Thursday, November 20, 2008

Public anger over John Sergeant leaving Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing: BBC message board closed as fans revolt over John Sergeant The BBC is facing one of the biggest revolts in its history over John Sergeant's decision to quit Strictly Come Dancing with 170,000 messages on its website. The number of comments posted on the website is unprecedented. It outstrips comments left following controversies such as the Baby P child cruelty case, the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand phone call fiasco and even the terror attacks of 7/7. I can't believe how this light entertainment television show is taking on such huge importance. It's absurd! I wish people could get this worked up over more serious issues. It would seem that a huge segment of the British population has gone slightly mad and lost any sense of priorities. All this outrage over a celebrity who voluntarily quit! It's quite scary to think this has become such a huge story and it has snowballed into such a brouhaha. What next? Well, there is this incredible news: A cabinet minister has called for the judges of Strictly Come Dancing to be sacked following John Sergeant's decision to quit the BBC One show. It seems like this story is going to grow and grow. What a mess. I love "Strictly Come Dancing" but all this fuss is beginning to spoil the fun aspect of the show, at least for me. Thoughts?


  1. I'm very annoyed over this too. As you say, this was supposed to be light-hearted public entertainment. However, it is the *contestants* who have started taking it too seriously! Perhaps they think that winning the show will somehow boost their careers. Goodness knows.

    John Sergeant on the other hand is a real gentleman and someone the British public has taken to heart. He was clearly enjoying himself and entertaining us all. In my opinion, it may have been the attitude of the judges and his fellow contestants' towards him that finally made him decide to leave. This is what is causing so much anger.

    This is a matter of principle. The judges particularly should be ashamed of the way they treated John--they are completely out of touch with the public. This new three strikes rule also reflects the BBC's authoritarian philosophy (e.g. on ITV's X-Factor, if there is deadlock on the panel, they defer to the public vote; on BBC's Strictly, Len has a casting vote.)

    Strictly Come Dancing will never be the same again, and if anyone's career gets a boost out of this, it will be Mr John Sergeant's.

  2. Sorry, just one more point: John Sergeant's exit seems to prove that peer pressure and downright bullying does in fact work. What does that say to our children?

  3. Daniel, I agree that some of the celebrities and some of the professional dancers (and indeed the judges!) do seem to take it all too seriously when it's supposed to be lighthearted family entertainment however I still think all this fuss is way over the top, especially considering that John Sergeant decided to leave the show. He wasn't kicked off. As John quite rightly said the joke was "wearing thin" and other, more accomplished, contestants were being booted out of the show too soon.

    I'd have preferred John not to have quit and for him to have been voted out a few weeks ago but I do think he was wise to quit now. In my opinion, it's the right time for him to leave.

    I don't believe John Sergeant felt pushed into leaving because of the behavior from the judges and/or the other contestants. He knew what he was getting into when he signed up to participate in the show and he probably expected to be voted off fairly quickly.

    With the public voting him through week after week, it was never going to matter how hard the other contestants worked or how talented they were so it rather made a mockery of the part of the show that is intended to be a dance competition.

    I don't believe he felt bullied into quitting but rather that he felt uncomfortable for being voted in week after week and chose to leave because he didn't want to affect the chances for the remaining dancers to win the competition. He is a real gentleman, as you say.

    Unfortunately, I think all this public outrage has hurt the reputation of the show and I agree that Strictly Come Dancing will probably never be tha same again, although I do think the new rules are a good idea.

  4. Wonder if he would have left of his own accord, if his money had been stopped. They all get the same amount whether they are on for one week or the whole series.

    mrs K