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BBC 'refused to move Strictly for Boris Johnson press conference'

BBC 'refused to move Strictly for Boris Johnson press conference'
© Reuters
The BBC reportedly refused a request from the government to delay Saturday's Strictly Come Dancing in favour of Boris Johnson's press conference.

The BBC reportedly remained defiant in response to a government request to delay the broadcast of Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday night.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press conference at Downing Street in order to announce that all of England will be entering a second lockdown this Thursday, November 5.

The presser had originally been due to take place at 4pm but was pushed back multiple times, eventually getting underway at 6.45pm - just 25 minutes before Strictly was due to start.

According to The Sun, Number 10 had attempted to delay the conference even further but were told by the BBC that if they did, it would instead be broadcast on the BBC News channel rather than BBC One.

"Strictly is a ­ratings beast for the BBC so they were loath to change the scheduling," a source told the newspaper.

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

"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."

Coverage of Johnson's press conference peaked with a massive 17.3 million (64.6%) and helped boost Strictly to an impressive 10.3 million (46.7%), up almost a million viewers week-on-week.


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