Strictly viewers split over fabulous drag act that opened the show

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Strictly Come Dancing’s opening number featuring men in drag split audience opinion like never before.

Some fans threatened to boycott the show while others hailed Saturday night’s routine as the best group dance in the programme’s history.

BBC bosses were proud of the dance, inspired by Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which kicked off musicals week.

Former Strictly professional James Jordan, 42, who is married to ex-pro Ola, waded into the row by declaring: “I have to say I’m glad I never had to dance in a pro dance like that.

“I’m sure many of you enjoyed it, which is fine, just not my style.”

Strictly opened Musicals Week with a fabulous drag number from Priscilla
(Image: BBC)

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One viewer retorted: “He was a professional dancer on the campest show on TV. If he can’t handle a costume then he shouldn’t be a dancer.”

Current pro Johannes Radebe said he hoped it had cheered people up. He said: “Just what we all need. This was done with you all in mind.”

James Jordan, pictured with wife Ola, has also waded into the row
(Image: PA)

But some fans vowed to stop watching after Joh­­annes, 33, emerged in a sparkly silver mini-dress, make-up and high heels in homage to Priscilla, the hit film and stage musical.

One moaned: “Used to be a family show. Will stop watching. It is one thing to support equal rights and completely another to promote homosexuality.”

Others branded the performance “disgusting” while some said it was not traditional dancing. But the routine, which also featured Gorka Marquez and Graziano Di Prima in dresses and heels, was a hit with some.

One viewer gushed: “Gorka as a woman… stunning!”

A show insider said of Saturday night’s routine: “The boys loved doing it so much. Last year Karim dressed up as a panda and Stacey was a minion.

“If people can become an animal or a cartoon on the show, then what’s the difference putting on heels and make-up to do drag?”

*Strictly Come Dancing returns next Saturday on BBC One

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