Bye Bye "Strictly," Hello Oceana

November 20, 2008

It has become the subject of national debate, dominating our television screens over the past few days.

No, we're not talking about the credit crunch (again) -- but the fact that famed political journalist John Sergeant has quit BBC's "Strictly Come Dancing" programme.

So what is a political journalist to do next? Take a cruise, of course!

Sergeant quit the show this week. He had received continuous criticism from the judges, but had been kept in the competition after becoming a firm favourite with fans.

Now it has emerged that he will be sailing on P&O Cruises' Oceana on Friday 28 November -- six days after his final farewell performance on the programme this Saturday. Sergeant will be giving an after-dinner speech on Oceana to talk about his career in journalism.

Was this the real reason he left the show? According to both Sergeant and P&O Cruises, this is not the case. A spokesperson for P&O Cruises said: "John Sergeant's engagement on Oceana was a long-standing arrangement made prior to his appearance on 'Strictly Come Dancing.' Should John have remained in the competition we would have been delighted for him to bring Kristina (his dance partner) onboard to practice during the week and we would have been flexible around his television commitments. John's decision to leave 'Strictly Come Dancing' in no way was influenced by his contracted work on Oceana."

If you want to join John on the cruise -- a 15-night Panama and Latin America sailing departing from Barbados -- prices start at £1,820 per person.

--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor