Strictly: OTB Meets Jason Donovan..

It’s only week two of Strictly Come Dancing and already the feathers are flying. Copious amounts of jiggling flesh, gyrating hips and garish costumes have tipped vexed viewers over the edge and complaints have been flooding in to the BBC.

But when we caught up with everyone’s favourite 80s heartthrob, Jason Donovan, he sailed in to defend the sexed-up sequin fest. “We’re not saving lives, it’s entertainment and I think people need to be reminded that that is the caseâ€?, says the dad of three. “There is absolutely nothing that would offend my children from watching Strictly. Full stop.â€?

And what should viewers do if they don’t like it? “This is a democracy. You can always turn the channel overâ€?. Take that Ofcom. After all, what is Saturday night without a few feathers and a bit of Z-lister cleavage?

The second round of the live shows is now under way and Donovan already looks exhausted by the notorious Strictly regime. “I’m up at 6 o’clock in the morning with babies and my day is full, I go to bed at 9 o’clock absolutely exhaustedâ€?. I guess that’s what four days of training a week, a relentless carousel of interviews and numerous TV appearances do to a 43-year-old showbiz veteran.

There is no doubt that Donovan is a dedicated family man, every other sentence is punctuated by a mention of his wife and kids. But when it comes to Ofcom trying to clean up the X-Factor’s increasingly raunchy act? It’s all “down to parentsâ€?, he says, “it’s about making sure your kids make the right decisions in anything they do.â€? In fact, his household are big fans of a bit of X Factor fun. “Love it. I would be very happy to let my kids watchâ€?.

Perhaps this is also because Daddy Donovan is bezzie mates with Gary Barlow. The pair are cut from the same respectable cloth, but it is a cloth which has been drenched in the tears of thousands of screaming teenage fans. They have both known the same glory and experienced the same career lows. Barlow has emerged victorious with a dedicated fan base and the Aussie star is already showing signs of a Hasselhoff-esque comeback. He even admits he is a “big fanâ€? of the buff big man himself. Perhaps he will he take it all the way and fill the Hoff-shaped hole on the BGT panel? You heard it (suggested) here first.

The British public are sure to back the twinkle-toed star now that he has won over the hearts of the judges. But what is his secret? “There is no secret – I did the best job I could do. It worked on the night and we got some fantastic scores – this is another weekâ€?. Talking about the live shows, Donovan’s boyish grin disappears and those twinkly eyes retreat under a furrowed brow. “I’ve been performing for a while now but I still feel anxiousâ€?. Really? Because we are talking about a seriously long “whileâ€?. Like twenty years. “[The show] is a big psychological gameâ€?, he explains, “You’ve got all these people in a sort of a holding pattern, waiting to land…some skid, some land perfectly, some will get rounds of applause. Having been in the business 20 years you do realise why you might be last….that adds extra pressureâ€?.

It’s all very well being modest, but you don’t stay in the limelight for 20 years without a competitive streak sharper than a diamonte studded stiletto. Donovan is odds on to win the whole competition and so far, what with Nancy’s shenanigans with a feather boa and Lulu’s memory loss issues, serious contenders are few and far between. Surely he wants to win? “I’m ambitious in the sense that I don’t want to walk out first and I’d love to make it to Wembley. But other than that…â€?. Ever the family-man, he seems more concerned with his children “going to school on Monday morning with their heads held high rather than dad having done some dodgy shapes on Saturday nightâ€?.

You should see what he was doing in 1989 kids.

Tune in to BBC One tonight at 7:25pm to see who will be the unfortunates who have to leave the show first.

Advertisement