Strictly Come Dancing’s Most Controversial Moments Over the Years

Strictly Come Dancing’s Most Controversial Moments Over the Years

Strictly Come Dancing is known for its glitz and glamour, but controversy has also been a constant companion on the show.

Beyond the dance floor, the BBC ballroom show has generated its fair share of news headlines, often due to incidents involving the contestants, judges, or professionals.

Anton Du Beke’s Race Row

One notable controversy involved Anton Du Beke, a former pro dancer turned judge, who had to apologize for using a racial slur to describe his celebrity partner, Laila Rouass. This incident took place in 2009 when Du Beke made a comment during rehearsals, using offensive language about Rouass’s appearance, who is of mixed race.

The incident caused a stir, and Du Beke later clarified that there was no racist intent and that he deeply regretted using such language.

Seann Walsh and Katya Jones’ Illicit Kiss

One of the biggest scandals in Strictly’s history revolved around comedian Seann Walsh and professional dancer Katya Jones.

They were partnered in the 2018 series and found themselves in the midst of controversy when they were photographed kissing after a night out in London.

What made it even more scandalous was that Katya was married to fellow dancer Neil Jones at the time.

The incident led to public apologies, the end of Seann’s relationship with actress Rebecca Humphries, and eventually, Katya and Neil’s marriage came to an end.

Arlene Phillips’ Shock Firing

Arlene Phillips, a beloved judge on the show, suddenly found herself replaced after the 2008 series.

Alesha Dixon took her seat on the judging panel, sparking a debate about ageism, as Arlene was 66 and Alesha was 30.

The circumstances surrounding Arlene’s departure remained somewhat mysterious, and she herself expressed uncertainty about the reasons behind her firing.

Aston Merrygold’s Unexpected Elimination

In 2017, the elimination of JLS star Aston Merrygold from the competition left many viewers outraged. Aston, who was considered a favorite to win the Glitterball trophy, ended up in the dance-off and was voted off, despite high expectations.

This sparked controversy and led to criticism from viewers and even former Strictly professional James Jordan.

Brendan Cole’s Departure

Brendan Cole’s departure from the show in 2018 came as a shock to fans. After 15 series as a pro dancer, Brendan revealed that it was an editorial decision not to have him on the show anymore. The news left him emotional and in disbelief, marking a significant moment in Strictly’s history.

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