A tango too far? Why Dan Walker's time on 'Strictly Come Dancing' may be over

Dan Walker
Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova (Image credit: BBC/Guy Levy)

Is Dan Walker’s time on the Strictly Come Dancing dance floor finally up? The demise of the nice guy presenter of BBC Breakfast has been long predicted, yet here he is, in the quarter-finals, exceeding his and everyone’s expectations.

He says he is 'very surprised to still be here'.

Once again, the 44-year-old is the bookies’ favourite to exit Strictly this weekend, but, then again, he’s been the favourite to leave in previous weeks and the bookies don’t always get it right.

Dan Walker and his beautiful pro partner Nadiya Bychkova found support from an unlikely corner this week when arch critic Craig Revel Horwood, who slammed his rumba for his ‘non-existent hips’ last Saturday and described him as one of the ‘weaker dancers’, told Lorraine Kelly: "I love him, look I love him. He is great and I love someone that tries. He represents a lot of the men in this country. If that inspires people to get up and want to dance then great.”

Craig recently sat down from Strictly after he tested positive for Covid and said watching the show from home was a completely different experience. Judging Dan solely on his dance was differently from following his journey on the show.

"And then I see why people vote for people like Dan. It's interesting, isn't it? Because he's probably one of the weaker dancers out of everyone that is left in this programme but you still feel for him… So you sort of invest in that. It's a totally different sort of experience so I understand now why the audience are given 50 per cent of the vote.”

Bu with just Rose Ayling-Ellis, AJ Odudu, John Whaite and Rhys Stephenson left, there are no weak links left and Dan’ slimited ability may be truly exposed tonight.

Dan has been dogged by ludicrous accusations that his tenure on Strictly has been a BBC fix which he dismissed robustly on Twitter, writing: “IT’S A TV SHOW!”

On Saturday morning he posted about tonight’s tango that he was ‘very surprised to be still be here’, adding he was: “…really enjoying it and can I just say thank you so much for all the continued, ridiculous and lovely amount of messages we’re getting every single day from people who are enjoying the show and enjoying watching us on the show just having the best fun, so we’ll try and do that again tonight in the QUARTER-FINALS!”

He added that Nadiya was ‘very excited because it’s her first ever tango on Strictly and she got the really traditional sort of tango music that she wanted and we’re on the streets of Buenos Aires and she’s sat at a café table and I go ‘Hey!’ and we’re off.

“So I need to work on my tango face and if you want to keep supporting us, that would be lovely.”

What odds will you give on Craig being stunned into silence by another him making it to next weekend's semi-finals?

Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.