Strictly Come Dancing 2014: BBC responds to complaints about dogs in Judy Murray's dance

Two Dalmations were brought on stage for her 'Cruella De Vil' performance

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The Independent Culture

The BBC has responded after some viewers complained about the use of two Dalmation dogs in Strictly Come Dancing last Saturday.

Tennis coach Judy Murray and her dance partner Anton du Beke performed their American Smooth to "Cruella De Vil" from 101 Dalamations during the show's Halloween special.

But when two dogs appeared on the dance floor, concerns were raised for their welfare, prompting the broadcaster to issue a statement.

"We'd like to assure viewers that Connie and Macey (the Dalmations) are trained stage dogs who are used to a studio environment," a spokesperson said.

"They had practised extensively with Anton under supervision from their handlers, and although it might not have been clear on screen, when Anton realised the dogs were reluctant to join him on stage he passed them back."

Judge Craig Revel Horwood drew further attention to the animals when he told Murray in trademark harsh form that "those dogs at the beginning had more grace and style" than her.

This weekend will see Zoe Ball fill in for Claudia Winkleman again. The co-host's daughter was rushed to hospital last Friday after her Halloween costume caught fire.

"All our thoughts and very best wishes are with Claudia and her family at this time," the BBC said in a statement.


Winkleman and her film producer husband Kris Thykier have warned people to be "vigilant about the dangers of candles, open fires and fireworks" at Bonfire Night celebrations this week.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday 8 November at 6.30pm and Sunday 9 November at 7.45pm