Country mouse on Strictly Come Dancing

We’ve just had our Vicar of Dibley moment. A few weeks ago, I mentioned in this column that we had gone to see the Jubilee Choir in church, dragging our children away from Strictly Come Dancing. Next, someone in the BBC reads the article and decides that he wants to come and film the church for the show.

Everyone is abuzz. Serious decisions are made. The production of the parish magazine is put back to include the event. Men who have never seen the show are forced to watch by their wives and given tutorials on the quickstep by their children. The bellringers put in an extra practice session.

Eventually, St Mary’s Church, Herriard, is ready for the film crew. Adrian, who collects the milk for my wife’s Tunworth cheese each morning before morphing into Hampshire’s finest driving instructor, is interviewed first, but denies any knowledge of the show.

The BBC man turns pale, but another campanologist comes to the rescue and the shoot, as the BBC likes to put it, is ‘in the can’.

Finally, it’s Saturday night, the village pub is deserted everyone is glued to their television. The whole piece lasts an entire second.