Strictly Come Dancing

With the quarter finals set for this weekend, TV presenter Stacey Dooley has been reinstalled as favourite for BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing” competition. William Hill and Paddy Power have both priced a Dooley win at evens.

Dooley’s triumphant Paso Doble on Saturday has pushed her back into a dominant position. The judges scored the performance 39 out of a possible 40, and led an excited Bruno Tonioli to say, “you killed every bull that came into your path – it came in fantastically choreographed.”

Meanwhile, the previous favourite, British YouTube star Joe Sugg, seems to be slipping after a lacklustre street dance which drew mixed reviews from the judges. He is currently available at 7/4.

An outsider to win?

Sugg and Dooley are certainly the contestants to beat, and the odds lengthen considerably further down the field. Third favourite is former popstar Faye Tozer at 8/1, then ex-Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts at 9/1. Athlete Lauren Steadman remains a longshot at 20/1.

However, head judge Shirley Ballas seems to think that the Glitterball trophy will go to one of the outsiders this year. “I think it’s a really level playing field,” Ballas told the One Show, adding, “I do feel it might be an unexpected result, so that much I’ll give you.

Though viewing figures are lower compared to this stage of the competition last year, Strictly, as it’s known to its many fans, remains one of the jewels in the BBC’s crown. Last year four of its episodes were in the top 10 most watched programmes of the year.