Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Billy on the Box: No escape to victory as Robbie is savaged

Robbie Savage is finding his Strictly training much harder than football

I have a startling confession to make and one that I am deeply and humbly ashamed of — I felt sorry for Robbie Savage on Strictly Come Dancing.

Don’t worry, it was only a momentary lapse into insanity, and my levels of scorn, resentment and fist-beating fury have quickly returned after an enforced spell of studying the 10ft x 10ft print of Michael Hughes battering him in Cardiff.

Who ever would have thought that a man who locked horns with the likes of Roy Keane and Vinny Jones would have been giving his biggest ever savaging by a man who makes Russell Grant look like Russell Crowe?

Step forward and take a bow (and probably a few twists and turns beforehand) Craig Revel Horwood, a man who achieved what we thought was impossible — he rendered Savage speechless.

It hadn’t augured well for the dancing spleen with a tan, as he was introduced at the start as a Premiership footballer and the BBC phones went into meltdown with Trades Description Act officers trying to get through.

Worse was to come as he was introduced in a typically, long, convoluted and buttock-clenchingly unfunny way by Sir Bruce Forsyth as being Goldilocks, and how we all longed for three very hungry bears with a sweet-tooth for Welsh rarebits to come along.

There was no red riding hood either, just a black dancing one as Robbie appeared on the dance floor like a camp Grim Reaper waving a pair of hair straighteners rather than a scythe.

Then up popped his partner Ola (Not Joe) Jordan. Stunning, with long blonde flowing locks, beautifully tanned and a cleavage to die for and Ola was quite fit too, but despite leading Robbie round the floor like a toddler it was to no avail.

“It's all very Abercrombie & Fitch, I'm afraid,” sighed Craig. “It's all about the look and absolutely no dancing whatsoever: six-eighths of just standing while Ola dances around you isn't what I'd call a cha-cha-cha.”

By the way, that strange rumbling noise you could hear in the background wasn’t ‘boxer’ Audley Harrison hitting the ground after coming second best in a scuffle with Lulu, but the sound of Brian Clough and Bill Shankly revolving in their graves.

Dancing isn’t a matter of life and death, it’s more important than that and has more sequins, Len Goodman didn’t add, while the annoying Italian one, no, not Mario Balotelli, Bruno Tonioli, also didn’t say ‘for that you want bloody shooting ... rubbish.”

There was still time for our golden couple to appear on Football Focus on Saturday where Krypton Factor legend Gordon Burns interviewed Sir Alex Ferguson. This could set a worrying precedent. Next week Jim Bowen speaks to Fabio Capello while Tom O’Connor catches up with Kenny Dalglish although if it keeps Robbie and Garth Crooks away then I’m all for it.

But the undoubted highlight was a look back as Escape To Victory celebrated its 30th anniversary, with Garth’s interviewing Ossie Ardiles, but strangely not with Michael Caine or Sylvester Stallone who didn’t appear to have made it along.

This could be the inspiration Robbie needs. Ola desperately trying to tunnel out of the changing rooms with Robbie saying ‘we can win this’ only to find Craig, Bruno and Brucie pushing him back down the hole.

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