HarVAR controversy mars Strictly opening.

Claudia & Tess, ‘We have nothing to say –
unless it’s been written down by someone else.

The long-awaited burst of Strictly glitz and glamour that was supposed to bring relief from Coronavirus gloom to millions of viewers, instead seems to have deepened the despair for most of them.

The cause of the problem? Covid of course, and the so-called ‘close contact cohort’ (CCC) – the means by which the series was allowed to go ahead. It required that all the stars and staff, living in their exclusive support bubbles, needed to guarantee that they didn’t breach the rules of the CCC – either behind the scenes, or on the dance floor. If they did, they’d be out, and for serious breaches, the whole series would be put in doubt.

Bosses? You’re looking at her, sister.

That is why BBC bosses brought in the controversial VAR system from the Premier League to help them make that judgment. But, as early as the first episode, Hrvy, now dubbed HrVAR, has been caught out by the new technology to fall foul of the guidelines.

None of us knew what was going on.

In the photograph (left), you can clearly see that Hrvy’s attempt at a fleckle has gone across the line drawn from the back of Bill Bailey’s dancing pumps, even though it wasn’t him. Said Head-Joodj Shirley (above), ‘I didn’t go round the country on buses and working in a chip shop, to have my chance ruined by all this modern science. I once danced in Dumfries with a burst appendix, you know.’

Craig: we need to make a better fist of it.

Hrvy will appeal to a panel of ex-Head Joodj Len, sitting with the now dead Bruce Forsythe, and lay member Lionel Blair, against the decision. Should that fail, he will be forced to sit out in a Tier-3 style lockdown until 14 days after the next national mini-lockdown – dubbed a circuit breaker, currently set for the whole of Advent, unless there is a prolonged dry spell, in which case he will re-join the series on their national tour at Easter, provided that he enters it from a county that has not previously been placed under Tier-3 restrictions, or, if having been in Tier-2 has been clear from them for at least four weeks, not including any time spent under national circuit breaker conditions in prolonged wet weather (a White Christmas, which is cancelled, being excepted).

He should have not have put his left leg out.

In the event of an early exit, all participants in the show will receive two-thirds of their fee, no matter how bad they are. Bruno will continue in furlough until the expected appointment of Rebekah Vardy as the new BBC Chairman. Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are registered charities, and their fees will not be impacted whatever happens; in fact they might go up a bit if they exceed their joke count targets for the series – which they were close to achieving after last night’s show.

* Health and Safety executives have cancelled the show’s annual visit to Blackpool, and the Halloween Night special, in addition to insisting that the base leotard on to which the costumes are sewn, is now made from the material you place under the sheets of chronic bedwetters.