Page last updated at 22:03 GMT, Thursday, 20 November 2008

Sack Strictly judges - minister

Murphy: The judges should not take themselves so seriously

A cabinet minister has called for the judges of Strictly Come Dancing to be sacked following John Sergeant's decision to quit the BBC One show.

Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy said the the ex-journalist's dance performances had been "entertainment and good fun".

Mr Sergeant, a former political reporter, resigned following scathing remarks from the judges.

Mr Murphy told the BBC's Question Time: "I think we need to get rid of the judges rather than John."

'Joke too far'

Mr Sergeant had repeatedly been given the lowest mark of all the Strictly Come Dancing contestants by the programme's judges, who were often scathing of his performances.

But the 64-year-old had been kept in the show by the public vote.

Mr Sergeant quit the show on Wednesday, saying there was a chance he might win the series, which would be a "a joke too far".

But Mr Murphy said: "I'm the only person who freely admits to being a worse dancer than John Sergeant.

"The fact is the judges don't know what this programme is all about.

"I watch the programme with my family."

Mr Murphy said it was "family entertainment and good fun and John is emblematic of that, rather than taking himself so seriously".

"I think we need to get rid of the judges rather than John."

Mr Sergeant, who has been on Strictly Coming Dancing for nine weeks, has promised to perform a farewell dance on Saturday's show.


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