BBC1's dancin' fool makes graceful exit


Former ITV political editor John Sergeant has quit "Strictly Come Dancing" — the British equivalent of "Dancing With the Stars" — after what amounted to a growing battle of wills between the show's judges and the voting audience.

Sergeant's bumbling quicksteps and faltering foxtrots have had the show's judges frustrated as they relegated him to the bottom of the leader board week after week — only to see him consistently win the popular vote and continue to remain on the flagship BBC1 entertainment show. Meanwhile, more talented performers were voted out.

In a statement put out Wednesday by the BBC, Sergeant said he was sorry to leave the show and had hoped to stay as long as possible.

"The trouble is that there is now a real danger that I might win the competition," he said. "Even for me, that would be a joke too far."

BBC1 controller Jay Hunt said she would be "hugely sad" to see the performer leave but added that Sergeant and his dance partner Kristina Rihanoff will be performing a farewell performance on Saturday's show. (partialdiff)