On a freezing cold Sheffield evening there’s one thing guaranteed to raise the temperature and, to the delight of a chanting Sheffield crowd, former rugby star Thom Evans dutifully obliged.
The sight of Evan’s rippling spray-tanned six-pack minus his fluorescent pink bolero jacket was enough to draw whoops from his legions of female fans as the Strictly Live tour stopped off at the Motorpoint Arena for a one-night only appearance.
This was a slightly pared down version of the real thing. The familiar overblown and over the top performance from resident judges Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman that perfectly epitomises the camp showbiz appeal of Strictly was replaced by former Strictly professional Camilla Dallerup and her celebrity partner and 2008 winner, Tom Chambers.
But even without a ten from Len it was still fab-u-lous thanks to the just-turned-50 Craig Revel Horwood and host Zoe Ball who sprinkled the evening with her very own stardust.
Simon Webbe, who revealed that his brother, watching in the audience, was a student at one of the city’s universities, gave one of the standout performances of the night with his Argentine Tango.
But highlights for the younger members of the audience were Scott Mills’ pink crab Samba and a group dance to Frozen’s Let It Go.
Current Strictly champ Caroline Flack – dancing with Tristan McManus from the last series instead of Pasha Kovalev – had to make do with the runner up position, despite coming top of the judge’s leader board.
Instead the trophy and the biggest round of applause of the night went to former contestant Rachel Stevens who took to the floor with new partner Kevin Clifton only six days after starting rehearsals, stepping into the shoes of newly-pregnant Frankie Bridge.
“I like a challenge,” she told the Sheffield crowd.