Belfast Telegraph

It's Strictly not a star move for posh Sophie Ellis-Bextor

By Gail Walker

Sophie Ellis-Bextor's transformation on Strictly Come Dancing started early. She was always more than, or thought she was, or was branded as more than, the 'pop star' she was introduced as on the show.

Even on her worst day at her peak in 2001 she would have seen herself as 'posh pop'– a media aristocrat with 'indie pretensions' in her music. Her demeanour was less Spice Girl and more Bjork. She was even sold to us as 'Real Posh' as opposed to Victoria Beckham's 'Posh' when the two famously chased the number one spot at the same time. Oh, how we cheered when 'quality' won out. (The fact VB is now the darling of New York Fashionweek while SEB is hanging round with Tess Daly and Craig Revel Horwood shows that you can win the battle but lose the war).

Still, back then Sophie's famous mum – Janet Ellis of Blue Peter – gave her a cult status among older fans denied to her contemporaries relying on the 18-30 bracket.

And it was always Murder on the 'Daunce' Floor.

What turned up on Saturday night on Strictly was certainly the sculpted cheekbones and willowy frame so familiar from the early Noughties.

But the idea that the show is an obvious platform for Sophie the pop popette is simply bizarre.

No way was this part of the plan. Most of us assumed her low-key lifestyle was down to a disdain for stardom – it being all cheap and tawdry don't you know.

It's quite a comedown.

She can shun the spray tan culture of Strictly as much as she likes, but the slightly tacky and decidedly lowbrow and uncool vibe of the show will wrap itself around her like a dancer's legs.

Whatever the future holds for Sophie, it's not going to be on the Greta Garbo mode of cool and aloof pop-making. It's Supermarket Sweep or, if you're lucky, a perch on Loose Women, ha-un-ey.

Belfast Telegraph


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