Why I can’t watch Strictly Come Dancing

A badly dressed white man stands tall and proud against the background of Scottish moorland.
RIP Doddie Weir – A life to aspire to…
27 November 2022
A profile pic of me, a white middle-aged wheelchair user. Mouth wide open and a green Mohican. In one hand is a lit sparkler. In the other a half drunk glass of champagne. I’m wearing a nonsense load of silly clothes.
My New Year’s Evolutions
1 January 2023
A pre black tie event from 30 years ago. Left me, from shoulders up. Looks like I have mousse in my hair. Right, my then girlfriend, wearing a purple dress. Her eyes are obscured by some rubbish editing.

Me and a mystery girl, yesterday…

Nope, not because of the sparkly glitz, not because of the hype, not because we’re in the umpteenth series.

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time I wasn’t disabled. 30 years ago and counting. Once upon a time I wasn’t married. 23 years and counting. Don’t tell Mrs W, but I had other girlfriends last century. Shhh…

Even further back in time, I took time out before university to travel. Time in Czechoslovakia. Ski bumming (French Alps). Holiday and ski repping (French and Swiss Alps, Canary Islands)..

A profile pic of me, circa 1988, in Avoriaz. I am very suntanned, wearing a blue and yellow Inghams ski jacket. I think I may be tipsy.

A tipsy Inghams ski rep, yesterday


Needless to say, I had a bloody amazing, snogtastic time. And when I finally arrived at Uni (Manchester apparently), I had two things on my mind. Girls and booze. Study? Sod that.

So I joined two societies to cover my needs. Wine Society. Tick for the booze. And ballroom dancing. Correctly calculating I would be in the minority as a male. Tick for the girls. I soon added the Rock n’ Roll Dance Society to further cover off the girls. I was pretty disgraceful. But young!

I got pretty good at the dancing, even representing the Uni in the Lambada of all things. My girlfriend’s espadrille fell off in the semi-final to put paid to that particular honour.

Fast forward a few years and I met and fell instantly in love with my wife. From first kiss to marriage was just 11 months. She loved dancing and partying and I could still hold my own, even though my balance and spatial awareness – sober or not – were starting to fade as MS crept up on me.

Jo has coped wonderfully well with my diagnosis and the progression of my illness. ‘We have MS’, she says. I have found cunning, fun replacements for the various activities I am now deprived of. Wheelchair Rugby, adrenaline nonsensing wherever I can find it.

But sadly there is just no replacement for dancing with my wife. Slow and smoochy, ballroom, or bangin’ 80’s toons with a half glass of wine in my hand. Sigh…

It breaks my heart, and I know it does hers. I have come to terms with so much of my disability, and with my future disease progression. But random, impromptu dancing with the love of my life? I can’t bear that will never happen.

And that extends to sitting down to watch Strictly. It’s just too raw. Meh. Sod Multiple Sclerosis.





  1. Elizabeth Murby says:

    Cheers Mark, I love reading your tweets, of purse, I suffer from MS too, diagnosed August 1988. Use ‘ nappies overnight, though Imanage
    not to pee overnight.

    Keep gooing, the word needs your positivity, Right there with you! 🤗

  2. Elizabeth Murby says:

    Keep posting please Mark 🤗

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