The PR Guru

November 1, 2010

X Factor versus Strictly Come Dancing – with news on Holly Willoughby’s pregnancy and Amanda Holden’s Tesco advert

Fighting for viewings this weekend, both Strictly Come Dancing and the X Factor chose to do Halloween specials this Saturday.

Celebrities on the BBC1 Ballroom and Latin dancing programme wore spooky costumes, plenty of face-paints and really got into the spirit of the event – making lots of great photo opportunities for the press. The judges held up pumpkin-shaped voting cards and the whole studio, including the band, really embraced the occasion.

In contrast to this, X Factor hardly did anything near as spooky, even though it was promised that it would be a Halloween episode. This left me, and I presume many other fans, extremely dissapointed.

However, Strictly also let-down many fans, because it was speculated that Ann Widdecombe would make her entrance riding on a horse, when in fact this did not happen and she was simply dragged around by professional dancer Anton DuBeke. This was particularly unimpressive considering that she had been flown down from the rooftops the week before.

Many people have suggested that this might mean the end of the politican’s time on the show – just as magician Paul Daniels lost his appeal after a while.

Yet, where X Factor seems to have succeeded is in its promotion of judge Cheryl Cole’s new single Promise This, which has leapt into pole position in the singles chart and become the biggest-selling first week non-charity single of the year.

Promise has sold 157,000 copies since its release at the start of week, following Cole’s debut performance of the track on the TV programme.

Other TV judges who have had their work promoted through the programmes include Sheila Hancock – who managed to get increased interest in the musical Sister Act whilst being on the panel for Over the Rainbow, Alesha Dixon – who performed on Strictly last year and may again this year, and also Charlotte Church who tried to promote her single on Over the Rainbow last year too. In fact, even John Partridge was trying to get EastEnders viewers on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s casting programme.

It seems that getting the offer to be a TV judge is great for publicity.

And Dancing on Ice judge Holly Willoughby has just announced on This Morning that she is pregnant again… getting a tweet from Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden – who is to star alongside Tesco couple Fay Ripley and Mark Addy in the supermarket’s Christmas television campaign created by The Red Brick Road.

EDIT: Alesha did, as predicted, perform again on Strictly – singing her new single ‘Radio’ last Sunday – you can see the video here – in attempt to promote her new album The Entertainer, which is released on 29th.

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