'Strictly' stumbles again in rush for final's votes

Angry viewers complain they could not get through

The BBC has been forced to deny a renewed voting fiasco surrounding Strictly Come Dancing after fans complained that they were unable to get through on phone lines to cast their vote in Saturday's series finale.

Many viewers said they had been prevented from voting in the competition, which was eventually won by the Holby City actor Tom Chambers ahead of the singer Rachel Stevens and the model Lisa Snowdon.

Chambers, 31, and his Danish-born professional dance partner, Camilla Dallerup, 34, only made the final after the judges' unusual scoring in the semi-final meant they could not avoid the dance-off.

Their victory provoked claims that the format has become a personality contest rather than a true trial of dancing skill. Snowdon was eliminated from Saturday's final in third place despite being awarded two perfect scores of 40 by judges. The corporation made a robust defence of the success of its sequin-spangled format, pointing out again that it is now filmed in 30 different countries and has recently been commissioned for a eighth series in the lucrative, if notoriously unpredictable, American market. The format has made the corporation some £80m globally.

But problems surrounding the latest British series, including the hasty departure of the political journalist John Sergeant and the semi-final voting pickle, have prompted questions about its current guise. BBC bosses are understood to be particularly concerned that the Sunday night results has made Strictly Come Dancing look unwieldy and old fashioned compared to its ITV rival, The X Factor.

For the first time this series, Strictly has fallen behind The X Factor in the viewing figures. Saturday's Strictly grand final, presented by Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly, was watched by 13.3 million viewers – a record for the show – which is 53.9 per cent of all viewers but still behind last week's X Factor climax, which drew an audience of 15 million and an audience share of 60 per cent.

The BBC confirmed yesterday that "huge" call volumes for Strictly on Saturday night meant that some viewers might have struggled to cast their votes. Samantha Bond, who played Miss Moneypenny in four 007 films, told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that she tried to vote 75 times for former S Club 7 singer Rachel Stevens, but only managed to make four successful calls. The ballroom dance-loving Liberal Democrat deputy leader Vince Cable also said he had been unable to get through.

The BBC declined to disclose how many votes had been cast by viewers but insisted that the final result had been independently verified. A programme source insisted: "We did a very thorough verification process and we were in constant touch with BT. We have no concerns [about the vote]. It was a clean vote."

News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Relocation, relocation: Zawe Ashton travels the pathway to Northampton
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate