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SCD is out of step with the X Factor.

Byline: John McKie

BORG or McEnroe, HP sauce or ketchup, PCs or Apple, sometimes you have to make a clear decision.

Tonight is one of those times.

In the blue corner - The X Factor cruelly torments individuals fresh from the funny farm, whose families populate the caravans and prisons of this country.

Past winners include Steve Brookstein. It is a singing contest judged by Dannii Minogue - a bit like asking Britney Spears to front the new series of Supernanny.

In the pink diamante-studded corner - Strictly Come Dancing is wholesome family entertainment with something for everyone. Kelly Brook, Rod Stewart's wife Penny, husband and wife Kenny and Gabby Logan, Blue Peter host Gethin Jones plus John Barnes, who's hoping to last until Christmas, something he barely managed as Celtic boss.

Strictly Come Dancing has a brilliant cast list, all the generations enjoy it and seeing the likes of Colin Jackson, Jill Halfpenny and Darren Gough cha-chacha in previous years was heartwarming.

And yet, and yet ... Strictly leaves me as cold as Brucie's cryogenically frozen gags.

Penny on life with Rod, witnessing the marital dynamic of the Logans and hearing Willie Thorne on his gambling addictions would make fantastic telly.

If they'd all gone on Celeb Big Brother or I'm a Celeb. SCD represents an easy option for stars in a way the other celeb reality shows don't. They just train, turn up and dance and at the end of the series talk about the "journey" they've been on. I'm a Celeb and Celeb BB give a truer image of the celebrity on screen. All we'll learn from Strictly is if they ballroom dance or not.

SCD is the polite choice for viewers, just as Swap Shop used to be on Saturday mornings.

People excited about the return of To the Manor Born will be watching Strictly.

The X Factor features ASBOS-in-waiting girlband Hope (soon to be nicknamed Hope On a Rope).

Hope's Sisi smoked dope at boot camp and is wanted by police for not finishing her community service after being convicted of assault on a McDonald's worker.

And the X Factor has a secret weapon Strictly can't match - Simon Cowell.

Plus, the show will change the winner's life, something SCD can't say. Can Whitburn's Leon Jackson win? That's the new West Lothian question.

X Factor contestants don't hang around after the show ends like the dreary SCD judges. Safe to say it's no longer Chico time, whereas there's no getting rid of Craig and Arlene off the Beeb shows.

So I may be alone here but I hope The X Factor kicks SCD's sequinned butt in the ratings. Besides, the SCD winner is a foregone conclusion. Simple maths equation for you - Blue Peter presenter +phone vote = guaranteed victory. The BBC. This is what they do.

CAPTION(S):

TAME: Kelly Brook and Brendan Cole in Strictly
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 6, 2007
Words:475
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