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Ethics of charity gameshows....
Today, the eminently cheerful Jo Brand-lookalike John Sargeant quit Strictly Come Dancing saying "The trouble is that there is now a real danger that I might win the competition. Even for me that would be a joke too far."

The judges have been panning his performances week after week (albeit in a mildly encouraging way), and so it can easily be viewed that the better dancers were suffering due to his popularity rather than his talent.

Given that this show is effectively a charity fundraiser as well as a talent show, which do you think should be the priority? Do you think the charity takings will drop now that a very popular contestant has pulled out? Which would make you feel more guilty - being kept on the show despite a lack of talent, or leaving the show and potentially reducing the charitable takings?
asked in tv, ethics, charity

Hiheels answers:

I'd feel more guilty staying in.
It's a dance competition and there are better dancers - he's been trying, and training, but that's the fact.
He's an extremely likeable bloke, I've nothing against him at all, he's very intelligent and very entertaining when interviewed, the whole nine yards...but there are some very good dancers this year and one of them should win.

It's a shame in a way, but he's done the right thing.

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vultan answers:

Yes, it's for charidee, but it's also a gameshow. I think you're short-changing the public if you don't try to give them the best gameshow they can get.

I remember a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire celebrity edition for charity in which Neil and Christine Hamilton only raised a emasly (by the show's standards) £1000. Clearly from a charity standpoint it would have been best if they'd won a million, but they couldn't so they didn't. If Tarrant had started giving them hints it would have been ridiculous.

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duffield1 answers:

I think it is a shame he has gone - effectively, by staying in he has simply expedited other contestants' exits by one week. If he'd gone two weeks ago, Heather would still have gone last week, and maybe Cheri or Lisa next week.

There is a real risk that he would win - but so what? Michelle McManus won Pop Idol, and she really wasn't the most talented - the same last year with Leon and X-Factor. Does it matter if sometimes the underdog comes out on top? The programme makers can always change the rules by adding a 'Sudden death' round, where the judges' decision is final.

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rasputin1309 answers:

I can't stand any of these "charity events" - I give to charity when I want to not when some overpaid jumped up celebrity tells me I need to - I don't need to see newsreaders making morons of themselves - I want them to read the news not behave as performing seals. I make a point of no red noses, no children in need - for some contradictory reason I do support poppy day.
As for John Sergeant - I've never watched the show but I find it unedifying that an apparentlty serious, dignified journalist could soil himself by getting caught up in such tripe anyway

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