cheryl greatest dancer
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Viewers divided by Cheryl’s return to TV, as new BBC show blasted as “awful”

Many are still confused about her as a judge

Cheryl’s long-awaited return to mainstream TV finally happened on Saturday night – and it has divided fans.

The Greatest Dancer pulled in nearly 5million viewers but not everyone enjoyed the new BBC show. In fact, some blasted the talent show as “awful” and “a terrible programme,” with many picking on Cheryl particularly.

cheryl greatest dancer
The brand new talent show debuted on Saturday (credit: BBC)

The 35-year-old former X Factor judge was joined by Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse and Glee star Matthew Morrison as ‘dance captains’, while Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon and Diversity star Jordan Banjo presented.

The debut episode saw the in-studio audience vote for dance acts, with those receiving 75% going through to the next stage, where they will be mentored by the three coaches.

But many were unimpressed with Cheryl as part of the line up, with one tweeting: “Watching The Greatest Dancer… what the hell is Cheryl Cole doing on it as a judge?? Liking the show but how can they justify that? #thegreatestdancer.”

cheryl greatest dancer
The three judges don’t have much input in the first stage (credit: BBC)

Another commented: “I cannot stand Cheryl Cole on the greatest dancer😴.” One more moaned about the Girls Aloud singer’s look, writing: “Cheryl’s outfit awful #thegreatestdancer.”

Others complained about the show generally, with one writing: “#thegreatestdancer Saturday night telly is dire just now. This is just awful. Only thing noteworthy is Cheryl’s chopstick earrings 😂.”

A second said: “This is absolutely [bleep] #thegreatestdancer The whole format is awful and has the shelf life of a Cheryl Tweedy marriage vow.”

cheryl greatest dancer
Many viewers were amused by her earrings (credit: BBC)

A third added: “This is awful tv, audience voted for this bloke dad dancing to Cheryl and they didn’t vote a professional contemporary dance. #GreatestDancer.” While a fourth moaned: “The Greatest Dancer is a terrible programme.”

Read more: Emma Willis pays tribute to Celebrity Big Brother in emotional post

Many, though, were much more positive about the new show – and its biggest star. One gushed: “You showed true emotion on The Greatest Dancer. Go Cheryl!”

cheryl greatest dancer
The singer joined one contestant on stage (credit: BBC)

Another said: “Yesterday was the greatest dancer and the episode was perfect I was so excited to see the episode.”

A third added: “Cheryl u r amazing on the greatest dancer I love u.” While a fourth tweeted: “Wow I can’t believe how good the Greatest Dancer was it wass amazingggggggggg!!!!!! Probably the best dance show I’ve ever seen and that’s not just cause I love Cheryl ( maybe a lil) but still.”

Viewers also voted with their remote control – with more tuning in to ITV, to catch the first episode of The Voice.

The Voice beat The Greatest Dancer in the ratings (credit: ITV)

Overnight figures said The Greatest Dancer had an average audience of 4.7 million viewers, while The Voice UK – starring Jennifer Hudson, Olly Murs, Will.i.am, Sir Tom Jones and Emma Willis as host – pulled in 5.3million.

Read more: Gemma Collins hails her Dancing On Ice co-star Brian McFadden as her saviour

Loved it or hated it, The Greatest Dancer made for compelling viewing. Did you catch Andrew’s story? SO GOOD.

What did you think of the new show? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think.