Strictly star Susanna Reid branded a 'charmless tugboat'
'Head girl' BBC newsreader lost out to Abbey Clancy in Saturday’s final, and now the knives are out
AS THE dust settles on another series of Strictly Come Dancing, won by model Abbey Clancy on Saturday, it is the losing finallist Susanna Reid who remains remains centre stage - a position she has occupied throughout the series.
The BBC newsreader divided opinion but had been tipped to win the ultimate prize - even though she seemed the weakest of the dancers in a final four that also included actress Natalie Gumede and pop singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
But now that the show is over for another year, the knives have been drawn.
Fiona Fullerton, who was eliminated from the show earlier in the series, took aim in her Daily Telegraph column. She lavished praise on the other finalists and called Clancy the "most gorgeous, deserving winner of Strictly ever".
Reid, however, "approached this competition with a PR campaign driven with military precision", sniffed the former Bond-girl. "There was definitely an Obama-style use of social media and a lack of charm that left most of us bewildered. Every time she entered Tess's room there were uncomfortable mutterings. It seemed she'd convinced the media she was the outright winner."
Her prim-and-proper image annoyed others, including Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir. She wonders who Reid was actually popular with, acknowledging that she was "the most adroit at turning on the head girl charm".
In other areas she was less successful, adds Moir. "On the dance floor Susanna always had something of the tugboat about her," she declares.
Twisting the knife, the Mail also notes that Reid "failed to raise a smile" as she left the studios after the final.
There was even the obligatory Twitter spat before the final, reports The Times, when Tory MEP candidate Deborah Dunleavy tweeted: "Does anyone else just want to slap Susanna Reid?" She subsequently apologised and took down her Twitter account.
However, the Times TV critic Andrew Billen says Reid appeared relieved she did not win, noting that it would be impossible to "overstate the crisis" that her victory would have precipitated. "No one who took the contest seriously thought Reid should win, and that included Reid,” he wrote. “She looked relieved when she lost." ·