The world didn’t end yesterday, so maybe the Mayans weren’t so
clever after all. It was going to be curtains for some of the Strictly
contestants, however, in a few hours.
Brassie and Cosmo’s Strictly Finals party was in full swing. Brassie
had found a Frank Sinatra CD in Help the Ancient and was playing
Baubles, bangles, hear how they jing, jinga-linga to encourage
everyone to get into a sparkly mood. Certainly, tonight was
Most of the guests were downing bubbly and becoming increasingly
effervescent and aerated. Ginevra was ensconced in the prime
viewing position in front of the large plasma screen. She was
cheerful and enjoying her favourite Dewlap gin, with very little tonic.
Everyone was wearing enough ruffles, fringing, Bermuda and bugle
beads to keep Julien Macdonald in ecstasies till actual Doomsday.
Their scintillation would have been sufficient to have illuminated the
Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square.
Sonia arranged a sweepstake for the guests to wager on the winner
of the coveted glitter ball. Of course, she was not permitted to enter
since she would have had an unfair advantage as a professional
medium. When the twins tried to elicit a clue from her, she merely
raised her eyebrow, in a Vincent Simone enigmatic expression.
Maybe she did know something and might have been more in touch
than the Mayans, but she had a greater affinity with Mother Shipton than any
South American soothsayer. That could have been applicable to her Latin
moves too. The twins turned away in embarrassment when she
tried to shimmy and they consequently tripped over Andy, the annoyingly
ubiquitous Border Terrier, so he was banished and gated in the
Tiger-Lily and Scheherezade supported Louis Smith and defended
their choice hotly when teased that they were merely responding to
his lack of a costume.
Ginevra, the eminence grise, favoured Anton and had to be told that
he was not a contender. But he dances like Fred Astaire, she
retorted. When the girls explained which dancers were finalists, she
decided to bet on Kimberley, as she thought she looked a little like
Once she had her glass re-filled, she didn’t care which programme
she was about to watch.
Carrie supported Dani; this was more to do with the dark pony’s
Italian partner, however.
I decided to opt for Denise, as I felt sorry for her lack of support. She
had been subject to some bad luck owing to costume malfunctions
and had covered her professional partner’s mental blank, mid-
Da-da-da-da-da-da-da: everyone was riveted and crowded round the
screen. Bruce grinned: Nice to see you; to see you…
Just as everyone shouted Nice in return, there was a fragmentation
of the picture. Two words appeared: No Signal. Tess’ lovely face,
usually a mask of tolerance while Brucie lifted her leg, disappeared.
Oh no! everyone exclaimed. What’s wrong?
Cosmo was dispatched to the fuse box in the kitchen. Carrying a
bowl of floating tea-lights, he nearly tripped on the threshold as he
tried to negotiate the child gate that had been attached to the door,
to deter the excitable Andy. A veritable Laocoon of tangled and
chewed cables was all that remained of the Christmas tree lights,
once they had been dragged from the hall.
Brassie! he shouted.
She managed to feel her way out of the sitting room and stumbled
into the scene of canine chaos. So much for thoroughbreds and
There was no fuse wire in the electrical box, so Cosmo was also in
the doghouse- a destination with which he was only too familiar.
Everyone decided to hot-foot it to Sonia’s place, which was the
nearest viewing possibility. Difficult in crystal-encrusted stilettos.
It was only when the glitter ball had been awarded that someone
realised that Ginevra was missing. There had been nothing
problematic with her electric wheelchair, but everyone had forgotten
her in their eagerness to hiss Craig Revel Horwood’s initial
When Cosmo rushed into the sitting room with a borrowed torch, he
found her fast asleep and perfectly warm under her tartan blanket.
She had consumed the rest of the bottle of Dewlap– neat, by all
accounts. She was alert instantly and wanted to know if she had
won the sweepstake. Cosmo lied and presented her with an
uncorked bottle as a prize and she went back to sleep, happily
dreaming of Fred and Ginger and the days when she used to dance
at the Dennistoun Palais and Barrowland in Glasgow, with her first
love, Gianbattista Pomodoro, Carrie’s grandfather, before he
married Jean Waddell in 1946.
But who had really won?