WHEN Joe Sugg was announced as a Strictly Come Dancing contestant last year, most viewers had never heard of him.
But the YouTuber had a secret weapon when it came to voting — his legion of loyal online fans who ensured his place in the final.
Now the show’s professional dancers have asked BBC bosses to ban social media stars and vloggers this year, because they say they have “an unfair advantage”.
Joe packed quite a punch when it came to his online following — with eight million YouTube subscribers and more than five million followers on both Instagram and Twitter.
Producers had hoped the influencer would attract a younger audience, but the landslide vote in his favour week-after-week ruffled feathers in the Strictly camp.
A telly source said: “Joe’s huge popularity caused some tension last year after he was being voted to stay in the show each week.
Now the show’s professional dancers have asked BBC bosses to ban social media stars and vloggers this year, because they say they have ‘an unfair advantage’[/caption]
“He wasn’t the best dancer, so his place on the show was purely based on his fanbase.
“Now the pros are going to unite and ask for no social media personalities for a year, to give everyone a level playing field.
“The professionals talk regularly discuss on different points relating to the show and this has been a hot topic.”
During the series last year, which was won by Stacey Dooley, I told how Joe fell for his partner Dianne Buswell despite trying to deny it at the time.
The romance, which they only confirmed publicly once the show was over, has led to Dianne starting her own YouTube channel with the guidance of Joe.
It’s almost as if that was her plan all along…
READ MORE FROM ANDY HALLS’ BIZARRE TV COLUMN
It Murs be love
I HAD heard Olly Murs was on the hunt for a new girlfriend, but I didn’t realise OAPs were his type.
The singer couldn’t keep his hands off Mrs Brown, played by comic Brendan O’Carroll, during filming for Saturday night’s All Round To Mrs Brown’s.
But Agnes had competition from I’m A Celeb runner-up and guest Emily Atack, whose mum Kate Robbins was trying to play matchmaker between Olly and her daughter during the show.
It looks as if Mrs Brown got in there first . . .
Singer Olly couldn’t keep his hands off Mrs Brown, played by comic Brendan O’Carroll[/caption]
WHAT? Blue Planet Live, BBC1, 8pm.
WHY? Liz Bonnin finds how rising temperatures and plastic are affecting the Great Barrier Reef, and Steve Backshall explores a Caribbean wreck during a live dive.
LEE'S LEE IN MOTHERLAND
LEE MEAD won’t have to spend much time getting into character for his next gig – he is playing himself.
I can reveal the Holby City actor will appear in the second series of BBC2 comedy Motherland, out later this year, as the object of lead character Julia’s desire.
Julia, played by Anna Maxwell-Martin, finds out Lee has moved into the area and is desperate to meet him. A BBC source said: “The scenes were hilarious to film.”
Shirt-off rival Tom
POLDARK had better watch his shirtless back, because the lead in new ITV period drama Beecham House is set to compete with Aidan Turner in the exposed torso stakes.
The first episode of the show, which is set in India in 1795, features a topless Tom Bateman hacking into a hedgerow with a machete.
Show creator Gurinder Chadha admitted they felt compelled to compete with Aidan’s Poldark scything scene in the BBC drama. She said: “These poor guys, it’s always like: ‘C’mon take your shirt off!’”
Gurinder also revealed they had trouble getting extras during filming in Jaipur.
She said: “We didn’t want to fly English extras out, so you end up on a drama like this looking for tourists – including kids on holiday.” The Sunday night drama will air this summer.
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