Hard though it is to believe, internet chat rooms and newspaper comments boards are buzzing with a 'barrage of criticism' over the debut of a singer called Aleisha Dixon on BBC's 'Strictly Come Dancing'. What is really desperate is the fact that some fans of the show have claimed that she is 'out of her depth'.
Quite how any judge on a ballroom dancing show - however dim - can be out of their depth is anybody's guess. But it might have something to do with the BBC's remarkable designation of the show as an example of 'public service broadcasting.' The BBC Director General Mark Thompson underlined this point last week when he claimed that viewers of the show were concerned with "the quality and range of the programmes and content they watch and listen to.”
Oddly enough, the show is scheduled directly against that other beacon of public service broadcasting, 'The X-Factor' which gives some idea of the kind of programme the BBC really thinks it is. Still, fans of the dancing show now clearly are of the opinion that it truly is quality programming - as they indicated when they furiously bombarded message boards with such pearls of wisdom as 'Aleisha is banal' and "Aleisha's limited knowledge fell short of that of the ex-judge, choreographer, Arlene Phillips".
Maybe the BBC could have a rethink and start hiring wits and wags like Jeremy Paxman, Stephen Fry and Alain de Botton to judge pop and dance competitions. You never know, it might just fool people into believing that these shows are actually 'high-brow'.