BBC “categorically” denies producers told Strictly judges how to vote on Vick Hope and Seann Walsh dance-off

Hope was knocked out of the show and has since flagged the "very strange" discussion producers had with the judges before they gave their verdicts

Vick Hope leaves Strictly, BBC Pictures

The BBC says it is “categorically untrue” that Strictly Come Dancing producers have any influence on decisions made by judges on the show.

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Radio DJ Vick Hope and her partner Graziano Di Prima left Strictly on Sunday night following a dance-off against Seann Walsh and Katya Jones.

And speaking on the Capital breakfast show she co-hosts on Monday morning, Hope recounted how producers had had a “very strange” conversation with Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas and guest-judge Alfonso Ribeiro after the dance-off, but before the judges had given their verdicts on the performances.

Three of the four judges subsequently chose to save Walsh and Jones, with only Revel Horwood backing Hope and Di Prima.

Hope said: “It was very strange because after the dance-off the judges have to give their decisions but there was a bit of a conflab with some producers and then they gave their decisions. It was just stunned silence in the studio, it was a really weird atmosphere.”

But a BBC spokesperson told RadioTimes.com that any suggestion that producers had had a say in the decision was completely unfounded and technically impossible based on the voting process.

“It is categorically untrue to imply that producers tell the judges how to score or who to save,” the spokesperson told us. “Each judge votes on each dance independently, based on its merits and in their expert opinion alone.

“The judges use an electronic voting pad to transmit their score or choice of who to save to the production gallery which is then locked in and cannot be changed.  

“Only after this does a producer speak to the judges, advising them on how long they have to speak and reminding them to give a reason for their decisions. The process was exactly the same this weekend.”

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Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday on BBC1