Strictly Come Dancing and racial prejudice | Letters

17 December 2017 06:45
Tim Bale thinks more research is needed before deciding whether ethnicity affects a contestant’s chance of winning, Sue Boulding says some took against Alexandra Burke because they thought she had an unfair head start, while Alex More points to the expected success of Anthony Joshua in another public voteI’m a huge Strictly fan and, although I was happy to see Joe McFadden win this year, I would have been equally happy to see the breathtakingly brilliant Alexandra Burke get her hands on the coveted glitterball trophy. I therefore read with interest your article (Strictly’s Burke the latest black contestant to fall foul of harsh reality TV, 16 December), which suggested your research had indicated that BAME (and particularly female BAME) contestants were far more likely to leave the show early.This may well have been the case so far, but strictly speaking (if you’ll forgive the pun) the statistics don’t really allow us to say with any certainty yet that it was all down to their ethnicity or their sex. We’d have to have more contests – and therefore more contestants – to get truly convincing proof of that. We’d also have to control for all the other factors that might make a difference to a contestant’s success: for instance, athleticism, fame and, like this year’s winner, being a popular cast member in a long-running soap opera.Tim BaleProfessor of politics, Queen Mary University of London Continue reading. . read full article

Source: TheGuardian