Former journalist John Sergeant has claimed he “clearly won” Strictly Come Dancing as he hit out at the show’s judges.
The former BBC chief political correspondent slammed the judges’ negative reactions to his controversial performances on the show almost a decade ago and ruled out ever returning to try to claim the glitterball trophy.
John was one of the most popular contestants with viewers in the show’s history when he took to the dancefloor with partner Kristina Rihanoff in 2008.
Despite being described as a “dancing pig” by judges who constantly gave him low marks, John was kept in the programme by the voting public until he quit in week 10, saying winning would be a “joke too far”.
Nine years after appearing on the show, the 73-year-old told Calibre magazine that Arlene Phillips, Len Goodman, Craig Revel-Horwood and Bruno Tonioli’s critical remarks had fuelled viewers’ desire to see him win.
He said: “The judges made such an awful mess of it, saying ‘it’s time you went’.
“You can’t say, ‘Oh well, Obama’s had four years, I don’t think it’s fair for him to have another four years’. Life just isn’t like that.
“You find out what the rules are and then play to those. So, I found all that very puzzling, genuinely puzzling, because for me it was perfectly obvious the more the judges attacked us, the more we would win the public vote.”
He compared his performances to former shadow chancellor Ed Balls in last year’s show, who also reached week 10 of the competition after a wave of public support.
“I clearly won, in the same way that Ed Balls clearly won (last) year.”
John added: “You’re putting on a performance you know people will like. And that’s the dynamism, this sort of idea that, ‘oh, Sergeant was lazy, he didn’t rehearse’ – well, I rehearsed a hell of a lot.
“Otherwise you would literally fall over all the time and you wouldn’t complete any of the routines because they’re too complicated.”
:: Read the full interview with John on calibremag.co.uk