BBC under fire again over Strictly vote 'fix'

THE BBC was last night under renewed fire over this year's controversy-hit series of Strictly Come Dancing after fans suggested the result was a "fix".

Message boards on the show's official website have been bombarded with comments from people claiming that Tom Chambers, who stars in the BBC's Holby City, should not have won.

Many said that despite trying to call repeatedly, they were unable to vote for former pop star Rachel Stevens, his main rival and eventual runner-up.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The comments include accusations that the BBC wanted to ensure Chambers, 31, won the show because he works for a BBC programme.

Other fans, however, have posted messages on the boards saying that they also had trouble getting through to vote for Chambers.

One comment on the programme's message board from a fan identified only as lovedancing1, under the heading "What a Fix", said: "I'm so angry, and I have never felt that at the end of Strictly. It completely ruined our whole family's enjoyment of it.

"It doesn't make sense, it's a fix because he is part of the BBC."

Someone calling herself sensible_woman said: "Tom should've gone last week. Also I too tried to vote for Rachel, but the lines were engaged all the time whereas my friend voted for Tom twice and got through both times without any trouble."

Many of the people posting messages said they would not watch the programme in future because of the problems. There were also calls for the BBC to offer refunds.

A viewer called Strictlyavid said: "This fix to keep Tom in as a total farce and I will never watch another series. I want my money back, I feel thoroughly cheated."

Saturday's final saw Stevens, 30, and her dance partner, Vincent Simone, receive a total of 79 points from the judges after two rounds of dancing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Meanwhile, model and radio presenter Lisa Snowdon and dance partner Brendan Cole were awarded the maximum score of 80 after perfect tens from both their rounds, while Chambers and dance partner Camilla Dallerup came last in the first round of the show with 73 points.

But Chambers and Dallerup secured a huge public vote which saw them pass through to the "dance-off" with Stevens, while Snowdon and Cole crashed out.

For the final dance-off, the judge's previous scores were not taken into account and the final winner was decided purely by a public vote.

Viewers' concerns about the final vote follow the controversial semi-final last week where Chambers and Dallerup came last, but because the judges' vote had tied on the top two performances, show producers changed the rules to enable all three to go through to the final.

Viewers were offered phone vote refunds after the broadcaster received 1,687 e-mails and 193 calls of complaint at the decision to let all the couples stay.

Meanwhile, members of the public who recorded the final show while they were out on Saturday have also hit out at the BBC after it over-ran by 15 minutes and they missed the end.

Lisa Winter, 32, from Yatton near Bristol, said: "I was furious when the recording suddenly stopped long before the end of the show – it must have over-run by a long time. I've been watching the show for months and feel like I've been denied the best bit. You'd think the BBC could stick to a timetable.''

A spokesman for the BBC denied that the programmed had been fixed. He said: "As you would expect with such a hugely popular show, phones lines were extremely busy. This was explained on-air and people were advised to keep trying. We have checked and there were no problems with phone lines."

Related topics: