THERE is always a lot of love in the room from Strictly fans when this dazzling powerhouse of a show rolls into town.

This year, the cast looked genuinely touched by the reception from a crowd which was raring to go from the off.

First up was Channel 4 newsreader Krishnan Guru-Murthy, with professional partner Jowita Przystal, likened to ‘Jack and Victor doing the slosh’ by Mr Nasty judge (and the show’s director), Craig Revel Horwood, to the delight of the audience.

From that point on, no joke was too cheesy, no Scottish reference too cliched, it was just non-stop fun, glamour and hilarity. (That Barbie group dance? There are no words.)

Glasgow Times: The Barbie group dance was a hitThe Barbie group dance was a hit (Image: Marc Brenner)

The judges were in a particularly giddy mood, with stylish host Janette Manrara having to sternly rein them in on more than one occasion.

Anton du Beke, in particular, wittered on charmingly about everything from his sporran to hair transplants and hip replacements. For a confusing moment, it seemed Shirley Ballas was about to deliver a topical Glasgow culture joke when she announced she had become a ‘glam-mother’ with the birth of her new grandson.

“He is called Banksi,” she said, proudly. The crowd waited for the punchline, but this is, in fact, true – little Banksi-with-an-i-Wylde-with-a-y-Ballas was born late last year – and nothing to do with THAT exhibition which created a stir in the city last year.

Series winner Ellie Leach and her partner Vito Coppola dazzled in the paso doble and the American smooth, while fellow finalist and nation’s sweetheart Bobby Brazier instantly charmed the audience with his hip-shaking samba and glorious Viennese waltz alongside partner Dianne Buswell.

Glasgow Times: Bobby Brazier and Dianne BuswellBobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell (Image: Marc Brenner)

Loudest roars of the evening were delivered to the mighty Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin, whose quickstep to Puttin’ on the Ritz didn’t need the multiple backflips to be a sure-fire crowd pleaser; Angela Rippon’s reprise of the “leg extension which broke the internet” amid her cha-cha with Kai Widdrington; and the sultry Argentine Tango from Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu which remains a thing of exquisite beauty.

There was warmth for all the couples, however, especially Annabel Croft, dancing with Graziano di Prima instead of her TV partner Johannes Radebe, who is on his own tour, and Angela Scanlon, who was, kind of, our representative in the absence of any Scots in this year’s line-up.

Glasgow Times: Angela Scanlon and Carlos GuAngela Scanlon and Carlos Gu (Image: Marc Brenner)

“I spotted plenty of wild-eyed redheads out about in Glasgow today, so I do feel like I’m home,” she grinned.

Glasgow Times: The Strictly professionals at workThe Strictly professionals at work (Image: Marc Brenner)

Lobbying for votes, Angela Rippon explained she had Scottish roots (“my grandmother was born in Killiecrankie,” she said, adding apologetically, “and the family moved just up the road to Edinburgh”, while Krishnan, who revealed in the Glasgow Times that his first job was in the city, reminded the crowd of this, to great cheers.

None of it mattered anyway, because Layton and Nikita took the title, their latest of many glitterballs on the tour so far. There were amazing performances from the live singers, backed by Allan Rogers and his band, and Janette was a witty, warm host.

Strictly Live is the antidote to January’s gloom and god-awful weather, it’s joy wrapped up in candy-floss sprinkled with sequins, a slick, professional, big-arena version of the TV show for fans unable to win coveted seats in the Elstree audience. And on Friday night, for a joyful few hours, it belonged to Glasgow.