29 November 2016

Strictly

Like 99% of the adult female population of Great Britain, Mrs Pudding is a big fan of the BBC weekend entertainment  phenomenon, "Strictly Come Dancing". It has been running since 2004 and has been a glamorous if fleeting "feel-good" escape from the troubles of the world - both macro and micro. In "Strictly", there are sequins and smiles as each week celebrity contestants battle it out on the dance floor before an enchanted studio audience and a panel of eagle-eyed judges.

This year's contest is coming to a head and the final will happen on December 17th with a new champion dancer crowned.

TV viewers are given the opportunity to apply for tickets so that they can join the studio audience. Every week for the last three years, Mrs Pudding, along with two million others, has applied for a pair of these golden tickets but to no avail. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Until yesterday that is.

She received her dream message from the BBC. She had been allocated two precious tickets for the final show! But how quickly joy can turn to exasperation. Horror upon horror - we discovered that for each show the BBC gives out eight hundred tickets when only four hundred seats are available! What the...?

On the morning of the show, she will need to join the ticket validation queue at Elstree studios very early in the morning if she is to be one of the lucky four hundred. What an absolute pain and to wit a bloody disgrace! The result of this absurd arrangement is that we will have to stay in a hotel down in Borehamwood on Friday night. All rooms in the nearby "Ibis" had already gone last night so I booked the very last room at the 5.8 rated Elstree Inn so that Mrs Pudding can scoot out at 6am to wait in the queue before the validation office opens at 9am. Even Charlie Bucket didn't have this nonsense.

In the end, it is possible that Mrs Pudding won't even get her pair of tickets but assuming she does, please don't think that I will be sitting beside her in the studio. No. That honour will fall upon our lovely daughter Frances who will take the short train journey north from London later that day.

What a cack-handed way to handle the tickets! I mean, why couldn't they just sort out the validation online instead of treating licence payers and fans like this? Making them get up before dawn, possibly in freezing conditions with rain pelting down on what should be a truly joyous day. One thing's for sure - celebrity members of the "Strictly" audience won't have to do this and they will have the prime seats. If not fuming, I am at least simmering.
đŸ˜ 

43 comments:

  1. How bloody ridiculous! I think you should cancel the hotel room...buy a sleeping bag for Shirley so she can camp out for the night to enable her to be among the "lucky" 400. You can bet your bottom dollar that's what most of the people will be doing.

    That's a rip-off and a stupid way to give out the tickets. I'd be staying in the comfort of home...and just keep watching it on TV..forget all that nonsense. But, then, that's just me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Britain, getting a ticket to see "Strictly" is the equivalent of scoring the winning try against Australia or witnessing the second coming of Jesus. I'll ask her about the sleeping bag idea.

      Delete
  2. Yeah, that's super-annoying. Especially to those of us who can't even bring ourselves to watch it on telly, much less show up in person!

    My guess is they want to be sure there are bodies to put in the seats -- not just people who INTEND to come and then, for whatever reason, may not show up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right Steve. That is the trouble with free tickets. By the way I thought it was the law that all gay men must love "Strictly".

      Delete
    2. Don't report me to the authorities! :)

      Delete
    3. John Gray is Head of Enforcement. Be afraid.

      Delete
  3. Even if you don't go have a weekend in London anyway !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thing is - we had already arranged to go to London on the 10th to stay with the beloved daughter.

      Delete
  4. It does seem bizarre but I wonder if it's something to do with preventing the free tickets being sold on the black market.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you are right Graham but I firmly believe that in this day and age there are better ways of sorting out such matters.

      Delete
  5. I second what Lee said. Obviously you and Shirley have never tried to buy a 60-inch television set from Walmart on the day after Thanksgiving. Sometimes customers are there waiting 24 hours ahead of time as there are always more customers than television sets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I once queued up all night to buy a bargain bed and got it!

      Delete
  6. That's ridiculous! I would tell them where to shove those tickets, but that's just me.

    It seems downright mean of them to do things that way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are treating ordinary people like **** while the celebrities who sit in the front seats get the red carpet treatment.

      Delete
  7. Nope, have never watched the programme, and hopefully will never have to ! It's all about power again isn't it, and controlling the audiences. I think Mrs P would get a better view from the TV !
    Oh, and are these celebrities of the 15 minute fame nonentity variety, or real, proper, genuine celebrities who have done something with their lives?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't ask me CG. I am really not interested in the show but over the last twelve years it has been a Saturday night obsession in Great Britain.

      Delete
    2. Does that mean the dentist was closed !!!

      Delete
    3. I am a bit thick CG. You have lost me.

      Delete
  8. Oh dear...I will cross my fingers legs and eyes that Mrs YP does get a ticket.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have had to book two hotel nights (£150 total + petrol and food), if she doesn't get the tickets I will do something very bad that will make the BBC News.

      Delete
  9. What a stupid arrangement YP - I watch it but think I would rather do so from the comfort of my armchair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like I say, in my very humble opinion the ticketing arrangement is a slap in the face for licence payers.

      Delete
  10. Ridiculous way to treat people. I hope Mrs Pudding manages to get a ticket but I personally wouldn't go through that palaver. I shall be back in the UK just in time to watch the last show, if I can stay awake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When Hull City reached the FA Cup Final in 2014, I queued for twelve hours to get my tickets. Bloody mad! Both me and the ticketing system.

      Delete
  11. I had no idea this happened, so thanks for the enlightenment. Personally, I think it's better to see it on TV in terms of what you can actually see (the same with football matches, royal weddings and other big events) but then you don't get all the atmosphere of the real thing. Hope Mrs P gets her tickets and the weather on the day is clement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you ADDY. I shall drive her down to Borehamwood. She will sit in the back wearing white gloves, waving in a regal manner to the Hertfordshire people.

      Delete
    2. Are you going to hire a Roller with the registration plates HRH 1 - just for the occasion?

      Delete
    3. If you come down my road I shall be sure to wave back!

      Delete
    4. Stand by a muddy puddle Frances and we will splash you with royal water. Oh and CG, of course we will be going down there to The South in my sleek-silver "Clint".

      Delete
  12. To make the best out of a bad situation, you don't have to go to the show. That should be worth something. Good luck to Mrs Pudding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am NOT going to the show but I shall be transporting Lady Pudding down there Red.

      Delete
  13. Horrible process .... and expensive too. Guess they don't want any no shows on the night !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's right. They are just seeing things from their perspective.

      Delete
  14. Even if it were a show I'd love to watch at home (which I don't, not the German equivalent and not the British one when I'm in England), I'd never put up with all that hassle just to be part of the "Chosen Ones".
    Still, it seems to matter an awful lot to the true fans, and so I hope for Shirley that she and your daughter will be part of the audience in the studio.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your moral support Meike.

      Delete
  15. Good luck with the sleeping bag idea! I would like to tell you that it is warmer " down south" but our little weather station is reading - 5.2 at the moment! I wish her luck with getting tickets…..the final show….how good would that be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you still wearing summer shorts and sandals down there Frances?

      Delete
    2. Thermals, hat, and scarf with warmest coat this morning !

      Delete
    3. An alluring outfit which will have caused masculine hearts to race.

      Delete
  16. What a bunch of bollocks! yet another reason for me to despise these "reality" shows. But I do hope Mrs. Pudding gets her golden ticket, it would be such a waste if she were one of the unlucky half.

    ReplyDelete
  17. "What a bunch of bollocks!" sounds like a coarse expression from northern England. Thanks for your moral support Chris.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It's not really my kind of thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well that is a huge surprise Terry. I thought you were a glitter ball kind of bloke.

      Delete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.