Hello and welcome to Friday’s edition of A Slice Of Soap.
The cast of EastEnders have reportedly been banned from entering Strictly Come Dancing because the new series is too long. The BBC ballroom dancing talent show usually features soap actors from Albert Square among its celebrity contestants. But according to The Sun, the soap’s stars have been told that, at 16 weeks, the new series of Strictly is too long for their character to take off from the show. The paper quotes a source as saying: "We love the show. But we can’t spare anyone for that long." Read the full story here.
I think that’s a real shame. Strictly Come Dancing won’t be the same without someone from EastEnders to cheer on each week. Matt Di Angelo was brilliant on last year’s show and it was good to see former EastEnder Letitia Dean back on our TV screens (even though she sometimes seemed more concerned about doing everything in her power not to be in the final because of a prior panto engagement).
So are the producers of EastEnders right to ban the cast from entering Strictly Come Dancing this year? I suppose they do have a point. It’s a long period of time for a cast member to be away from The Square. I mean, can you imagine if someone like Ian ‘Squeale’ Beale was away from EastEnders for 16 weeks? Now how on earth could the scriptwriters explain his sudden disappearance to the discerning EastEnders viewer? They’d certainly have a tough job on their hands cos ‘Squeale’ Beale has hardly ever taken a day off work since the show started way back in the late eighties (apart from last year, of course, when he was kidnapped by his mentally disturbed son Steven Beale…and even then I’m willing to bet he was busily planning ways to expand his fish-and-chip empire).
As much as I’m going to miss members of Albert Square gracing the dance floor of Strictly Come Dancing, I am in full agreement with the show’s producers. Loyalty to their respective soap and soap fans should come ahead of lucrative appearances on reality TV shows. I’d willingly make the Mitchell Sisters the exception to the rule though. I’d love to see them written out of EastEnders for 16 weeks.
All is not lost. Emma Barton, whose character Honey Mitchell is due to exit EastEnders, is reportedly in talks about appearing on Strictly. And don’t forget, we can always see our favourite soap stars in Panto if they don’t make Strictly!
That’s it for now. Join me on Monday for a preview of all the week’s soaps. Got a comment about your favourite soap, this blog or anything else? Share it with me.
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