Strictly Mike wife’s fury over ‘vote rig’ hate mob
THE wife of BBC Sport presenter Mike Bushell has hit out at the ‘shocking’ online abuse he has faced since being saved by Strictly judges.
Viewers alleged the result on Sunday was a fix after Bushell won the dance off for the second week in a row, while former Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley was sent home.
Yesterday the BBC presenter’s wife Emily revealed the decision had made him a target of personal abuse by social media trolls.
She tweeted: ‘Wow the abuse! Painful. We’re beyond gutted Catherine and Johannes have left but Mike danced well and deserves his spot. He’s just a contestant and giving his all.’
Bushell, 53, was told to ‘f*** off ’ by vicious viewers, with others claiming the judges on the BBC1 show had a pro-BBC bias.
He appeared on BBC Breakfast yesterday to defend himself, saying: ‘It’s an entertainment show.
‘As a non-dancer all I can do is put the hours in, do my best and get through it.’
He added: ‘You have to rise above the abuse on social media, that’s one of the sad things about social media.’
Bushell was saved only on the casting vote of Strictly Come
‘He danced well and deserved it’
Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas, leading to a torrent of complaints online.
One angry fan tweeted: ‘ Of course the judges on @bbcstrictly will save Mike Bushell he works for @BBCSport.’
The previous week he had been the panel’s unanimous choice to survive as ex-footballer David James was eliminated.
On Saturday night’s Halloween special, Bushell – dressed as a scary White Rabbit from Alice In Wonderland – had danced a clunky tango with partner Katya Jones. But he received slightly better marks than Miss Tyldesley, 36, did for her zombie bride cha-cha with professional Johannes Radebe.
Judge Craig Revel Horwood, who voted with Miss Ballas to save Bushell, said: ‘We have to judge the dance off only, not what happened previously. In my opinion Mike had the cleaner dance.’
Dance off: Mike Bushell with Katya Jones
Defence: Mike Bushell with wife Emily, who said he deserves his spot
Left in tears: Catherine Tyldesley and Johannes Radebe