London, October 27 : The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been caught in the middle of a race row following claims that talented Black celebrities are being booted off the show 'Strictly Come Dancing', while white stars stay in.
Official website of the BBC has been swamped with hundreds of complaints since last weekend's "unfair" dance-off between the 2008 show's only two black contestants.
The uproar came after Rising Damp star Don Warrington and M People singer Heather Small were announced to be bottom in the public vote last Sunday, despite performing better than three white celebrities.
Angry stars have even demanded a probe into the alleged racist voting patterns on the series dubbed Middle England's favourite.
An insider has admitted that the show's producers were mortified by the public vote
"There were a lot of people at the BBC who watched in horror on Sunday night, like viewers did. Having two black people in the bottom two who hadn't even performed badly was a very bad look for us," News Of The World quoted the source as saying.
Olympic sprinting ace John Regis was also horrified.
"I was shocked. I thought, 'You must be kidding.' It's not like sport, when it's down to performance-other factors come into play. Strictly is a middle-class kind of show and that possibly could be the area where racism still festers. I feel sorry for Don. I wouldn't go on Strictly for all the tea in China," he said.
The BBC temporarily closed its Strictly website forum after it was besieged.
"We encourage its use as an opportunity for viewers to discuss the show. Users have expressed opinions on both sides of the argument," a spokesman said.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission pledged to investigate any complaints it received about Strictly.