Page last updated at 15:54 GMT, Monday, 21 September 2009 16:54 UK

Complaints over Strictly's Dixon


Alesha Dixon on It Takes Two, BBC Two: "I do know what I am talking about"

Nearly 300 viewers have complained to the BBC about Alesha Dixon's first time as a judge on the latest series of BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing.

But the corporation defended the singer against the 272 people who felt former series winner Dixon had performed poorly in her new role.

"We are delighted with Alesha's debut performance as part of the judging panel," the BBC said.

Another 441 viewers complained about her replacing Arlene Phillips.

Choreographer Phillips is now dancing expert for BBC One's The One Show.

The total number of complaints about pop star Dixon joining the show has now reached 4,107.

The majority of that number complained about the change of judges when the announcement was made in July.

Fans of the show have also been critical of the pop singer on the BBC One show's message board.

Strictly Come Dancing judges
Dixon (second right) replaced Arlene Phillips after six years

One said: "Unfortunately, Alesha is out of her depth on the panel. She lacks the vigour, knowledge, experience and talent that Arlene brought to the show."

Another commented: "The show is in trouble. Alesha is a lovely girl but sadly is neither competent nor qualified to judge and the audience cannot be fooled. Something should change as it will be awkward viewing otherwise."

One contributor wrote: "I think that the BBC should concede that lovely as she is, Alesha is completely unsuitable and unqualified to judge and this has been a mistake."

'Very pleasing'

But fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood defended Dixon, who won the show in 2007.

"This backlash is horrendous and I don't think she deserves it. She deserves to be given a chance and it makes me very angry that she's not," he told BBC Breakfast.

Revel Horwood also said it had taken him and the other judges a few weeks to perfect their comments.

Alesha Dixon
Dixon was a big hit with the viewers as a contestant

"Alesha has to be given a chance," he said.

The other three judges - Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman - have all taken part in the show since it began in 2004.

'Wonderful relief'

Former Strictly winner and ex-cricketer Darren Gough was more critical of the pop star: "I think some of the stick she's taken has been a little bit too far, but she's got to improve and if you're going to be honest about it, she's got to be more critical."

Current contestant Natalie Cassidy said she was pleased Dixon had joined the show.

"As a down-to-earth, beautiful, talented young woman, I wish everybody would realise that to have her on the judging panel is a wonderful relief for us celebs as she knows exactly what we're going through," she said.

The BBC also defended Dixon, saying that she brought something different to the panel.

"We are delighted with Alesha's debut performance as part of the judging panel on Strictly Come Dancing and that so many millions tuned in to enjoy the show," it said.

Friday 25 September 2030 BST BBC One
Saturday 26 September 1925 BST BBC One

"Having won the contest in 2007, Alesha understands exactly what it takes to excel as a dancer as well as knowing just what the celebrity contestants are going through in the competition.

"Her knowledge and direct experience adds a different perspective to the panel which complements the whole judging line-up," the corporation added.

Dixon was reported in Monday's Daily Mirror as saying it was unpleasant to hear the comments about her, adding: "You can't please all the people all the time. You don't get much time to decide what to say.

"I am not a quitter. It's not in my nature to consider quitting."

Ratings war

More than 100 viewers also told the BBC they were unhappy that the programme clashed with ITV1 show The X Factor.

The X Factor had an audience of 10 million while 7.7 million watched Strictly Come Dancing as it drew to a close, according to overnight figures.

The two hit shows were up against each other for an hour on Saturday night, with Strictly's audience slipping as The X Factor came on air at 2000 BST.

A BBC spokesman said the figures for Strictly Come Dancing were "very pleasing".

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