Strictly Come Dancing’s hip-gate: is Robbie Savage the new Elvis Presley?

The furore over Savage's Strictly gyrations feels eerily familiar, notes Paul Jones

Robbie Savage’s hip-thrusting routine on Saturday night’s Strictly Come Dancing has caused something of an uproar, with over 300 people complaining to the BBC that it was inappropriate and unnecessary. But is it a case of history repeating itself? 


I compared comments about Savage’s performance with some strikingly similar observations made back in 1956, concerning a young man destined to become known simply as the King…

Vulgar thrusting

“Elvis, who rotates his pelvis… gave an exhibition that was suggestive and vulgar, tinged with the kind of animalism that should be confined to dives and bordellos.” – New York Daily News, 1956

“The use of ‘hip thrusts’ by Robbie Savage during his performance tonight was particularly vulgar, deplorable and completely unnecessary.” – Strictly viewer, 2011

Exotic dancers

“Mr Presley’s one specialty is an accented movement of the body… primarily identified with the repertoire of the blond bombshells of the burlesque runway.” – The New York Times, 1956

“Was there really any need for [Robbie] to thrust his crotch like a badly rehearsed male stripper?” – Strictly viewer, 2011

Family viewing

“[Elvis is] unfit for family viewing.” – Ed Sullivan, 1956

“Robbie Savage’s routine was completely out of place on a family show.” – Strictly viewer, 2011

A fascinating comparison, you say? Well, thank you. Thank you very much…