Wednesday, June 3, 2020

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Katie Piper: Strictly’s popularity attracts trolls

Katie Piper says the popularity of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ is the reason why the stars and judges have been subjected to online abuse and threats from trolls.
This year’s series has seen contestant Mike Bushell receive death threats for surviving the dance-off with his professional partner Katya Jones, whilst head judge also received threats to her life following the surprise elimination of Dev Griffin and Dianne Buswell from the ballroom contest.
Katie – who appeared on last year’s series – believes that ‘Strictly’ is simply paying the price for being the biggest show on television and now the viewing public have a "platform to express themselves", which means some will choose to send hate.
Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, she said: "It’s the most watched show on television, I think 13 million people watch it. I don’t think the online abuse is actually anything to do with the show at all, I think it’s just down to how many people now share their views on social media. I don’t think ‘Strictly’ creates an environment for it – it’s just that more and more people now have a platform to express themselves. It will, unfortunately, happen on any programme where the public want to participate and say what they want via their personal accounts."
The 36-year-old television presenter has been watching ‘Strictly’ each week like the majority of the UK but she doesn’t understand why some people are so surprised at the spate of injuries this year.
Paralympian Will Bayley had to quit the programme after badly injuring his leg after jumping from a raised platform in rehearsals, whilst pro dancer Neil Jones has been unable to dance with his partner Alex Scott for the past two weeks after damaging his knee.
As someone who has been through the ‘Strictly’ process, Katie knows how hard everybody trains for live Saturday night shows and she actually thinks it is odd that more competitors haven’t been inured in the past.
She said: "In sport and dance injuries are inevitable. I was only in it last year so it can’t differ that much this time around. If you’re doing anything physical then you have to accept that injuries are part and parcel of it."
Katie was speaking as part of a campaign for Sainsbury’s to encourage children to read.
Sainsbury’s Epsom store transformed an old London bus into a school library for children to enjoy as part of its 150 Days of Community scheme, launched to mark the supermarket’s 150th anniversary this year.
The 150 Days of Community scheme gives 178,000 colleagues in the UK the opportunity to volunteer for a cause they feel passionate about in their local community.
When Sainsbury’s colleague and local Epsom parent Charlotte Guyett heard about the initiative, she gathered her colleagues to help make over the bus, which the school’s headteacher acquired.

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