August 26, 2009

Strictly Come Tufnell

Martin Williamson





Darren Gough and dance partner Lilia Kopylova after winning the Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special © BBC
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Cricketers have an excellent record when it comes to the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, a talent show which pairs B and C-list celebrities with professional dancers. In 2005 Darren Gough was the winner and a year later Mark Ramprakash took the title.

However, the chances of a hat-trick appeared to have all but disappeared with the news that this autumn’s series includes former England spinner turned career geezer, Phil Tufnell. Although his post-playing career burgeoned when he won another show - I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here - this one relies more on suppleness and footwork and less on the ability to eat jungle grubs and lark about.

Newspaper reports claim that Tufnell is being paid £30,000 to participate.

Joining him will be a range of individuals from the world of sport and entertainment, including former world champion boxer Joe Calzaghe, five-times tennis grand-slam winner Martina Hingis, retired jockey Richard Dunwoody, and the usual rabble of current and former soap stars.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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