Strictly: TalkTV debate show being ‘woke’
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The latest Strictly Come Dancing series kicked off with its usual blend of glitz and glam this past Saturday with 15 famous faces taking to the dance floor. However, the BBC show has come under fire by some who claim the series now “ticks boxes” with its line-up – a sentiment put forward by TalkTV host Jeremy Kyle on Wednesday’s Piers Morgan: Uncensored.
Stepping in for the former Good Morning Britain host on his prime-time TalkTV show, Jeremy opened the debate with a scathing rant aimed toward BBC and Strictly bosses.
“So Strictly Come Dancing was once the staple of Saturday night TV with over 10 million people tuning in every week,” he began.
“But there are now claims it has become a ‘box-ticking exercise’ and has become so woke it’s unwatchable.
“From having same-sex couples with absolutely zero chemistry to Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds who has knocked down barriers her whole life, but how will the show’s first contestant with dwarfism be able to perform dances like the tango and the waltz when her dance partner is twice her size?”
Jeremy then took aim at Craig Revel Horwood, claiming the BBC has softened him up from his typical nasty demeanour on the show, claiming he’s “gone beige as well”.
He welcomed AJ and Curtis Pritchard onto the show to put a defence for the BBC series while TalkTV’s Kevin O’Sullivan seemed to agree the show had lost its spark.
After the Pritchard brothers defended Strictly for being a “brilliant” British institution lauded across the globe, Jeremy turned his attention to Kevin and asked outright: “Has it gone woke?”
Kevin replied: “I used to have to watch Strictly every week because in another life I was a TV critic. The point is, I respect the fact that it was a great show that millions of people absolutely love.
“The BBC has turned it into a sort of woke-fest with single-sex couples, we’ve got Ellie now with dwarfism, they’re very proud of that.
“Now that’s fine, if the BBC want to do that, that’s fine. But they should ask themselves, ’Is that what the audience wants?’
“Because in my day when I had to watch it, the launch show used to get 15 million, this launch show just now got just over six million. So the audience seems to be saying no.”
Jeremy then cut in to ask his guests: “Have they taken a programme that appeared to everybody across every social barrier, right, and gone, ‘Oh, it’s really important we don’t upset them?’”
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A self-admitted “BBC basher”, Jeremy went on: “Are the BBC doing what the BBC are great at in telling us what we should think and what’s right and what’s wrong rather than letting us watch a programme?”
AJ weighed in: “You [Kevin] hit the nail on the head, you said they’re proud of it, they’re proud to show the diversity, they’re proud to be inclusive and I think that’s a really positive thing in this day and age.
“If they didn’t do that, we wouldn’t be happy,” he added before brother Curtis then suggested the show dropped in popularity because a number of famous professionals have exited the series.
Kevin then pointed out there was also a problem with the “recognition” of some of the celebrities involved before unleashing his final take.
He admitted he took on board Curtis’ point of the loss of fan-favourite pros but went on: “Allison Pearson [Telegraph columnist] got it right, she said she’s still sort of enjoying the show but she said that watching Strictly now is like being smashed in the head with a woke mallet.
“I have no problem – good luck to the same-sex couples, really good luck to Ellie, and good luck to the BBC if that’s what they want to do.
“But there’s an old phrase, go woke and go broke,” he concluded.
Piers Morgan: Uncensored airs weeknights at 8pm on TalkTV.
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