Strictly frozen! Furious Strictly fans hit out at the BBC after they camped overnight and queued for hours in freezing -3C conditions to secure their seats for the show’s semi-finals
- Strictly Come Dancing fans queued overnight in freezing conditions for a seat
- The BBC often issues more tickets than spaces to ensure a full audience
- Tickets can be validated from 9am but super fans show up the night before
The BBC has been accused of letting Strictly fans freeze in -3C temperatures after scores of people were seen camping out overnight for seats to the semi-finals.
The broadcaster often issues more tickets than places for the dancing show, to ensure a packed audience but it leaves ticket holders desperate to get in.
Tickets can be validated at Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, from 9am on the day of the show, which guarantees entry at 4pm when the doors open.
Swathes of superfans heading to the semi-finals were seen donning thick coats and sleeping bags to wait out in the cold for a seat from 10pm the night before.
This left some questioning if the the outdated way of allowing fans into Strictly Come Dancing should be scrapped.
Audience members said the BBC ‘do nothing’ to help and that they were left with ‘no coverage, no toilets, no refreshments’ while enduring temperatures as low as -5C.
The BBC says they do not encourage people to queue up so early, but fans of the show feel they can’t risk not getting in.
Strictly Come Dancing fans queuing in the cold outside Elstree Studios (pictured) to get tickets for the Semi-final live performance over the weekend
One person who witnessed shocking queues in the freezing cold said: ‘The BBC did nothing. No blankets or hot drinks, they just let people wait out there all night.’
Its feared scenes could be even worse this week with three couples set to battle it out for the glitzy crown as temperatures near the studio are expected to plunge to around 1C.
The eyewitness said: ‘You turn up at the studios, which is essentially just a big gate.
‘There’s no coverage, no toilets, no refreshments – nobody works there.
‘It was -3C when we arrived at the hotel on Saturday night. But when we got to the queue at about 6.30 some people told us they had been waiting in -5C.
‘We were quite far back and there were so many people ahead of us.
‘Two older women had been there since 10pm the night before, the oldest person there was probably in their late sixties.
‘The thing is, the BBC just do nothing. They don’t encourage people to be there but the thing is, if you don’t get your ticket validated on time you might not get in.’
Will Mellor and Nancy Xu were voted off in the semi-final show that many waited out in the cold overnight for
The BBC warns: ‘For your own comfort and safety please avoid arriving too far in advance of the validation time
‘Queueing early will not secure you a specific seat in the studio.’
And a note on an email to those who successfully register for tickets says: ‘As not everyone who asks for tickets uses them we send out more tickets than there are places.
‘This means that admission is on a first-come, first-serve basis and not guaranteed.’
But despite this, reams of hysterical threads encourage those hoping to nab a seat to get to the studios for at least 6am.
One person wrote: ‘The quick heads up – arrive many, many hours before 9 am if you want to be sure of getting in.
‘6am is probably a decent target, many people book a hotel for the night before if they are travelling towards the studio.
‘There are around 450-500 seats and they send out at least twice that number of tickets.’
The BBC warns people to avoid arriving too far in advance of the validation time at Elstree studios (pictured)
It’s understood scant advice from the BBC and panic over guaranteeing a spot means the ‘general consensus is to arrive at 7am’.
A spokesperson for the BBC insisted everyone who queued last weekend did get in, no matter what time they arrived.
They added: ‘The welfare of our studio audiences is our first priority, so we strongly discourage arrivals before the set time that tickets are validated – at which point people are free to leave and return when the show starts.
‘Everybody who arrived on Sunday got in, including those who arrived later in the afternoon.’