Mike Bushell: BBC supported me after Strictly death threat

For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only BBC handout photo of Katya Jones and Mike Bushell during the BBC1 dance cont
For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only BBC handout photo of Katya Jones and Mike Bushell during the BBC1 dance contest, Strictly Come Dancing.

Mike Bushell has said he has had lots of support from both the BBC and fans after receiving a death threat for remaining in Strictly Come Dancing.

The BBC Breakfast sports host was the target of online abuse following the judges’ decision to keep him and partner Katya Jones in the competition following the dance-off against Catherine Tyldesley and Johannes Radebe last weekend.

One of the messages on social media said that he would be a “dead man” unless he withdrew from the BBC One show.

Bushell, 53, said the threat was “ridiculous” and that he has found solace in the number of positive messages he has since received.

“After that, I had so much support over the week, so many nice messages, so that far outweighs the nasty ones,” he said.

“BBC Breakfast, Strictly, everyone said, ‘Do you want to talk about it, are you worried about it?’

“And I said no, thanks for the offer but all is fine, rise above it, we’ll just carry on.

“But the BBC is brilliant, they’re very supportive with anything like that, they’re very experienced in dealing with that but, no, honestly we’re fine.”

Bushell said he wanted to report the person who sent the “vile, abusive” message, “but then they deleted the tweet”.

Mike Bushell and Katya Jones
Mike Bushell and Katya Jones (Ian West/PA)

He added: “I’ve no problem at all with people having opinions about who their favourite couples are, and the plan is always to do our best, and then it’s up to the judges, up to the public and you just do your best in the dance-off and accept the decision.

“That’s what Catherine and Johannes did, and we’ve had lovely messages from them, but some people… it’s an entertainment show at the end of the day, so it’s crazy to get that.”

Bushell’s wife Emily had defended him on Twitter, saying that he “danced well and deserves his spot on the show” as she told of her shock about the “level of abuse” he received.

Bushell and Jones returned to the dancefloor on Saturday night with a Charleston to Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines by the Ron Goodwin Orchestra.

Strictly Come Dancing: The Results is on BBC One at 7.15pm on Sunday.


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