Craig Revel Horwood criticises ‘ridiculous’ complaints about Strictly drag routine: ‘If you can’t grow with society, turn it off’

‘If you’re not going to open your eyes then turn the TV off,’ Horwood commented

Isobel Lewis
Wednesday 09 December 2020 10:15 GMT
Strictly pros perform Priscilla Queen of the Desert routine in drag

Craig Revel Horwood says that Strictly Come Dancing viewers who complained about a drag performance on the show should “turn the TV off”.

As part of the Musicals Week celebrations over the weekend, viewers of Saturday (5 November) night’s show were treated to an opening number from the professional dancers inspired by stage show Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

In the routine, professional dancers Johannes Radebe, Giovanni Pernice and Gorka Márquez were given a drag makeover, performing in sequinned outfits, high heels and make-up.

Despite the performance being widely praised on social media, around 150 viewers complained about it to the BBC.

Speaking to PA, Horwood said that people who complained about the Strictly routine were “ridiculous”.

From L-R: Márquez, Radebe and Pernice perform in drag on ‘Strictly' (BBC)

"If you can’t grow with society then turn it off, it’s crazy,” he said. “You are always going to come into problems with someone complaining about something. But there was nothing.

"If people knew what Priscilla Queen of the Desert actually was, like the musical and they saw that, then they would know that the boys were acting as these characters in the play."

The judge continued: “I’m sorry but this is a part of real life and if you’re not going to open your eyes up to it then turn the TV off.”

While this was Strictly’s first drag routine, the show has taken in recent years to include more LGBTQ+ representation on the show.

In 2019, Radebe danced with Graziano di Prima during a routine by the professionals, while this year’s competition featured the first same-sex competitive partnership after Nicola Adams was paired with Katya Jones.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday on BBC One. 

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