Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Lindy McDowell: Why dance fans have tripped up

It says something about the priorities of the nation that the controversy over the Attorney General, her expenses and her illegal immigrant cleaner has been eclipsed by a much more gripping row involving a judge.

Alesha Dixon on Strictly Come Dancing. Should she be sacked?

Indeed, judging by the tenor of some of the criticism of poor Alesha published online, should she be beheaded?

What has got into people?

It's a TV show. Featuring a row of camp old codgers in the judging panel, C list stars twirling round in Fake Bake and sequins and backstage bosses who take the ratings war so seriously they decided to pit it against X Factor and thus spoil the enjoyment of anyone who likes to catch both shows.

Back in the day, the likes of Strictly used to be filed under 'light entertainment'. Nowadays it's up there with Armageddon. And poor Alesha is in the front line being bombarded by hate grenades and viewer outrage.

Arlene Philips the judge she replaced - thus sparking allegations of ageism chez Beeb -- has been pictured leaving her home beaming from ear to ear (In the circumstances, you would yourself).

But Alesha is being verbally attacked with a savagery that is usually reserved for major crime lords. Or Gordon Brown. Strictly fans should ease up a little on her.

She replaced the much older Arlene. But I imagine that after this week Alesha's aged a few years herself.

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