For the last few years, I’ve had a secret obsession that only my husband knows about, but this year it’s become so bad that I can’t keep my mouth shut.
People, I love Strictly Come Dancing.
For those of you who’ve never heard of it, it’s the British TV show that Dancing with the Stars is based on. Sequins, glamo(u)r…and incredibly talented people learning how to do something they’re not incredibly talented at. What’s not to love?
This year, I can’t take my eyes off Ben Cohen. Those of you who know my books will be unsurprised to hear that he’s a rugby player. One of the all-time greatest English rugby players, in fact.
Watch this video of his dance from two weeks ago and I think you’ll understand why I find him riveting.
When he and his dance partner Kristina finished this dance, one of the judges commented on how nice it was to see a big man being gentle. That’s exactly why I want Ben Cohen to make it to the final and use his massive biceps to hoist the trophy above his very cute head.
There’s another reason, though. Aside from his triumphs on the rugby pitch, he’s also known for the foundation he started, the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, which combats bullying and homophobia. He campaigns for equality and respect; he’s a straight man who’s not afraid of his status as a sex symbol for other men. Those acts make him heroic to me.
He’s also learning how to dance – on national TV – when he’s clinically deaf. Talk about freaking brave.
The judge’s comment about big men being gentle has stayed with me. It struck a chord because I realized how much more I want to see that in life and in popular culture. My husband is 6’3 and the most gentle person I know. The men I write about kick ass (or arse) on the rugby pitch but show patience and kindness off it. The world needs more of that.
Rock on, Ben Cohen. I hope you do really well on Strictly, but more than that I hope your foundation helps society become a kinder, gentler place.
Is anyone else watching Strictly? Who are your favorites? I encourage you to check out the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation this week. And if you need a bit more convincing, here’s Ben’s latest dance. Enjoy. 🙂
Later this week I should be able to share the cover for my Christmas novella, Mine Under the Mistletoe. Not a rugby book, but it is set in London at Christmastime. Trust me, there’s no place more romantic at Christmas!