Viewers in revolt over 'vulgar' Strictly
THE BBC has been hit by complaints that Strictly Come Dancing has become 'too vulgar'
The BBC has been hit by complaints from Strictly Come Dancing viewers who believe the show has become too vulgar for a family audience.
Robbie Savage’s routine on Saturday night’s programme, complete with Michael Jackson-style hip thrusts, proved a step too far for many - prompting 267 complaints direct to the BBC.
Another contestant, actress Chelsee Healey, suffered a wardrobe malfunction when her low-cut costume slipped to reveal more than she intended.
Fans of the show took to the BBC’s online messageboards to register their disapproval at the “sleazy choreography” and skimpy outfits in a pre-watershed show.
“This change from family viewing to sexually overt television will cause a lot of people with children not to watch in future. It is in no way ‘entertainment’ when watching with the family becomes embarrassing,” said one.
Others urged the BBC to “get back to choreography which all the family can enjoy” and described Savage’s routine as “vulgar, deplorable and completely unnecessary”.
“I remember SCD being recommended as good family viewing when it started. It’s got to the stage now, however, where it’s probably embarrassing for adults and kids alike if they’re watching together. It’s not just the overtly sexual thrusting, but the simulated nudity of some of the females,” said a viewer.
One couple said they watched Saturday’s episode with their grandchildren, aged five and eight, and had to answer uncomfortable questions about Savage’s dancing.
Another viewer advised the producers to view earlier series “to see how far away from the original they have travelled”.
Savage, the former footballer who is now a BBC sports pundit, failed to impress Len Goodman, the veteran judge, who told him: “It was a little bit disconcerting when you kept thrusting your wobbly bits all over the shop.”
On the Strictly website, a fan of the show likened the routine to someone “behaving badly on a boys only holiday in Benidorm”.
Responding to the criticism, a BBC spokesman said: "Robbie danced a paso doble to Michael Jackson's Bad. The choreography emulated some of Michael's famous dance moves and no offence was intended."
In addition to the 267 complaints about Savage's routine, the BBC has received 80 complaints about the series being "too sexy".
Despite the criticism, the series is a ratings success. Saturday’s show attracted 10.2 million viewers, putting it ahead of ITV1’s The X Factor for the first time this year.
Nancy Dell’Olio became the latest celebrity to be voted off the show on Sunday.
Strictly is not the only BBC programme to attract a high volume of complaints in recent days. BBC One’s Panorama documentary about the Dale Farm evictions drew 80 complaints from viewers who felt it was biased in favour of the travellers.