Strictly & the spoilers - the weekly dance to avoid early news of who has gone
I’ve discovered there is something sadder than a party pooper - it’s two party poopers.
The phrase ‘spoiler alert’ is plastered all over Twitter every weekend as people try to discover, or avoid, who has gone out on Strictly.
FOMO (the fear of missing out) meets JOMO (the joy of missing out) in a full headlock, and it ain’t pretty.
It’s also all too easy to stumble on to the wrong side of the tracks.
I’m a Strictly fan, and, like everyone else over the age of six, I know Sunday’s result show is actually recorded straight after the main live performance.
There’s just enough time for the hosts and judges to do a quick change, and the audience to grab a drink before everyone is back in their seats.
It’s an illusion - and we’re kinda grown up enough to realise that for ourselves.
We tune in and we get two hours plus of top-notch entertainment – a show with warmth, colour and spectacle.
And we’re also smart enough to move niftily and grab the remote at the end to avoid being trapped in another pointless edition of Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel.
Watching a show while scrolling Twitter can be huge fun, but the problem with Strictly are the party poopers whose tweets land like grenades on your timeline.
As soon as the show ends they begin their exit polls as if they are assessing the outcome of a General Election.
It’s been fun seeing how badly wrong they have got it at times this year - completely, hopelessly wrong - without the usual numbers in the studio to glean the gossip from, but they seem immune to public embarrassment.
The justification for the spoiler accounts seems to revolve around getting the BBC to be finally ‘fess up and admit that everyone doesn’t come back the next day wearing the same outfits and performing to an audience which is either locked inside overnight or escorted under heavy guard to a nearby hotel.
I wonder if they know how television shows actually work.
Shows - even live ones - are like jigsaws, and all the pieces fit whether they are pre-recorded or not.
A few years ago we had a reporter at the final of The Voice when Stevie McCrorie won.
The Script performed live, but they’d been and gone by the time the audience got in, and the clip, and the chat with the host, slotted in so seamlessly you couldn’t spot the joins.
That’s telly at its very best, and, in all honesty, you don’t get much better than Strictly. Did I mention Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel?
Party-poopers are a breed like no other.
The joy they get in revealing who has been eliminated is probably only matched by the sense of irritation experienced by all who accidentally stumble across their wee Twitter accounts.
Attention seeking is never a great attribute even among toddlers.
When it’s grown-ups involved, someone needs to point them in the direction of a more beneficial way of filling all that lonely time they must have on their hands.
If spoiling the fun of others was an Olympic sport, we’d have some instant gold medal hopefuls in the Strictly ranks – and that isn’t a badge of honour.