Strictly backlash: BBC hit with complaints over same sex dance and ‘sexist’ language

John Whaite reacts to Nina and Neil being voted off

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The new series of Strictly Come Dancing is well underway, and last Sunday’s instalment saw the first elimination of the dance competition. Last weekend, former EastEnders actress Nina Wadia and Coronation Street star Katie McGlynn were in the bottom two and had to go head-to-head in the dance-off. However, in the end, the judges voted for Katie to stay in the competition, meaning Nina and her dance partner Neil Jones were eliminated.

The remaining 14 celebrities will take to the dance floor this weekend in a bid to impress the judging panel.

However, since the new series began, the BBC has faced backlash from some viewers who complained about its first male same-sex pairing and “sexist” language.

Steph’s Packed Lunch chef, John Whaite and his dance partner Johannes Radebe made show history for being the first male same-sex pairing.

Last year, the BBC series also saw its first-ever female same-sex pairing with boxer Nicola Adams and Katya Jones.

In its most recent complaints report, the BBC confirmed it received 128 viewer complaints about the first episode of Strictly which aired on Saturday, September 25.

The complaints state that some viewers were unimpressed with “blasphemous language” used on the programme.

Others felt that a “same-sex dance partnership is inappropriate”, while some viewers were unhappy with “sexist comments re male contestant”.

However, the broadcaster did not specify what “blasphemous” and “sexist” comments they were referring to when contacted by

John and Johannes got a standing ovation from the judges following their first performance on Strictly.

Motsi Mabuse told them: “There is no need to feel nervous after that performance. No way!

“There are a few things that could have been better. A few tiny things.

“But that was such a superb start to the show. You guys keep going, I have nothing else to say that was brilliant.”

Shirley Ballas continued: “Well I feel like this is a testimony to the same-sex couple.

“It is absolutely exquisite. To go from being a leader to being led is unbelievably difficult.

“You executed just phenomenally well. Beautiful choreography, Johannes. Absolutely stunning.”

John and Johannes were also praised by viewers with many taking to social media to share their thoughts.


Raven penned: “Please can we just give John and Johannes the glitter ball now. They are adorable and so amazing. #Strictly.” (sic)

Ian said: “Two men dancing together on primetime TV and absolutely crushing it. LOVE to see it. John and Johannes for the glitterball.” (sic)

While Helen praised: “I love Johannes and John’s partnership.”

“John and Johannes to win #Strictly please,” Chaz tweeted.

Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturday at 7pm on BBC One.

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