Strictly Come Dancing,
BBC One, 29 October 2011
Two people appealed to the BBC Trust against the BBC’s response to complaints regarding a dance routine on the Strictly Come Dancing Halloween special.
The appeals were consolidated and considered together across the range of issues raised. The complainants said that a dance routine performed by Robbie Savage to the Michael Jackson song Bad was sexually explicit (particularly in relation to its ending, when the contestant jumped onto the judges’ desk in front of one of the male judges) and was inappropriate for the programme’s audience.
The Committee concluded:
- that the routine in question was not sexually aggressive and would have been viewed more as pantomime behaviour, a caricature of Michael Jackson’s dance routine, and would not have had a harmful effect on children.
- that, while some viewers may have found elements of the routine tasteless and vulgar, overall the routine did not exceed audience expectations.
- that the audience would be familiar with the nature of Robbie Savage’s on-screen relationship with the male judge and would take that into consideration as part of the narrative of the show.
- that the dance routine met generally accepted standards, but that the final hip thrust on the judges’ desk was at the margins of acceptability in a programme appealing to a wide family audience.
The complaints were not upheld