Fans of The Greatest Dancer were left shivering outside in the cold after the live show was overbooked.
Tickets for the live BBC show were oversubscribed, leaving excited ticketholders and dance fans outside LH2 Studios in London.
One fan in a wheelchair was reportedly not granted access to the venue, as children and the elderly also waited in falling temperatures.
Applause Store, which runs events for Simon Cowell’s Syco productions, has apologised for the incident, which saw fans left in the cold for hours without access to seating or toilets.
One ticketholder, Laurence Robbins, had hoped to take his dance-mad family to watch the show.
He said: “The queue had a wide age range, from kids of 12, and I suspect a few slightly younger, to my age – 65.
“There were also a couple of wheelchairs. There was no seating anywhere, no toilets. The air temperature was three degrees and it got dark about 5pm.
“We were told that rehearsal had overrun, there was a delay in security and that they still didn’t know how many they needed.
“However, by three hours standing in low temperatures, and with some of the kids dressed up but not warmly, the situation was very poor.
“Somebody pleaded with the Applause Store staff to admit the person in the wheelchair but they said that they couldn’t.”
He added: “Shambles is a good word for it.”
Mr Robbins said there were hundreds of people hoping to enter the venue, there was a lack of communication and he was thankful that there were no medical incidents.
Organisers found themselves dealing with more audience members than expected seeking to use free tickets to the first live show of the new BBC programme.
An Applause Store spokesman said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused this evening. Due to a number of factors including the bad weather and this being the first live episode of The Greatest Dancer we unfortunately had to disappoint some people this evening.
“As tickets are free, we have to legislate for some absences in advance. For the first live show of The Greatest Dancer, there was a higher proportion of attendees than had been anticipated.
“Admission is not guaranteed for any show and all seats are limited.
“Ticketholders are also admitted on a first come, first served basis, based on the capacity of the studio. This is clearly stated on our website and all our tickets.
“We consider carefully how many extra tickets to issue for each show, and it is rare we have to disappoint ticketholders.
“All ticketholders that did not gain access to the studio this evening will be re-invited back to another one of our shows with priority entrance, subject to availability.”