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BBC supports Strictly Come Dancing drag performance

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly present Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/PA)
Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly present Strictly Come Dancing (Guy Levy/PA)

The BBC has defended its Strictly Come Dancing drag performance following complaints from some viewers.

On Saturday, three of the BBC One show’s male professional dancers wore wigs and high heels while performing a medley of songs from the musical Priscilla Queen Of The Desert.

The BBC said in a statement: “We received complaints from viewers who felt it was inappropriate for some of the male professional dancers to be dressed in drag for the opening dance…

“It was intended to be a fun and entertaining musicals dance for our viewers who are used to and expect Strictly to be glamorous.

“We feel that it’s important to allow the choreographers and professional dancers to exercise creative freedom when putting together routines for a programme of this nature.

“Strictly is an inclusive show and we always ensure that the programme’s content is appropriate.”

The statement came after Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood said critics of the show’s drag performance should “turn the TV off”.

He said drag was part of “real life” and urged those who took issue with it to “open your eyes”.

He told the PA news agency: “If you can’t grow with society then turn it off. It’s crazy.

“If people knew what Priscilla Queen Of The Desert actually was, like the musical and they saw that, then they would know that the boys were acting as these characters in the play.

“That’s the whole point of having musicals week and movies week, so you get to play these wonderful and vibrant characters.”

The dance was led by South African professional Johannes Radebe, who last year made history on the show by dancing with fellow pro Graziano di Prima.

The routine, which featured rai

“We feel that it’s important to allow the choreographers and professional dancers to exercise creative freedom when putting together routines for a programme of this nature.

“Strictly is an inclusive show and we always ensure that the programme’s content is appropriate.”

The statement came after Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood said critics of the show’s drag performance should “turn the TV off”.

He said drag was part of “real life” and urged those who took issue with it to “open your eyes”.

He told the PA news agency: “If you can’t grow with society then turn it off. It’s crazy.

“If people knew what Priscilla Queen Of The Desert actually was, like the musical and they saw that, then they would know that the boys were acting as these characters in the play.

“That’s the whole point of having musicals week and movies week, so you get to play these wonderful and vibrant characters.”

The dance was led by South African professional Johannes Radebe, who last year made history on the show by dancing with fellow pro Graziano di Prima.

The routine, which featured rainbow fans, also sparked praise from viewers.

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