Belfast Telegraph

Strictly audience is 'used and abused, and treated like cattle' slams Eamonn Holmes

By Staff Reporter

Eamonn Holmes has lashed out at the BBC as he accused the broadcaster of having "used and abused" the Strictly Come Dancing audience, who are treated like "cattle".

The Belfast-born This Morning presenter has been supporting wife Ruth Langsford in the Elstree studio audience, as she competes in the hit TV contest.

But Holmes was less than happy with the way he and others in the audience - including the celebrity couple's son Jack - were treated by the BBC throughout the five-hour filming.

He told The Daily Star on Sunday: "It is a long day. People don't understand. I am like: 'Why is this taking so long? They are now going to do this sequence... it is going to take even longer'.

"She has got to change her clothes, he has got to change his clothes, Tess (Daly) has got to have her hair done again and come down the stairs..."

Holmes, who endured a double hip replacement last year, compared the experience to US shows he has witnessed first hand.

"In American I did one series of quiz shows. It was marvellous," he said. "They had the audience but they paid them $100 each. And they buy them pizzas. No wonder in America they go 'Whoop! Whoop!'. It is a job.

"Whereas in Britain audiences are just treated like cattle. They are used and abused. At the end of the show if you walk up to Mrs Smith in the front row to shake her hand security people jump in and say 'no no no'.

"Everybody wants to go home and they throw the audience out. Nobody is allowed to touch or have photographs."

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Anton Du Beke and Ruth Langsford

Meanwhile, Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins jived for the final time on Strictly as she became the third celebrity to be kicked off the show.

The TV star, who had hoped to impress judges with a wedding-themed routine to Marry You by Bruno Mars, faced soap star Davood Ghadami in the dance-off. At the end of Saturday night's show, she shared the bottom of the leader board with TV chef Simon Rimmer and his partner Karen Clifton after picking up 19 points from the judges for their respective performances.

Hawkins said she was leaving the show "knowing I gave it my best and that's all you can do", and paid tribute to her professional partner Brendan Cole.

Hawkins told host Tess Daly: "I've had an amazing time, such an amazing time, it's been brilliant from start to finish, it really has been."

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