‘Ballsmania’ grips strictly come dancing audiences

Ed Balls has won the nation's hearts on Strictly
Ed Balls has won the nation's hearts on Strictly

There’s a new craze sweeping the nation; Ballsmania Somehow, Ed Balls, the ex-Labour MP, has cast a spell over our hearts with his dodgy-dad style dancing. Even the formidable journalist, Janet Street-Porter, was powerless to resist Ed’s charms when he appeared on Loose Women recently.

She admitted she had a soft spot for him. And she’s not the only one who has developed a ‘weird crush’ on Balls. Ed is number 16 in Heart FM’s weird crush rankings, Mumsnet branded him a ‘sexy beast’ and many of my Facebook friends have admitted to inexplicably falling for him. Somehow, Ed ‘Spangles’ Balls has managed to dance his way into the nation’s hearts.

I have lost count of how many times I’ve watched Ed cha cha cha to Love Potion No 9 on YouTube. There is just something inherently joyful about watching his little legs go like the clappers in his white ensemble as he mouths; ‘Oh Ah’ along with the music. You can’t help but love the way he has embraced the Strictly experience. It’s plain to see that he’s putting a lot of work into the dances, even though he may not be the best competitor, he is certainly the one most of us are tuning in to watch on a Saturday night.

He forgets his moves, he put his dance partner’s life in mortal peril when he attempted to lift her, but whether he’s dressed in shining armour as he paso dobles to Holding Out for a Hero, or adorned in florescent yellow with a green face as he performs an insane samba, we can forgive him anything. I don’t want my Strictly Balls experience to end.

Ed Balls is genuinely a nice man, as I found out when he helped me with my charity book for Alzheimer’s: The House That Built Me. He wrote a lovely piece about growing up in a village in an upside-down, topsy-turvy house that was built the wrong way around. By his own admission he was a little imp as a child, perhaps that’s what many of us are now attracted to, that boyish charm that still radiates from him. We don’t know why many of us are strangely drawn to Ed, but it’s clear Balls is having a total ball in the ballroom and it’s totally infectious.

Perhaps there’s something about a man dancing that awakens an attraction in us.

Another favourite from Strictly 2014 who has topped the weird crush poll for the past two years, is EastEnders actor, Jake Wood.

The Weird Crush poll is an alternative to the Sexist Male lists, and claims to honour the world’s most unconventionally sexy men.

Previous winners have included Jeremy Clarkson and Pointless co-host Richard Osman. I can see the attraction with Richard because he’s very funny, but I’m afraid Clarkson leaves me cold.

Jake Wood however, whom I didn’t warm to in Eastenders, alighted a strange attraction in me when I watched him on Strictly. As I viewed him Salsa to Mambo No5, something inside sat up and took notice (watch it on Youtube, I defy you to be unimpressed by those snake hips!)

German scientists have officially proven that women prefer men who can dance.

In studies, women couldn’t take their eyes of men with fancy foot work and later describe them as attractive and masculine.

For those who weren’t so good in the dance department, the women still found them attractive because they were making the effort. In fact, many of the women found the men who weren’t such accomplished dancers, but who were having a go anyway, just as charming as the good dancers.

There’s usually an underlying reason why we develop a weird crush on people, whether it’s their fancy moves, sense of humour or willingness to make a fool of themselves, we all have inexplicable crushes we’re slightly embarrassed to admit to.

It’s glaringly obvious why we’re attracted to the likes of Poldark’s Aidan Turner, but sometimes our crushes defy logical explanation.

Along with my liking for Ed Balls, I also have a thing for Alan Sugar.

I’ve always had odd taste in men. My first crush was on Fleegle from The Banana Splits, he was a giant, guitar-playing dog, now that’s a weird crush, and rather worryingly, I actually do still find him strangely attractive.