Stacey Dooley has spoken out following Mike Bushell's online abuse. The reigning Strictly Come Dancing champion took to Twitter to defend the judges' decision to save the BBC reporter and his dance partner Katya Jones following their dance-off with Catherine Tyldesley and Johannes Radebe on Sunday night. "No one loves Johannes more than me," tweeted Stacey. "But those telling Mike to quit, have totally missed the spirit of strictly. What kind of message do you send, quitting, because you aren't the best? Ridiculous."
"We love you Mike," she added. "ENJOY IT AND IGNORE THE NONSENSE..." The post comes shortly after Mike expressed his shock over being trolled on Twitter, telling The Mirror: "It said that unless I withdraw from the competition now I'm a dead man." He added: "There are bigger things in the world to worry about. I get that people have their own favourite dancers but it's an entertainment show at the end of the day and to get a death threat is ridiculous."
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His wife Emily also leapt into his defence on Twitter after he was targeted by angry viewers. "Wow the abuse! Painful," she wrote. "We're beyond gutted Catherine and Johannes have left but Mike danced well and deserves his spot. As a viewer since the start I get opinion but this level of abuse is shocking. He's just a contestant and giving his all."
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Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood has since spoken out against the level of abuse that the celebrity contestants receive after the results, and said that it was uncalled for. Speaking to HELLO! at the Pride of Britain Awards on Monday evening, Craig urged viewers to vote for their favourites to avoid them being in the dance-off to begin with. He said: "They are very good on Twitter to slate everybody but they're not so quick to vote. So we need to encourage the UK to start voting otherwise you could end up with a really good couple going home."
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