Review: Strictly Come Dancing tour, Newcastle Arena, until January 31

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I WASN’T sure what to expect from Strictly the tour – just because the TV show is a hit, doesn’t mean it will translate well on the stage.

I knew there’d be glitterballs, sequins and shimmies aplenty, that much is a given. But what did come as a surprise is how thoroughly entertaining I found the whole spectacle.

I’d dipped my toe in and out of the BBC show, so I wasn’t as ardent a fan as the thousands of excited Strictlyettes around me. Yet, I couldn’t help but get swept away by the touring production’s charm.

A huge dance floor, resplendent in sparkly steps and dozens of disco balls, took out the entire ground floor of the arena, meaning everyone got a good view of the fancy footwork, no matter what their seat number.

The tour works much in the same way as its TV counterpart -– if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – so celebrity dance novices take to the stage with their professional partners in a battle for votes.

But there’s no pressure of live TV or a real competition here, meaning the whole thing is a lot more relaxed and fun.

All the favourite dances from the series were there – such as Mark Benton’s inimitable cha cha cha version of U Can’t Touch This and Abbey Clancy’s Saturday Night Fever-themed salsa to name but a few – but you also got more of an insight into the pro-dancer’s personalities.

Kevin Clifton, who joined the series this year as partner to newsreader Susanna Reid, was a hoot with his plea for votes. Give him his own show.

Iveta Lukosiute, Mark’s partner, also gave a rib-tickling rendition of Fog on the Tyne which helped the endearing couple to win an audience text vote - which was a bit of a money-making gimmick. That aside, this was a strictly fabulous show.