Dan Walker: Mike Bushell and 'Strictly' BBC favouritism accusations are ridiculous

Katie Archer
BBC presenter Dan Walker during the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker has weighed in on the abuse his co-star Mike Bushell has been suffering from Strictly fans, calling accusations that he is being protected as a member of BBC staff “ridiculous”.

Some Strictly Come Dancing viewers have been getting frustrated at BBC sports reporter Bushell and his pro partner Katya Jones being saved by the show’s judges each time he lands in the bottom two, and this weekend saw them given another lifeline after their third week running in the dance off.

Read more: Mike Bushell saved in Strictly dance off for a third week running

They knocked out Viscountess Emma Weymouth on Sunday, adding her to the list of Catherine Tyldesley and David James who have been ousted by the pair in the weekly results show.

Online trolling after each vote has been ramping up each week, with last week’s criticisms hurled at Bushell even including an apparent death threat.

After another Sunday evening of Twitter complaints, BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker said of his colleague: “I’m getting increasingly annoyed by people giving him grief.

“Some of it’s getting a bit cruel and all he’s doing is enjoying himself, trying really hard, all four of the judges said he was the better performer in the dance off than the Viscountess who went home.


“He’s not being kept in there because he’s working for the BBC, it’s a ridiculous accusation.”

Read more: Katya Jones quits social media over Mike Bushell backlash

Last week, Bushell and his wife Emily were forced to plead with angry Strictly fans to stop posting abuse about him online, saying that he wasn’t responsible for the judges’ decisions.

And Jones has also been affected by the trolling, telling The Sun on Sunday that she had quit social media because she was so sick of the comments.

She said: “I’m off social media; it’s not real.

“There’s no need for negatives. I just want to do my own thing.”

Although her Twitter profile is still available to view, Jones has not posted anything since October 14.