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BBC ‘refused Downing Street’s plea to push back the start time of Strictly Come Dancing’

BBC ‘refused Downing Street’s plea to push back the start time of Strictly Come Dancing for Boris Johnson’s very delayed national lockdown broadcast’

The BBC reportedly refused to delay Strictly Come Dancing for Boris Johnson’s national lockdown broadcast on Saturday night.

With barely a minute to spare BBC One cut from the Prime Minister’s very delayed press conference to the dance show at 7.15pm causing many fans to breathe a sigh of relief.

But it has now been claimed that Downing Street made a last minute plea to the broadcasting house to address the nation after 7pm before they were told the dance show was a ‘priority’. 

Tension: The BBC reportedly refused to delay Strictly Come Dancing for Boris Johnson ‘s national lockdown broadcast on Saturday night (pictured is Maisie Smith)

In Boris’s speech – which was delayed from its original start time of 5pm to around 6.30pm – it was announced England will go into a second national lockdown from Thursday, with the closure of non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants.   

A source told The Sun: ‘Strictly is a ­ratings beast for the BBC so they were loath to change the scheduling.

‘No one was afraid to have a showdown with them as Strictly is a priority for the channel.

Serious: With barely a minute to spare BBC 1 cut from the Prime Minister's very delayed press conference to the dance show at 7.15pm causing many fans to sigh a breath of relief

Serious: With barely a minute to spare BBC 1 cut from the Prime Minister’s very delayed press conference to the dance show at 7.15pm causing many fans to sigh a breath of relief

‘Boris’s team asked if the press conference could be moved past 7pm but was sternly told that if that was the case, it would be aired on the News Channel. His team relented and got on air closer to the scheduled time of 6.30pm.

‘It was a win for the BBC as they had already taken Little Mix The Search off air and delaying the juggernaut that is Strictly would have been chaos.’  

A source also told MailOnline: ‘There was a conversation with Downing Street that the briefing would be at 6.45.’  

The important stuff: But it has been reported that Downing Street made a last minute plea to the broadcasting house to address the nation after 7pm before his team were told the dance show was a 'priority' (pictured is presenter Tess Daly on last night's show)

The important stuff: But it has been reported that Downing Street made a last minute plea to the broadcasting house to address the nation after 7pm before his team were told the dance show was a ‘priority’ (pictured is presenter Tess Daly on last night’s show)

Agreements: A source also told MailOnline: 'There was a conversation with Downing Street that the briefing would be at 6.45'

Agreements: A source also told MailOnline: ‘There was a conversation with Downing Street that the briefing would be at 6.45’

The conference – which was watched by around 17 million viewers – did overrun and BBC coverage was switched to its News Channel just as Boris finished his part.      

Some fans shared their worries the dancing show would be delayed earlier in the evening ahead of the Prime Minister’s address to the nation.  

‘Boris better not hold up Strictly. I’m already livid that they’re not doing Halloween week,’ wrote one dancing fan.

And another said: ‘You can take away jobs, close businesses and keep us away from our family, but don’t you DARE delay Strictly on Halloween Week you absolute MONSTER!’

Schedule: The conference - which was watched by around 17 million viewers - did overrun and BBC coverage was switched to its News Channel just as Boris finished his part

Schedule: The conference – which was watched by around 17 million viewers – did overrun and BBC coverage was switched to its News Channel just as Boris finished his part

BBC Radio 4’s Nick Robinson even tweeted that Number 10 was aware of Strictly’s impending start time ahead of the show.

He tweeted: ‘Insiders insist there’s been no trouble. PM had to squeeze three days prep – calls, briefings, writing – for the big announcement into a few hours thanks to last night’s National lockdown leak. No 10 well aware that @Strictly is on at 7.15 pm.’

Luckily the show did manage to start at 7.15pm with many people joking about how close it came to being pushed back.

The relief! Luckily the show did managed to start at 7.15pm with many people joking about how close it came to being pushed back

The relief! Luckily the show did managed to start at 7.15pm with many people joking about how close it came to being pushed back

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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