STRICTLY host Tess Daly laid into a BBC star this week — with fans saying it was to avoid claims of bias.
The show has been dogged by accusations that judges over-mark the Beeb’s own talent.
Tess, 52, usually leaves negative criticism to the panel but twice mentioned “a mistake” in CBBC host Rhys Stephenson’s jive.
A viewer wrote online: “Wonder if Tess feeling the need to mention Rhys’ mistake is knee jerk to everyone saying Strictly favours BBC people.”
Rhys, 28, and partner Nancy Xiu, 30, danced to Footloose by Kenny Loggins for musicals week.
Before handing over to the judges, including Anton du Beke, Tess said: “There was a little mistake but they loved it over there. I know you’ve had a tough week in training. Anton, bar the mistake did the hard work pay off?”
Rhys and Nancy scored 32 but were forced into the dance-off, which saw McFly frontman Tom Fletcher and Amy Dowden booted off.
Tess’s intervention, instead of leaving it to the likes of head judge Shirley Ballas, also angered viewers.
One wrote: “Tess, it isn’t your job to point out their mistakes.”
Another added: “Since when did Tess start throwing contestants under a bus?”
And at third said: “Leave that to the judges.”
A Sun study found eight BBC stars have won Strictly’s 18 completed series. They include mainstream presenters Stacey Dooley, Ore Oduba and Chris Hollins, plus Holby City actor Tom Chambers.
A BBC spokesman previously insisted: “These statistics are misleading. The winner is decided purely by the public vote.”
There was no further comment on Tess’ words this weekend. Tom and Amy failed to make a mark with On My Own from Les Misérables.
Tom said: “I’ve loved every second. I’ve made the best friend in Amy. Thank you so much for teaching me to dance, I know it was a struggle at times.”
- The final is on December 18.
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