AS Strictly Come Dancing reaches the half-way stage it’s fascinating to see who is at the top of the leader board.

Debbie McGee at 59 is showing the country that you don’t have to be young and lissom to shine in the nation’s most popular dancing competition. She and dance partner Giovanni Pernice, aged 27, scored the first perfect four 10s of the competition on Saturday – prompting notoriously difficult judge Craig Revel Horwood to leave his seat on the judges’ podium, kneel down and “worship” her!

Debbie is not a trained dancer but is plainly very fit, “bendy” as judge Bruno Tonioli remarked, and really understands the work ethic.

Before Strictly, she was better known as the late magician Paul Daniels’ assistant and wife and for being lampooned on Mrs Merton’s TV show.

Strictly has not only shown the nation that Debbie is a rare talent but also that fifty-somethings can excel in competitions like this. She’s up against strong challenges for the glitterball, but I really hope she wins.