Archive for November, 2008

Modesty that is politically calculating.

John Sergeant’s decision to exit BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing
indicates that he hasn’t lost a step.

For ten weeks, Sergeant endured the televised dance competition’s judges telling him he was “outstanding at dancing really badly” and
his steps were “absolutely dreadful.”

The British public watching Striclty on Saturday nights felt
otherwise. The judges repeatedly gave Sergeant and his dance
partner Kristina Rihanoff low marks and the voting viewers elected
for both to continue dancing.

Not a Dancer but Tough to Thwart

Maybe Sergeant doesn’t have dancing feet, but they are battle
hardened. In 1990 he planted them outside the British Embassy
steps in Paris, determined to speak to then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on the end of her premiership.

Again his timing missed. Thatcher’s aids intercepted him, pushing him away from her. But, he soldiered on.

Sergeant understood that showing he was pushed illustrated
Thatcher’s difficulties better than anything she could say. The British Press Guild agreed, awarding him most memorable broadcast for

So when Judge Bruno Tonioli said Sergeant’s execution of the Fox
Trot made him look like an “old fox running out of tricks,” he and the other judges probably didn’t realize that Sergeant was about to out
fox them.

Lovable Leader

Throughout the competition, his thick skin and humility, both
attributes he had as a political journalist, inspired many in the
British public to march in the Sergeant’s army.

Lorraine Kelly wrote for the Sun that a person “could have a right good old belly laugh with him over a plate of steak pie
and chips washed down with a glass or two of ale.”

At the Queen’s Head, a pub on Pinner’s High Street, one of the establishment’s regulars, John Furniss, recently commented over a
pint of ale that he thinks Sergeant would be a good addition to the
local troop of Morris Dancers.

“He’s got the right shape for it,” Furniss said. “He looks like he could
put a few pints away.”

Morris Dancing is a form of English folk dancing with different
standards than ball room dancing seen on Strictly.

Smart Exit Strategy

Despite the loyalty from a saluting British public, Sergeant was still
an intelligent operator who realized he was leading the troops off a

He commented on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two that he was concerned that some might allege he “somehow manipulated the audience” and for doing this “he’s a horrible person.”

Sergeant’s comments reveal the genius of his exit. His statements showed humility, determination and this time his timing was flawless.

His and Kristina Rihanoff’s final dance on the show, a farewell waltz played the public again.

Dancing to Come Away With Me by Norah Jones seemed to fit a
final performance. After the waltz, Sergeant and Rihanoff received a standing ovation.

Sergeant took the momentum of these applause to stick his final
jab at the judges joking that their remarks had helped him gain
public support.

“That’s from the heart you know that,” Sergeant added.

Like he had stated before his final performance, Sergeant was
leaving the party “before the fight starts.”

His decision to leave and what he said made him appear to be a
nice guy leaving the abuse of a bunch bullies or as the Daily
Tony Parsons, called them “spiteful nobodies…spewing their poison.”

The legacies of all involved here are not likely to be lived down
anytime soon.


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It’s not a race. It’s a challenge.

I spent a weekend in Leicestershire a couple
of weeks ago where I ran the Seagrave Wolds Challenge.

This challenge is a route through Leicestershire’s countryside
that begins and ends in Seagrave, a town of about 500 people.

Participants can either run or walk the course.

The route is through the mud instead of paved roads.
It’s a better way to see the English countryside.

Event volunteers provide all the tea and
home made cakes a person could consume.

Challennge organizers told me the course was 16
miles but it turned out to be closer to 17.

I had a great time and want to thank my hosts
John and Jenny Hardy who let me stay at their home
the night before the event.

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View from my window Sunday November 24, 2008.

View from my window Sunday November 24, 2008.

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Stannard Preview

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Tough Class

Online began today and David said that in the second semester “you will die!”

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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