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It's proof that magic is still in the air.

Byline: IAN HYLAND on telly at its best

Strictly Come Dancing, BBC1 *****

What pleased me the most about Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse winning this year's Strictly Come Dancing? Well, obviously, as you will no doubt recall, I tipped them for victory in these very pages in Week One. So there's that.

The best thing about it, though, was that on Saturday of all days, Bill proved that the waft of Christmas magic was very much still in the air.

That a man of his years could triumph over two vibrant and fleet-footed school-leavers who were clearly the more accomplished dancers was all the proof I needed that wishes can be granted.

It was also further confirmation of the main reason why Strictly is the best TV talent show ever: It takes rough diamonds and gives them the chance to sparkle.

This was no sentimental charity vote, though.

Exhilarating as they were, Maisie and HRVY were not that many steps ahead of Bill.

Put simply, on the night Bill and Oti chose the better music and put on the best show. They fully deserved their win.

Likewise the BBC and the Strictly team earned every bit of praise that came their way on Saturday night.

Once Boris Johnson had given us all the Joni Mitchell CD for Christmas at teatime, Strictly's task was clear: Go out and lift the nation.

And it did. Everyone pitched in. It was such a party atmosphere that autocue queen Tess Daly actually chanced a couple of ad-libs.

In fact, the show was such a triumph that not even Robbie Williams's new Christmas song could spoil it.

CAPTION(S):

AD LIBS Tess Daly

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Author:IAN HYLAND on telly at its best
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 21, 2020
Words:278
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