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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

Strictly Come Dancing defended by BBC after drag performance sparks complaints

Strictly Come Dancing has been defended by the BBC after viewers complained over the recent show.

Viewers of the popular dance competition will have seen the professional dancers open Saturday's show with a dazzling routine to kick-start musicals week.

Strictly's Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez and Johannes Radebe all performed in drag alongside a giant pink stiletto in a Priscilla Queen of the Desert-inspired routine.

But more than 100 complaints were lodged with the broadcaster after some threatened to 'stop watching'.

The BBC said in a statement: "Strictly Come Dancing’s theme weeks prove very popular with viewers and to kick off this Musicals Week special the professional dancers pulled out all the stops and paid homage to the musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which has received universal acclaim.

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

"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."

Many Strictly fans enjoyed the fabulous routine and praised the show for its opening number.

"Strictly is bringing the fab to fabulous tonight!" one raved.

Another said: "The Strictly lads in drag!!!! Life doesn't get better than this!!!"

"Best opening ever! Please keep up the inclusive content BBC and Strictly! Johannes you are the best," a third praised.

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