Nation strictly split over the cha-cha-cheats

Chemistry: “Seann and Katya hit it off from day one,” an inside source told The Sun. © BBC

Should Seann Walsh have been booted off Strictly? BBC bosses confirm that he and Katya Jones will perform on Saturday — despite their “drunken kiss” sparking a national scandal earlier this week.

It all started last Sunday, when The Sun published photos of Seann Walsh and his Strictly Come Dancing partner, Katya Jones, kissing outside a London pub. Both were in separate long-term relationships, and the mix of showbiz and infidelity made a juicy tabloid scandal.

The pair soon apologised on Twitter. Walsh said the kiss was a “one-off drunken mistake”.

A day later, the story took a deeper turn when Walsh’s now ex-girlfriend released a statement of her own: “My name is Rebecca Humphries and I am not a victim,” it began.

She describes how she raised suspicions about Walsh’s relationship with Jones the evening the photos were taken, but he “aggressively, and repeatedly, called me a psycho/nuts/mental. As he has done countless times throughout our relationship.”

What Humphries describes is known as “gaslighting” — a form of emotional abuse in which one person manipulates another to doubt their own sanity or perception of events.

“If the makers of Strictly Come Dancing had a shred of respect for his ex, they’d have booted him off the instant she made her devastating statement,” declared Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine.

Instead, Walsh will face the music, with reports confirming he will appear on Saturday’s show. “Seann has denied it and said there are two sides to every story,” a BBC source told The Telegraph.

Should Walsh be booted off the show?

Dance Off

Of course, some argue. The BBC must set an example and take Humphries’s statement seriously: keeping Walsh on the show is an insult to all the women who have suffered psychological abuse.

Not necessarily, others respond. Private lives are complicated. And before we rush to condemn, we should let him respond to the allegations. If the public think he deserves to go, they can vote him off.

You Decide

  1. Should Seann Walsh be booted off Strictly Come Dancing?

Activities

  1. Strictly Come Dancing is one of many popular reality shows on TV at the moment. In general do you think that reality TV is worth watching? Discuss in pairs or small groups. Come up with three reasons why reality TV is important, and three reasons why it is a waste of time. Which view do you agree with?

Some People Say...

“We should be wary of reducing other people’s lives to entertainment fodder.”

Frances Ryan

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
Rebecca Humphries’s Twitter statement has been “liked” over 90,000 times. By contrast, Jones’s husband Neil has yet to comment directly on what happened.
What do we not know?
How the public will react to Walsh’s appearance on Saturday night. “I hope… the British public show their solidarity with Rebecca and withdraw their votes for him,” writes Karen Ingala Smith.

Word Watch

Infidelity
Being unfaithful to a partner.
Evening
Humphries also stated that the pictures were taken on the same night as her birthday.
Gaslighting
The term comes from the psychological manipulation of a victim by her husband in the 1938 play Gaslight. In the play, a husband tries to convince his wife that she is insane by changing parts of her environment.
Saturday’s show
Reports claim that the couple were supposed to dance a Rumba — a sexually charged Latin dance. However, this has been changed to a less risqué Charleston.

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