Hosted by Diversity frontman Ashley Banjo, FLIRTY DANCING is pure, unadulterated cheese, with the cheer and charm amped up to 11.

Does the world need another reality dating show? No
Does the world need another reality dance show? I think not.
Does the world need a reality dance dating show? Absolutely.


You don’t need to be glued to the 10 o’clock news to figure out that the world’s been a bit...tense lately. So if you’ve just about had it with feel bad soaps and mean-spirited reality TV - you may not realise that what you need is a double dose of feelgood foxtrotting to remind you that joy is alive and well in the world.

Flirty Dancing takes two total strangers, teaches them specially choreographed steps (separately) before whacking them together for the dance of a lifetime.  Based on three minutes of flirty dancing - no speaking allowed - our couples must decide whether or not they want to see each other again.

Banjo makes a good case for using a “love at first dance” approach of matching two strangers and seeing if there’s any chemistry - it’s what our parents used to do after all. And as one dater suggests, if you dance well together, chances are you’ll find you do other stuff well together too.

The premise is daft, but somehow irresistible. In the first episode, Luke and Dan are the stars, shimmying and shaking their way through a scrumptious sequence set to Sigrid’s “Strangers”. Guaranteed to make your heart swell and your tear ducts well up, it’s an adorable scene that wouldn’t look out of place in a Love, Actually sequel.

And if you’re worried whether that much sugary viewing will rot your teeth and your brain, Flirty Dancing still has an accidental sting in its tail. The first couple, Hannah and James, describe themselves and their perfect partners in excruciating detail. Having established themselves as repellently alpha and not a little vain, the viewer (and half of Twitter) is left feeling they deserve each other for all the wrong reasons. Nonetheless, their speechless rooftop rendez-vous is still the stuff of hopeless romantics’ dreams, albeit with better shoes…

If I haven’t mentioned Ashley or his team of choreographers, it’s because they are, rightly, not the stars of the show. Their choreography, tailored to each couple (all amateurs) - is vital to the show. Though it’s all about our lovelorn singletons, willing to put themselves on the line for a shot at love. The sets are stunning with the first tantalising two-step taking place at the top of a castle with swooping aerial views, before Dan and Luke run amok in an art gallery after hours.

So yes, Flirty Dancing might be cheesier than a disco themed fondue party - but it’s also exactly what the world needs right now. Pure and unfiltered romance that will warm you from the inside out.

- Watched on C4. 10/01/2019