We Dare You To Stop Watching This British Politician Dance To 'Wild Thing' : Monkey See As Philip Reeves reported on Weekend Edition Sunday, British politician Ann Widdecombe is making quite a splash on the UK's celebrity dance show, Strictly Come Dancing.
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Brits Riveted By A Tory On The Dance Floor

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We Dare You To Stop Watching This British Politician Dance To 'Wild Thing'

We Dare You To Stop Watching This British Politician Dance To 'Wild Thing'

Heard On 'Weekend Edition'

NPR's Philip Reeves reports on why Ann Widdecombe is hugely popular despite being an appallingly bad dancer.

Brits Riveted By A Tory On The Dance Floor

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Ann Widdecombe attends the 'Strictly Come Dancing' Season 8 Launch Show at BBC Television Centre on September 8, 2010 in London, England. Stuart Wilson/Getty Images Europe hide caption

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Stuart Wilson/Getty Images Europe

Today on Weekend Edition Sunday, Philip Reeves reported on the current season of Strictly Come Dancing, the UK version of Dancing With The Stars (or, more fairly, DWTS is the U.S. version of Strictly Come Dancing).

As Reeves explains, this season features Ann Widdecombe, a conservative politician often perceived as, he says, a "noisy busybody." Now: she is not a good dancer. In fact, she is really, really not a good dancer, but she has won herself some fans based on the sheer spectacle of her bad dancing which, I have to say, puts to shame most bad dancers that have ever appeared on the U.S. Dancing.

The BBC has been kind enough to offer some video of Widdecombe, including a performance of "Wild Thing" that really must be seen to be believed.

YouTube

I'm also fond of this little boogie to "Mambo Italiano," in which you can actually see her partner counting right in her face.

YouTube

As much as folks are laughing at her, Widdecombe doesn't ultimately come off badly here, in terms of ... well, when it comes to "Wild Thing," you have to be a pretty good sport in order to let somebody drag you around on the floor like that. It's easy to see, based on these two videos, how she might, without any recognizable ability whatsoever, become rather popular, just as Reeves says she has -- with the odds that she'd win rocketing from 100 to 1 to 7 to 1.

Brits Riveted By A Tory On The Dance Floor

Brits Riveted By A Tory On The Dance Floor

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Every western nation seems to have its own TV celebrity dance show these days. Britain has gone one step further. Millions of its inhabitants this weekend are eagerly following the fortunes of a highly unlikely ballroom star, Ann Widdecombe, a 63-year-old former Tory minister known for her outspoken, moralizing views. She's won huge popularity despite being an appallingly bad dancer.

LYNN NEARY, Host:

All Western nations seem to have their own TV talent shows. The British are addicted to them. NPR's London correspondent Philip Reeves spent this weekend watching the tele and he found the British are breaking some surprising boundaries.

PHILIP REEVES: She usually gets dismal scores from the judges, yet every week, the British public has come to her rescue, voting to keep her on the show. On one show, swaddled in pink and sequins, Widdecombe flew in from the rafters on a wire into the arms of her tall, lean partner Anton.

ANN WIDDECOMBE: But if you saw Anton on the dance floor, wouldn't you fly down?

REEVES: On another, the Right Honorable Widders appeared in a billowing gold frock, laid down on the floor and was whirled around by Anton to the tune of "Wild Thing." How the crowd roared.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

REEVES: Philip Reeves, NPR News, London.

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