Television has been a major lifeline for millions of people throughout 2020 – and the BBC’s continuity announcer had a heartening message for viewers ahead of the Strictly Come Dancing final.
Duncan Newmarch, who has been a live announcer on BBC One and BBC Two since 2004, said: “In a year that has kept us apart, whether you’re watching in Tyne and Wear, Devon, Berkshire or Lincolnshire, we’re all watching BBC One, together.”
The final aired on a day that had seen millions forced to make last-minute changes to their Christmas arrangements after new rules were introduced by the government at the last minute, and Strictly proved to be a comforting tonic – with comedian Bill Bailey and his pro partner Oti Mabuse declared the winners of Strictly 2020 after a spectacular final.
Viewers were quick to praise Newmarch for the short speech, which aired on BBC One in England.
One Twitter user wrote: “It made me cry a little bit, because it was unexpected but perfectly put. Thank you.”
Another social media user wrote, “Think the audiences really needed to hear something like this tonight – lovely touch.”
You know you’re emotional when the continuity announcer makes you cry. #together
— Rachel Parris (@rachelparris) December 19, 2020
For his part, Newmarch thanked viewers for their positive feedback and revealed that he had had to change a few of his previously planned scripts following the news earlier in the day.
He wrote: “Thank you for the kind comments about my line into the @bbcstrictly final. After this afternoon’s news I had to rewrite a handful of scripts as they didn’t seem appropriate. Why live announcers can make a difference.”
Thank you for the kind comments about my line into the @bbcstrictly final. After this afternoon's news I had to rewrite a handful of scripts as they didn't seem appropriate. Why live announcers can make a difference ???? pic.twitter.com/83QXt4wndT
— Duncan Newmarch (@DuncanNewmarch) December 19, 2020
In a later tweet in response to TV journalist Scott Bryan, Newmarch added: “After the PM’s announcement, some of tonight’s lines (written yesterday) just didn’t work so I had some last-minute rewrites. Here’s to the live announcers across all channels.”
The Strictly final more than lived up to expectations, with all four finalists performing three superb routines and gaining praise from the judges before the winner of the public vote was revealed.