Strictly Queen

The Strictly Queen

Starring Humphrey Bogart as Len Allnut

Katherine Hepburn as Rosie Bussell….

After 1914 dance offs, the producers at jungle Bush thought the formula of the judge decision making needed wider if not more intellectual analysis but the captain of the show-booth-boat Len ‘Walnut’ Allnut could not come to terms with this idea. He being from the ‘say it as it is’ ‘a spade is a shovel’ side of the street. However, the person they chose to add glamour poise and wonderful diction to the format was Rosie Bussell a stylish lady from the Royal Ballet scene that would certainly project an air of elegance and grace and was a far departure from the tried and well tested formula that the public were used to.

The judge’s captain known as the old dependable Len was Cockney born and bred who Miss Rosie persisted in calling Mr Allnut on account of him leaving pickled walnut shells all over the boothboat floor, and in return called her Rosie Cheeks. It was clear that both were from opposite ends of the dance floor spectrum. The usual plan was to reach that great Black Pool and for this event Len insisted upon introducing a new rough street dance to the routines called ‘The Louisa’ but Miss Rosie made it absolutely clear that she intended to ‘sink that Louisa! Len thought this was a nonstarter for strictly to him, was more Old Bull and Shepherds Bush rather than strictly ballet points.

He didn’t think either that Rosie would stand the course to reach this Black Pool. He explained to her that the large catalogue of dance routines and the course of the show was more like a long journey along a river with rough and rapid patches with the judge boothboat being fired at from all sides and Miss Rosie, with her refined background and hymn singing Roedean upbringing would not stand the pace, especially when she requested on her first arrival to Len: ‘I find it most difficult to climb into the boatbooth Mr. Allnut!. He suggested that the best thing to do would be to dress down in jeans or something so to climb aboard. He had explained to her that the long dancing voyage could be risky with attacks at times from Australian Deadwood sharks, and other like beasties. She was completely undeterred.

It was rumoured that Len had a cache of gin hidden within the booth boat so to visit between takes but secretly Miss Rosie discarded this to the displeasure of Len ‘we shall have no impurities in the Boothboat Mr. Alnut ok yah, ‘ said she. A puritanical fusspot who’s getting on my wick, thought Len. Before the cast off for the first show Rosie was in the boothboat thoroughly cleaning out all the cans and items that had accumulated there from previous voyages.

Len welcomed the new line up of celebrities by saying ‘this line up is the best ever, and one couple is definitely going to win this year! Miss Rosie was determined from the beginning to reach that huge lake of uncertainty called lake Black Pool with its hidden depths via this uncharted river and territory, swamps, waterfalls and dangers. Len thought she was dippy for wanting to do this but she said ‘we must reach there so to torpedo the XFactor yah Mr. Allnut yah? Mid voyage the special obligatory mega star from America pulled out at short notice so Len jumped quickly into the space to perform his famous look-a-like skit on Dick Van Dyke’s Step in Time roof dance from Mary Poppins saying to Miss Rosie ‘this is what dancing in Strictly Queen was really all abaht! But Rosie then countered with a classic solo performance from Swan Lake (not Black Pool) to which Len awarded her a tutu 2 paddle.

Miss Rosie irritated Len with her constant yahs and her questions addressed to Mr. Allnut, to which he always replied ‘I’m still here ma’am, there’s nowhere else to go in a 20ft boothboat’. But, as the voyage through jungle Bush continued week by week, little by little the relationship between the two opposite ends of the dance spectrum began to thaw and get slowly warmer. Miss Rosie said; ‘Len makes my knees tremble… he is such a gentleman at heart, so suave really and with that cheeky glint in his eye. I have that feeling when with him that you get on your first date’. Len also was chuffed saying ‘Rosie you inspire the best of me, you are a fire cracker, a real clarsee gal! Just the one we needed to give the show that class appeal. Yes, we will sink the Louisa and a couple of jars together or in your case fine Beaujolais!’





Author: Tom Sandow

born into showbusiness - full life entertaining, management, agency, engager of acts and artistes - show producer presenter.