Marie Louise McConville: Strictly 2019 line-up lacking shine and sparkle.... as well as an actual `celebrity'

EastEnders actress, Emma Barton is among the celebrities who will be taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year
Marie Louise McConville

I can't say I'm that impressed.

To be honest, since Love Island came to an end, I've been at a loss TV wise.

For eight weeks, after we got the kids to bed, my evenings were all about Love Island and now I'm having severe reality television withdrawal.

But all is not lost as no sooner had Love Island finished, talk turned to Strictly Come Dancing 2019.

And while it's not exactly my most favourite of all the reality shows, I'll take it as I'm desperate.

However, so far I'm less than impressed with the line-up.

For the last few days, the team behind Strictly have been drip-feeding us the names of the so-called "celebs" who are willing to hit the dance floor and battle it out to win the highly coveted 2019 Glitter Ball trophy.

But I'll be honest, the line-up is less than sparkly.

In fact, there's quite a number I've never heard of and I don't quite understand their `celebrity' status.

These include Emma Thynn, also known as Viscountess Weymouth.

We're told the 33-year-old is an English chef and model.

I'm sorry but who?

She will be joined by YouTube `star', Saffron Barker (again, no idea who she is) and Michelle Visage, from RuPaul's Drag Race, which I don't watch and have never seen - that's not to say those who watch the show aren't delighted to see her added to the line up.

Other contestants include CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual - you've guessed it, I've never heard of this guy or seen him on CBBC.

So, that's four out of four I've never heard of.

Add to this David James, a former England goal keeper and female football star, Alex Scott, both of whom are lost on me as I'm not into footie, and comedian Chris Ramsey, again, I'm in the dark.

It's not all lost though as we do have EastEnders actress, Emma Barton and former Coronation star, Catherine Tyldesley.

I think both of these lovely ladies will be fab but am I really going to sit and watch the whole show just for two contestants?

I wouldn't think so.

I don't know what's happened this year but the list of competitors just feels well below par somehow.

For me, it's missing a certain pzazz.

Obviously there are more famous faces - and I use that term loosely - to be added to the line-up but without a `big name', I'm just not sure 2019 will be as successful as previous years.

Come on Strictly, it's time to add a bit of Cha, Cha, Cha to 2019, otherwise, I'll be waltzing away from Saturday night telly this year.


Oh dear.

While on the one hand I am beyond delighted that a sequel to the fantastic Greatest Showman is in the works, I am not at all enthused by the news that Robbie Williams will reportedly make his acting debut in it.

The former Take That star was offered a part by Hugh Jackman after the pair performed together on stage in London earlier this year.

And we're told the Robbie and Hugh bromance is only going from strength to strength.

For goodness sake Hugh, anyone but Robbie please.

I just don't think he is the right match for our Greatest Showman family.



Summer is in full flow so how do you fancy winning a family pass to to the 28th Bluegrass Music Festival at the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh?

The popular event returns to the museum this summer for an unforgettable weekend of world-class Bluegrass, Americana and Old-Time music from Friday, August 30 to Sunday, September 1.

Headlining the three-day festival this year, direct from the USA, is the multi-award-winning Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers.

Other acts hailing from the USA include Front Country, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, Bill & The Belles and Hoot & Holler.

They will be joined by European acts, including the Paris Texas Band, from Belgium, and The Buffalo Gals and Dr Bluegrass, from England.

Taking it home will be a host of the best home grown talent from across Ireland.

Further details about the event are available online at

I have one family pass to give away to the 28th Bluegrass Music Festival on Saturday, August 31.

If you fancy winning a pass, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to

Closing date for entries is 12 noon on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.

(Q) The Ulster American Folk Park is located in which Northern Ireland town?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply


The winners of the Once Upon A Time in Hollywood competition are Cormac Walls, from Belfast, John Donnelly, from Newtownabbey and Eileen McGrady, from Newcastle.

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