong capable person who is now free’.
And her story will resonate with thousands of women who live a life out of the spotlight who are somehow persuaded it’s all in their imagination, that they are just a little bit mentally unstable or as Seann apparently put it to Rebecca when she dared to question his real reason for going out for a drink with his professional dance partner on his real partner’s birthday , a psycho, nuts.
What’s more she said he had done the same “countless times...when I have questioned his inappropriate, hurtful behaviour. “ Sorry Seann you have just been wrong footed. Rebecca has refused to dance to your tune.
This is powerful stuff and so much more powerful than flogging your story to the highest bidder.
What has emerged is a disturbing portrayal of a relationship based on control. It’s more than just another showbiz breakup. Rebecca Humphries words are a rallying call as strong and determined as any #Metoo movement. Single handedly she has described a one sided relationship, an imbalance of power, far more eloquently than a hundred award winning actresses wearing black or carrying a rose of solidarity. “I have a voice”, she said “ And I will use it by saying this to any woman out there who deep down feels worthless and trapped with a man they love ...believe in yourself and in your instincts”.
Well my instincts tell me Seann Walsh will dance his last dance on Strictly on Saturday night . It will be excruciating to watch whether the bosses have told him to tone down the sexual chemistry with Tanya, or not. Let’s hope it’s not the rumba then. Even if he is brilliant how can the judges enthuse in quite the same manner and their words still ring true. ‘ It’s lovely to see you together. You are becoming a special partnership .. You have so much trust in each other.’ Every nuance of every word will be examined by every woman watching. In fact if I were him, I’d have pulled out long before now. It’s better than knowing as a comedian you have well and truly become a laughing stock.
As for Rebecca she get’s to keep the pet. I hate to sound catty but it strikes me she has got best part of the bargain. Keep dancing Rebecca. There are many women swaying to your tune.