Strictly Mike wife’s fury over ‘vote rig’ hate mob

Scottish Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Alisha Rouse Show­busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

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

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