Friday 23 March 2018

One in five Strictly contestants from non-white backgrounds

The eighth celebrity contestant for this series makes the total number of celebrities throughout the show’s history a total of two hundred.

An analysis of Strictly Come Dancing contestants by ethnicity
An analysis of Strictly Come Dancing contestants by ethnicity

By Ian Jones and Grace Rahman, Press Association Reporters

Just one in five of Strictly Come Dancing’s 200 contestants have been from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds or of mixed heritage.

Since the show began in 2004, only 39 non-white celebrities have taken part in the series, according to Press Association analysis.

Strictly Come Dancing’s 200 contestants: by ethnicity. Editable versions of this graphic are available via PA Graphics or your account manager

These have included four of the show’s champions: cricketer Mark Ramprakash, singer Alesha Dixon, gymnast Louis Smith, and last year’s winner, TV presenter Ore Oduba.

A full breakdown of the 200 contestants reveals that 80.5% have been white, 12% non-white and 7.5% mixed race, including the latest celebrity to be announced, former JLS star Aston Merrygold.

The PA’s analysis includes only those people to appear in the proper TV series, and does not include Christmas or charity specials.

BBC handout photo of Ore Oduba during the live final of Strictly Come Dancing in 2016

Some years have been worse than others when it comes to diversity.

In 2004, nine out of the 10 celebrities on the show’s second season were white, with heptathalete Denise Lewis finishing as runner up.

The most diverse series to date was in 2006, when nearly a third (29%) of the 14 competitors were non-white.

Mark Ramprakash during a press conference to announce his retirement from first class cricket

This series included singer and presenter Mica Paris, actor Ray Fearon and DJ Spoony, besides eventual winner Mark Ramprakash.

In recent years the number of ethnic minority contestants has increased steadily from 13% in 2013 to 27% in 2016.

But judge Craig Revel Horwood dismissed reports of racism last year after three of the four non-white contestants, DJ Melvin Odoom, EastEnders actress Tameka Empson and TV presenter Naga Munchetty, were voted out by the public in early rounds.

Press Association

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