I picture him at home, getting ready for training – ironing his slacks with shoulders slumped; pulling on his smart V-neck and wondering if he can just hide there inside his jumper for the next four weeks; looking at himself in the mirror as he straightens his tie, pale and hollow-cheeked, questioning whether he can paint the smile on again for yet another day. But of course he can, because he is Anton Du Beke and that is What He Does.
I'm extrapolating slightly.
Do the judges always score the EastEnders stars so kindly? Perhaps Len is angling for a part as the next Frank Butcher/Archie Mitchell gentleman gangster - all twinkly eyes, sovereign ring and Costa Del Tan.
After this diversion, Katya and Gavin are doing the jive – a dance which is fast, athletic and doesn't require a huge amount of emotion. Right up Gavin's strasse, you might think.
Not so much as it turns out.
In training, Katya is trying to get Gavin to express his emotions because, according to Gavin, there's too many of them in his brain, and he needs to get them out so that the steps can go in. I'm fascinated by the 'one in, one out' door policy of the thoughts in Gavin's head. "Alright, my brain, I'll swap you a nervous embarrassment for a swinging Katya around my head."
Unfortunately, the emotions Gavin is expressing seem to be those of a 13-year-old. For example, 'The jive is a STUPID dance and I HATE IT.'
After they've floundered their way through the dance (I think it's fair to say that Gavin has plateaued), Len tells him we all have to do things we don't like. His mum used to dress him in an angora beret when he was little. I never knew that Len was secretly Our Rita, Johnny Briggs' sister. (Thanks to Len for providing this week's 80s TV reference, so that I don't have to.)
If you're Aliona, you choreograph an incredibly bizarre 'story' dance that - unforgivably – makes you think of the rumba when it's NOT EVEN A RUMBA. You will make Matt wear a terrible 'blousony' shirt that matches your hair, and have him pull excruciating 'I'm in love! I'm in pain! I'm in love!' faces throughout. Matt starts and finishes on the floor, which makes me think he's meant to be dead. I wonder if this is what he was wishing for when Aliona first showed him the steps. At the end, he bangs his fists on the ground in anger/pain/frustration/it's anyone's guess really. I'm not sure if that's actually in the choreography. Aliona says the dance is about 'a struggle in New York'. Aliona, finding a nice hotel room in Manhattan for under £100 is 'a struggle in New York'. This dance is not.
Matt looks deeply embarrassed during the judges' lukewarm comments, like he just wishes he was in a field in the dark in County Durham birthing a sheep, even if it is -10º outside. Matt's lovely wife in the audience has a face that says 'You! Red! Why are you making my husband look like a TOTAL moron?'