Watch: Who is Strictly Come Dancing contestant Ugo Monye?
Strictly Come Dancing contestant and former rugby player Ugo Monye has hit out at the “vile and criminal” abuse his co-stars have received during the course of the show.
The 38-year-old made the comments to Radio Times in the wake of the row over LBC host Steve Allen referring to celeb contestant Tilly Ramsay as “chubby”.
Monye said his professional partner Oti Mabuse had also been targeted by online trolls, as well as comedian Judi Love.
Read more: Things we learned about Strictly this week
He added: “All of us on Strictly sign up to be critiqued by the judges when we perform, but what no one signs up to abuse.
“It’s vile, and criminal actually. We saw it with Tilly, and unfortunately Oti had it on Instagram, and Judi too, whether it be racist abuse or fat shaming.”
Love did not compete on this weekend's episode after being diagnosed with COVID-19, and Monye said the star was “getting nasty messages while she’s trying to recover” suggesting she was trying to avoid the competition.
The comedian, along with partner Graziano Di Prima, has been in the last two dance-offs.
Read more: Strictly stars rally around Tilly Ramsay amid LBC row
Monye added: “It makes me sad because the line is not blurred between criticism and abuse. There needs to be greater accountability for these people who want to live in the shadows.”
He called on social media companies to “protect our humans” by taking genuine steps to tackle the problem of trolling faced by people in the public eye.
“Everyone says they’re tired of it, they’ve had enough, but the conversation has got to lead to action and at the moment we don’t see it,” said Monye.
Monye returned to the dance floor this week after missing one episode due to a back injury, dancing a rumba to Leave The Door Open by Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, and Silk Sonic.
He was ranked at the bottom of the leaderboard, scoring just 20 points from the judging panel.
Read more: John Whaite admits he burped in Johannes Radebe's face during routine
John Whaite and Johannes Radebe were the top performing couple, earning 38 points with their Charleston routine to Milord by Édith Piaf.
Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice ended up in second place, while Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin finished third.
Watch: Tilly Ramsay dances waltz on Strictly Come DancingInternet Explorer Channel Network