Bill Bailey has won Strictly Come Dancing 2020.
In a year which has relentlessly sought to grind every last trace of optimism, positivity and joy out of humanity, the metal, punk and prog-loving comedian’s triumph, alongside professional dance partner Oti Mabuse, on the BBC television show is a moment to celebrate.
In previous weeks, Bailey has demonstrated his love of rock on the popular Saturday night entertainment show, having jived to Blondie’s One Way Or Another, pasodoble’d to Metallica-approved composer Ennio Morricone’s theme for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and, in last week’s semi-final, tangoed to Metallica’s Enter Sandman.
The final, shown on BBC1 on December 19, saw Bailey and Mabuse showdance to Queen’s The Show Must Go On (and The Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight), with Bailey rocking out with a fire-spraying replica of Brian May’s iconic Red Special guitar, before being crowned the series champions.
In his (paywalled) weekly diary column for the Telegraph, Bailey said of the Queen anthem: “the song itself has taken on a greater power and significance in light of the current pandemic situation and it’s devastating effect on the live arts, and feels now like an anthem for these times.”
When SCD co-host Claudia Winkleman described the song as “a rallying call”, Bailey agreed, saying: “It was, and I think what we've found out is the restrictions are going to be harder and people are going to be isolated at Christmas.”
"It's not just a song about the arts, this is an anthem about not giving up, keeping hope, getting through this – this is what it is – the show must go on. It's about being strong and getting through all of this."
Elsewhere in the Telegraph, Bailey credits punk rock’s DIY aesthetic for inspiring him to become a comedian.
“I always saw comedy a little bit like that,” he said. “It was like making a life for yourself literally out of your own wits. I didn’t think I’d be cut out for a normal life, whatever that was.”