As Strictly Come Dancing unfolded on Saturday night, it was hard not to notice the elephant in the room – the scandal surrounding Seann Walsh and Katya Jones’s kiss.
Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman couldn’t resist referencing the headlines that have dominated the press in the past week, ever since the pair were photographed snogging on a night out and Walsh’s girlfriend ended their relationship.
And when Daly welcomed Walsh and Jones onto the dance floor to perform their Charleston – which went down a treat with the judges – she insisted that it would be “all about the dancing”.
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The tension in the studio was palpable as the audience waited with bated breath to see if the duo would be booed – but nothing but whooping and cheering could be heard from the crowd.
But even if everyone else was beating around the bush, Walsh, who also confronted the scandal head-on when he appeared on It Takes Two, was clearly not interested in subtlety…
As he waited for the dance-off couples to be announced during the pre-recording of Sunday night’s results show, he exchanged worried looks with Jones, gripping the bannister so hard his knuckles turned white.
And when the cameras weren’t rolling, Walsh leaned over the bannister and took the opportunity to respond to the headlines, shouting down to the press in the audience: “Everyone had a good week?”
The crowd looked on, slightly stunned, before Walsh continued: “When I first started this show, the main complaint in all the papers was that no one knew who I was…”
Then an audience member – who just so happened to be my mother – replied: “They do now!”
To which he nodded emphatically, threw his hands in the air and grinned: “Yes.”
Could it be true what they say – there’s no such thing as bad publicity?