The reason why this year’s Strictly Come Dancing could be biased

It's not the first time the show's faced criticism

Strictly Come Dancing

by Marianna Manson |

Strictly Come Dancing’s firm impartial judging approach could be thrown into question this year after the extent of head judge Shirley Ballas and BBC presenter Dan Walker's friendship was revealed.

Dan – who has been called the ‘dad of the group’ by his fellow Strictly contestants – climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania together for Comic Relief in 2019 and said in a chat with Closer Online, "We had some great conversations on that trip. I really got to know her well. I'm looking forward to seeing her.

"We've had a few Kilimanjaro reunions. She's great, talented and knows what she is talking about."

He went on to detail an episode where he showed off his dancing talent, adding, "On one particular occasion Shirley was feeling a bit down and a bit upset. I nicked one of the blankets we were using to keep warm at night and I did a bit of impromptu pasodoble. She laughed her head off."

CHECK OUT: the Strictly 2021 professional line up

Gallery

Strictly Come Dancing 2022 professionals stacked

Strictly professionals 2021
1 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Strictly professionals 2021
2 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Strictly professionals 2021
3 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Strictly professionals 2021
4 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Amy Dowden
5 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Dianne Buswell
6 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Giovanni Pernice
7 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Gorka Marquez
8 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Johannes Radebe
9 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Karen Hauer
10 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Katya Jones
11 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Graziano Di Prima
12 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Luba Mushtuk
13 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Nadiya Bychkova
14 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Nancy Xu
15 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Neil Jones
16 of 16
CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

WATCH: Ferne McCann on breaking up with her ex-boyfriend and her heartbreak plan | First Time Mum Secrets

He added, "I questioned whether I would've got a 10 but she continued to laugh, so I'm not sure the technique was great."

It’s not the first time a potential conflict of interests has raised questions of favouritism on the show, after Motsi Mabuse was enlisted to replace Dame Darcey Bussell in 2019.

Motsi – who previously competed on and judged the German series of the show – was forced to defend her new role on the panel, as her sister Oti competed on the show.

READ MORE

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 CONFIRMED line-up

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 is thrown into 'CHAOS'

Strictly's Oti Mabuse didn't speak to sister Motsi for THREE months to avoid cheating allegations

"I’m going to judge her like any other dancer," she told daytime telly host Lorraine at the time. "Oti has done so well here, I’m so proud of her. Me being extra hard, or me giving her extra points would be disrespectful to what she’s achieved.

"And I never want to do that and of course everybody else, this show is not about me and Oti, it’s about everybody else and it’s about being fair to everyone. I wouldn’t want to jeopardise a beautiful show and go there do all this negative stuff."

In the two years that Motsi has been on the panel, Oti has won both times, first with Emmerdale’s Kelvin Fletcher and last year with comedian Bill Bailey.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us