Strictlys biggest fails – f-word, score blunder and awkward disability comment

There's been so many memorable moments since Strictly Come Dancing first hit our screens in 2004.

From astrologer Russell Grant bursting out of a cannon, to late host Bruce Forsyth shooing Harry Judd's McFly bandmates off the stage following his 2011 victory – the BBC programme has seen it all. Although the ballroom show generates countless column inches in the news each year, it isn't all plain-sailing on the dancefloor – or elsewhere in the studio.

We've seen co-host Claudia Winkleman take a tumble, former judge Bruno Tonioli fall from his chair and even a professional dancer issue an expletive live on air. It's been quite a ride, but the Strictly juggernaut shows no sign of slowing down.

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Now, join us as we look back at some of the biggest gaffes in the show's 19-year history.

Bruno falls from chair

Back in 2013, Countdown star Rachel Riley wowed fans alongside her professional dance partner, Pasha Kovalev, who she went on to marry six years later. After one of the pair's performances, judge Craig Revel Horwood told Rachel to "tighten up" her cheeks.

It prompted his late co-panelist Len Goodman to put him in his place, as he quipped: "You'll be clenching your bum cheeks tomorrow." Unable to contain his laughter, Bruno fell from his chair leaving the studio in hysterics.

Shirley puts her foot in it

Shirley Ballas joined the show as head judge in 2017, replacing the outgoing Len. It didn't take long for her to suffer her first faux pas, however.

Addressing amputee Paralympian Jonnie Peacock, who partnered pro Oti Mabuse, Shirley told him: "You bring a whole new meaning to putting a spring in your step." Thankfully laughing off the remark and pointing out his disability, Jonnie joked on her behalf: "Excuse the pun."

Unsurprisingly Shirley turned beetroot red and covered her face in embarrassment, as she responded: "I've said something wrong again, do you know what I mean?"

Do the Maths

Strictly spin-off It Takes Two suffered an embarrassing production blunder in 2016 relating to the score of Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac, who was also partnered by South African dancer, Oti. A graphic on the show declared that the pair had scored an impressive 38 out of 40 for their most recent dance.

However, the accompanying image proved the contrary, showing the four judges awarding 9, 9, 9 and 10 – a total of 37. Viewers took to X (formerly Twitter) to immediately call out the boob, with one commenting: "In my day 3 x 9 + 10 was 37 not 38."

Claudia's down

In the same year, it was Claudia's turn for a live mishap. During the series' semi-final a skit with co-presenter Tess Daly went horribly wrong leaving Claudia flat on her face.

With the 51-year old struggling to get back to her feet, Tess struggled too – to contain her laughter – as she attempted to introduce the next couple to the dancefloor. "Every time you go near a prop, you let it go and it's a disaster," she told her pal afterwards, who was eventually dragged off screen.

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Natalie's F-word

Another 2016 incident saw Aussie dancer Natalie Lowe inadvertently issue an expletive live on air before the watershed. During week one of the series, in which Nat partnered track and field athlete, Greg Rutherford, her excitement appeared to get the better of her.

Following their magnificent score of 27, the pair headed upstairs to chat to Claudia. En route, Natalie shouted, "F**k yeah!" before covering her mouth in realisation she would soon be reprimanded. After an apologetic look towards the camera, the four judges unaware of her boob, jumped to praise the couple's moves.

Bruno's X-rated turn

Natalie hasn't been the only Strictly star to npt think before they spoke as we saw with Bruno a year earlier. The Italian was so impressed by the performance of Jay McGuiness and his partner Aliona Vilani, that he too got a little too carried away on air.

The pair danced a stunning Paso Doble to Jon Bon Jovi's It's My Life, prompting judge Bruno to declare: "Oh yeah, those are the bull's b*llocks!" After the camera quickly panned to a shocked audience, the BBC was forced to issue an apology.

Sympathy Vote goes 'too far'

Journalist John Sergeant, 72, came under fire for his stiff performances and snooty attitude in 2008, but it made for excellent viewing. One of his funniest moments came when he performed a lift with partner Kristina Rihanoff that looked closer to a bored caretaker taking out a sack of rubbish than a dance routine.

Despite several awful performances, fans kept voting to keep him in the competition before he eventually quit in week 10 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."

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