Thursday, 20 November 2008

John Sergeant leaves 'Strictly'...

It had to happen. John Sergeant has decided to quit Strictly Come Dancing.

After weeks of slightly snooty abuse from the judges, not to say his terrible dancing, he has decided to leave now so as not to risk winning - which, in his words - 'would have been "a joke too far"'.

The whole episode has become something of a cause célèbre: a reasonably well-known political journalist and reporter has achieved greater celebrity in ten weeks of Strictly than his whole previous career. It has been discussed on Newsnight. The Prime Minister has commented. And the public have taken to him to heart, voting him back week after week: whether to subvert the genre of reality television, to snub the self-importance of the judges, or simply to support the underdog in that the time-honoured tradition - who knows? But they have voted in their millions.

There's an irony here, however: the whole experience has made for fascinating television - it has even encouraged me to watch Strictly Come Dancing for the first time. And, whilst I could see the judges' point that it was unfair to the other contestants' hard work and ability, at the end of the day this is entertainment, and Sergeant's participation has made for great entertainment. It simply won't be the same after he has gone, and I for one shall not bother to tune in again.

After his final performance this week-end, I wonder what will happen to the show's ratings?

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