IF you are one of the millions of fans who feel a sense of emptiness on a Saturday evening because there is not a rumba, foxtrot or sequin to be found on the TV, then a night of dancing action in the flesh is the perfect tonic.

The dance craze phenomenon that is “Strictly” is on the road again and if you love the on-screen squabbles of judges Len, Bruno, Arlene and Craig and the drama and passion of celebrity/professional couples such as current champions Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup then this show is a guaranteed treat.

Although the large MEN Arena might not automatically spring to mind as the perfect venue for the Quickstep or the Rumba, the energy and fun of the show shines through and is infectious.

The audience — who ranged from young children to grandmas and granddads — absolutely loved it.

Particular highlights on the night were Rachel and Vincent’s Rumba and Jill and Darren’s Jive. The appearance of stars from previous series, including Jill Halfpenny and Gethin Jones, also added to the enjoyment.

Julian Clary was hilarious and the camp commentary of judges Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revell Horwood had the audience in stitches.

The Manchester audience agreed with the judging panel and crowned Rachel and Vincent the champions on the night.

The “Strictly” bandwagon is showing no signs yet of getting de-railed and long may it continue!

Jackie Longbottom

Runs until Sunday. Tickets priced £35, £42.50 and £55. Enquiries and booking line 0800 847 800 or ticketmaster.co.uk