Strictly Come Dancing is back, and, let’s face it, the quality of celeb is… lacking. These stars, they do not shine bright like a diamond. And yet, so many newspaper articles about them anyway. Because we love dancing! We love it! BBC BBC BBC!

These people are barely famous enough to have Wikipedia articles written about them. But now they have this. A salute to the most awkward press photos of all time. You’re welcome, they’re welcome, everybody is welcome, can I go watch X Factor now?

Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev


Pasha had always regretted failing to listen to his mother when she told him that if the wind changed, his face would stay that way. Facing a perpetually quizzical existence, he found solace in dance, and Rachel. Rachel, who had been kidnapped on her way to tests for MENSA, groped furiously for a wall, an alarm, a hammer, anything which with to beat her way free from the man who looked at her like a math problem, just waiting to be solved. Purely by coincidence, Pasha was in fact contemplating life at this particular moment – life, the universe, and the eternal trickiness of buttons.

Vanessa Feltz and James Jordan

"Where's the ring? DO WE HAVE TO DO THIS EVERY TIME?"
“Where’s the ring? DO WE HAVE TO DO THIS EVERY TIME?”

This is not the way James had pictured his life turning out. Always a lover of nature, he had intended to spend his days in the Amazonian rainforest, inspecting the undersides of beetles. Unfortunately, due to bedroom-tax-induced-poverty, his father sold him into slavery at the age of 14 and a half, where he found himself the property and chattel of a blonde battle-axe. “Dance, Monkey Boy!” she ordered, as she grasped him by the collar and whirled him through the air like the leaves of the jungle in a storm. “Dance!”

Ola Jordan and Ashley Taylor Dawson

I thought you were a model... Isn't this your JOB?
I thought you were a model… Isn’t this your JOB?

Rumour is not always correct, and fairytales do not always come true. After battling through thickets of thorns and brick walls and a number of insomniac butlers, Ashley discovered to his horror that his hard-won Sleeping Beauty would not awaken. Faced with the prospect of internet-dating, he did the only thing he could do – he made her his girlfriend anyway. Disregarding all questions surrounding the issue of informed consent, he took his still-Sleeping Beauty to all family weddings and birthday parties thereafter, laughingly informing enquiring relatives that she’d “had a bit too much to drink” and “would wake up soon”, all the while regretting borrowing his grandfather’s trousers.

Dave Myers and Karen Hauer

Wait, this isn't a bike!
Wait, this isn’t a bike!

It had finally happened. The weight of the hair on his face had reached critical mass, and he was unable to close his mouth. As his chin dropped ever south-ward, Dave began to regret his Battle of the Razor, his decision to Champion All Hair. Karen, attracted by his wide grin and hirsute charm, aped his expression, hoping to find the secret of his joy. Mouths wide, they circled each other, Karen unwilling to close her mouth before Dave did the same with his. Unable to swallow, unable to eat, their mouths opened wider as starvation began to set in.

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