You can’t vote for Strictly Come Dancing contestants from the Republic of Ireland but that won’t stop Irish Strictly fans from doing everything they can to keep Daniel O’Donnell in this year’s competition.
The crooner’s addition to the Strictly 2015 line-up – which already features Peter Andre, Ainsley Harriot, Carol Kirkwood and Kellie Bright, among others – was met with widespread glee online, but concerns were soon raised about how to vote for him from his native country.
Strictly fans in the UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands can vote via telephone or at the Strictly website, but while those from the Republic of Ireland can’t use phone voting, there’s been a bit of confusion about whether they are able to cast their ballroom ballots online.
Some fans say they usually can vote online, but when we asked the BBC they said “you can’t vote if you are in Ireland.”
The lack of Irish voting facilities won’t stop the most vehement of “wee Daniel” supporters though: Donegal isn’t too far from the UK border, y’see, and sure doesn’t everyone have a friend or family member with a telephone on the other side?
The cross border dash is a thing of urban legend in Ireland, and often equated with the UK’s history of doling out douze points to the Emerald Isle at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Will fans put their money where their mouth is? They’ve been known to in the past. And if Craig, Darcey, Bruno or Len dare to criticise the Donegal man’s dancing, they could be in for a nasty shock.
One Irish radio presenter received a right tongue-lashing from an irate fan after he criticised Daniel’s singing.
And with William Hill slashing the odds on an O’Donnell victory after a serious surge of support, who knows what could happen next?
Brace yourselves Britain: Strictly Come Daniel is coming.
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 soon
Ex Strictly stars Robin Windsor, Alex Jones and Sir Bruce Forsyth are at the Radio Times Festival this September. Tickets are available here.