Peter Kay made a surprise appearance on Saturday night’s live Strictly Come Dancing, coming on in the guise of a backstage worker dressed in a high-vis jacket, in an attempt to add some comedy value to the obligatory reading of the voting terms and conditions.
But not everyone was laughing. While many found the comedian’s efforts hilarious, some were unimpressed by a section involving gay contestant Judge Rinder.
Swapping places with host Claudia Winkleman, Kay slipped an arm around Rinder’s waist, saying “Let me say hello to this fella. He’s fantastic, this fella,” before reacting as if the Judge had goosed him, much to the amusement of at least some of the audience and his fellow celebrities.
“Hey, steady!” said Kay. “Watch it Milord, watch it Milord! This case is firmly closed!’
Later in the skit he repeated the same reaction as if he had again been groped.
You can watch part of the skit here:
Some viewers say Kay’s antics play on the stereotype of gay men being predatory and have labelled them outdated and “homophobic”.
But others think that’s too strong a term for what they believe was simply a joke.
And viewers are similarly divided when it comes to interpreting Judge Rinder’s apparent laughter during the skit.
The BBC declined to comment on the controversy. RadioTimes.com has also approached Judge Rinder and Peter Kay.