The way we've been compulsively banging on about it, you'd think that X Factor was the only Saturday teatime reality TV talent show on at the moment, but you'd be wrong: there's also Strictly Come Dancing.
To put things simply, there are two types of people in Britain: the type that likes the cynically slick whizz-bang professionalism of X Factor and the type that prefers the more sedate sight of a bunch of semi-celebrities waltzing and cha-cha-chaing on a TV show presented by the world's most confused old man. And these Strictly Come Dancing betting odds are for the latter – from now until the new series of Strictly Come Dancing kicks off, we'll be looking at the starting odds of each of the prospective twirlers. And we're starting from the bottom up, so this lot are bound to be shit.
Here are the Strictly Come Dancing betting odds for Peter Schmeichel, Mica Paris and Nicholas Owen…
Peter Schmeichel – Peter Schmeichel? Who he? Well, in real life Peter Schmeichel is a phenomenally gifted former goalkeeper, the proud owner of the biggest, purplest nose outside of anyone who actually suffers from gout and the most amusingly Mancunian Danish man on the face of the earth. On Strictly Come Dancing, though, Peter Schmeichel is clearly the contestant who everyone hopes will spectacularly fuck up in a number of extreme ways. The last time a goalkeeper attempted to show any kind of grace in a reality TV contest, David Seaman took to the Dancing On Ice rink and proceeded to smash his dance partners into bloody pulps week after week after week, and if Peter Schmeichel isn't the BBC's attempt to replicate this, we'll eat our hat. Sadly, the lack of razor-sharp metal blades and slippy-slidey dancing surface might limit the damage that Peter Schmeichel will be able to create, but that doesn't stop him being the Strictly Come Dancing outsider. Strictly Come Dancing betting odds – 22/1
Mica Paris – Mica Paris? Who she? Mica Paris was the Beverley Knight of the late 1980s; a ballsy, powerful black female singer who never really had the success that her voice deserved. Remember Mica Paris' 1988 single Breathe Life Into Me? Of course you don't, it only got to number 26 and we're fairly certain that even Mica Paris herself would scrunch her nose up in confusion if you played it at her now. However, Mica's career has now hit its second wind, as well as being one half of the new What Not To Wear garment-bitches, Mica Paris is also a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, the country's premiere celebrity ballroom TV shows presented by old men who look as if they don't really know their own name sometimes. However, Mica Paris looks likely to crash out of Strictly Come Dancing very early on. Why this is is a mystery; although we get the feeling that cruel bookies have decided that dumpy lasses can't dance too well. Current Strictly Come Dancing betting odds – 22/1
Nicholas Owen – Nicholas Owen? Who he? Without question, Nicholas Owen is this year's Bill Turnbull – the staid, reliable newsreader desperate to prove that there's more to him than intoning reports about global atrocities while dressed in a suit. Nicholas Owen is as well known for his smooth good looks and alarmingly groomed hair as his ability to pull a load of stuff out of his arse in the immediate aftermath of a member of the Royal Family's death, which points to him being a bit of a dark horse on the dancefloor. However, you have to imagine how appearing on a TV show like Strictly Come Dancing will affect his standing as a trustworthy newsreader – imagine how hard it will be reporting on a devastating terror attack in the field with starstruck members of the public yelling "Do your passo dopio!" at you all the time. Plus, it's a known fact that newsreaders are shit at dancing. Except Kaplinsky, but she's more Riddler than newsreader. Current Strictly Come Dancing betting odds – 16/1
Tomorrow – Strictly Come Dancing betting odds for Jan Ravens, Georgina Bouzova and Jimmy Bloody Tarbuck, you lucky hamsters
[story by Stuart Heritage]