Sleb Safari: Strictly Come Dancing mistreatment claims

Fern Britton and Artem Chigvintsev were paired together in Strictly Come Dancing in 2012 and Fern says her partner was “teeth and muscle” and not much else

SLEB Safari’s Google alert for Strictly Come Dancing was on fire over the weekend what with all the whining about the show from former contestants.

The first ping from Sleb Safari’s swanky new Nokia 6110 related to Fern Britton, who is most definitely not to be confused with yoof presenter Fern Cotton.

Fern (Britton, to be clear) was having a pop at Artem Chigvintsev who she was paired with back in the mists of time in 2012.

“He would look at my feet and just kick me or shove me,” she told an event organised by The Times. Sleb Safari doesn’t want to fan the flames but perhaps your feet weren’t in the right place Fern.

She said her professional partner was wont to say “Shut your face. Go home before I kill you” which Sleb Safari will concede is perhaps not the way one would wish to be spoken to when one is, to all intents and purposes, at work.

Fern continued: “I would say, ‘Oh please just kill me, it would be easier’. Or what was his other one? ‘If you go for a cup of tea now, I will blow off like an atomic bomb.’”

Then, in a nod to the BBC lawyers, she added: “We did love each other for a moment or two but he wasn’t charm personified.”

“I did kind of enjoy it but it was grim at the same time.”

Artem in turn says the claims have come as a surprise.

"I believe I treated Fern with respect and genuine care, and these claims about me are the opposite of everything I believe in and the person I am."

After Fern had her say Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace weighed in on his Strictly experience.

“I didn’t enjoy it in any way, shape or form,” he told The Mirror. “Well, apart from the last day on the final.”

"I really enjoyed dancing on the final and I enjoyed the practising and the physical side of it, I liked that, but performing something that I wasn’t good at? No. I hated it. Absolutely hated it."

Gregg also doesn’t feel he was paid enough for the “hell” he was put through.

"I was so bad my face broke out in cold sores, that’s how stressed I was. It was incredible, I’d never experienced anything like it. I was in tears on the second week."

Well, well, well. This is a classic case of celebrity contestant cruelty and Sleb Safari would like it noted that it will never watch another episode of Strictly ever again. Unless it’s at someone else’s house on a Saturday night and that person asks Sleb Safari what it would like to watch. That’s how seriously Sleb Safari is taking this humanitarian crisis.


SJP lays down some wedding rules

IT'S rare that Sleb Safari finds its eye drawn to a wedding magazine (it didn't even bother with them in the run up to its own nuptials) but when a seated Sarah Jessica Parker is on the front cover wearing a gorgeous full skirt and looking lovely Sleb Safari was a goner.

SJP has created her own range of bridal shoes and is fizzing with excitement about it in this month's Martha Stewart Weddings. Sarah Jessica wore black when she married Matthew Broderick in 1997 and tells the magazine that she'd do it differently if she were to do it all over again.

“If I were getting married today, I’d likely wear cream, just to have that bridal experience. Now I would want my dress to have an Oscar de la Renta feel, pockets below the waist, a very fitted bodice, a huge skirt, in taffeta or duchesse satin. That silhouette appeals to me because it’s old-fashioned yet can look very modern.”

She also has some advice for bridesmaids. “It’s incumbent upon anyone who is included in a bridal party to wear what the bride wants – to make it work and not complain. It’s the couple’s day, and it’s an honor to be part of it.”

Sleb Safari can't help but wonder what SJP made her bridesmaids wear.


Johnny Depp on a charm offensive

DISGRACED dog smuggler and Hollywood actor Johnny Depp is on a charm offensive in Australia the likes of which the country hasn't seen since the last election.

To recap, Depp was warned by the Australian authorities a few weeks ago that if he didn't remove the pet dogs he'd brought into the country illegally they'd been put down and now he's on a mission to win over the nation while filming yet another unnecessary installment of Pirates of the Caribbean. To that end he is hugging grannies, waving at strangers and kissing babies but by the look on this baby's face he's still in Australia's bad books.


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