Tess Daly speaks to camera, Prawn on The Masked Dancer was eliminated

Strictly 2022 fans furious after The Masked Dancer airs

Strictly 2022 fans furious after The Masked Dancer airs

The 2022 series of Strictly Come Dancing didn’t start as planned last night (Saturday September 17) after the launch show was postponed following the Queen‘s passing.

Fans had feared the pre-recorded launch episode could be axed before confirmation it would be moved was announced last week.

But after The Masked Dancer aired on ITV yesterday evening, some viewers were confused – and annoyed – that the same standard did not seem to apply.

Strictly 2022 contestants are raring to go (Credit: BBC)

Why was The Masked Dancer on TV when Strictly wasn’t?

ITV chose to air The Masked Dancer last Saturday (September 10), too – two days after the Queen’s passing.

Like many broadcasters, the schedules were significantly rearranged on the Thursday before, with royal documentaries and news coverage filling airtime.

But by last Saturday evening, ITV reintroduced regularly scheduled programming, beginning with Ninja Warrior.

Why is it disrespectful to have Strictly start tonight but not disrespectful to air The Masked Dancer?

Last weekend’s episode of The Masked Dancer was the second show on as ITV moved away from rolling news updates.

And a short announcement before it was on told viewers the programme had been recorded before developments with the monarchy.

Last night’s episode saw Stacey Dooley unveiled as Prawn Cocktail as the panel guessed correctly she was inside the costume.

Host Joel Dommett presents Scissors on The Masked Dancer
It came down to Scissors and Prawn on The Masked Dancer last night (Credit: ITV)

When is the Strictly 2022 launch show? When does the series start?

The pre-recorded Strictly 2022 launch show was originally supposed to air yesterday (Saturday September 17) evening.

The programme will now begin on BBC One on Friday September 23 at 7pm and is on until 8.50pm.

And so viewers will watch the launch episode just a day before the first live show next Saturday (September 24).

The Masked Dancer panel now includes Peter Crouch
The Masked Dancer panel now includes Peter Crouch alongside Davina McCall, Oti Mabuse and Jonathan Ross (Credit: ITV)

How did viewers react?

Viewers appeared to be both angry and confused that The Masked Dancer aired while Strictly did not.

One person complained on social media: “Why is it disrespectful to have Strictly start tonight but not disrespectful to air The Masked Dancer?”

And another particularly displeased Twitter user fumed: “How can they air this utter [blank] but not #Strictly? #TheMaskedDancer.”

Meanwhile, another person framed the national mourning period as an either/or situation when it comes to Saturday night telly.

“Wish The Masked Dancer had been cancelled out of respect instead of Strictly,” they tweeted.

And someone else wrote sarcastically: “Grateful to the Queen for cancelling Strictly as her last act for a grateful nation but could she not have taken out The Masked Dancer as well?

“It is a shame that this will always be the greatest blot on the royal family’s legacy.”

The Strictly Come Dancing launch show is on BBC One at 7pm on Friday September 23. The Masked Dancer returns to ITV on Saturday September 24 at 6.30pm.

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing 2022: First Look at launch show looks after setback news



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