Christmas Special Spoiler – Note To Editors

Well this has been a bizarre day. The Strictly Spoiler has suddenly received a ton of attention from the British media with articles appearing on The Daily Star, The Sun, The Daily Mirror, Now Magazine and I’ve also been approached for comment by the Daily Mail who ran their own (and the most balanced yet) article as I was typing this post.

Many of the articles so far have taken the slant that in posting the Christmas Special results before Christmas I am a grinch trying to ruin Christmas for millions of Strictly Viewers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Before I talk about the Christmas Special Spoiler it’s best to take a short while to talk about why this site exists and why I do what I do. A lot of this is covered in the about section linked above but many journalists seemed to have completely missed that.

The Strictly Come Dancing Sunday Results Show is pre recorded on a Saturday Night shortly after the main live show. There exists online spoiler threads on some discussion forums and spoiler groups who source the results usually from audience moles and share them for the benefit of the viewers. Several years ago I was sourcing the spoiler from these groups and direct messaging it to some of my followers on Twitter who wanted to learn the results. Eventually it got to the point where I was spending a lot of time sending these direct messages and so I looked for another way.

I have a personal blog and originally I started posting the spoiler to that blog. Posting the spoiler has also been my way of protesting the decision by the BBC to pre record the results and broadcast them a day after the event. We live in a day and age where information can be transmitted globally in the blink of an eye so it’s stupid to pre record the results and expect them not to leak out. I would love it if the BBC reverted to a Saturday Night live results show but sadly they won’t because the Sunday Night show gets amazing ratings (in spite of what I do). Ratings shouldn’t matter to the BBC but there we are!

I didn’t for one minute think in doing this I would eventually be operating a site viewed by hundreds of thousands of people each week. The popularity this site has received has been entirely accidental (one of my friends jokingly once said I’d created a beast and occasionally it does feel like that) but in 2014 traffic to the site started to spike massively and then it’s grown ever since. Despite the growth less than 1% of people who watch Strictly view the spoiler here and Strictly’s audience is continuing to grow despite the results being out there on sites like this. Even fewer people have viewed the Christmas Special Spoiler which seems to be causing all this fuss.

As far as posting the Christmas Special Spoiler is concerned this is about providing a service to my site’s visitors all of whom are clearly hungry for spoilers. I’m not trying to ruin Christmas or spoil the Christmas Special for all Strictly viewers. The people who view this site are a small minority of the strictly audience but those people have the right to enjoy the show in whatever manner they choose. If people want to watch the show knowing the result that is down to them and their own preference.

It is also extremely difficult for me to spoil the show for anyone who doesn’t want to be spoiled, at least not directly. All my posts are clearly labelled as a spoiler, this site is clearly labelled as a spoiler site and I only ever post spoilers to Facebook or Twitter in the form of a clearly labelled link that people are free to click on or not. I do not post the results publicly to social networking. People have to actively seek out the spoilers I post in order to view them!

Spoilers aren’t a new thing. Many newspapers are frequently telling us about upcoming plot lines for soaps such as Eastenders and Coronation Street including the Christmas specials. Presumably they too are trying to ruin Christmas? In fact it is deeply ironic that The Daily Mirror, a few hours after calling me a “Festive Grinch” for posting the Christmas Special spoiler, proceeded to post an article with festive spoilers for Coronation Street. Pot, kettle, black anyone?

Hopefully the above clears things up but if any media editors still have questions I suggest they get in touch with me just like the Daily Mail did and I’ll be happy to clear things up

Complaints to the BBC, The Daily Star, The Daily Mirror, The Sun and Now Magazine!

Site Migration Complete

As I discussed towards the end of the last series, I was looking at changing my web hosting once again as the site was starting to struggle to cope with the strains being placed on it around the time the spoiler was posted.

I’m pleased to report that process is now complete and the site is now being hosted with my new host. This will (hopefully) be the last time I need to move this site as my new host provides me with a couple of advantages that should allow me to keep the site up.

Firstly the site is now being run using web server software that is less resource intensive than the previous one so that in itself will help when the site comes under heavy load when the spoiler is posted.

Secondly, and more importantly, the site now has dedicated resources (CPU and RAM) available to it rather than having to share those resources with other sites on the same servers. More importantly I can increase those resources on the fly as and when they are needed (usually about 10pm on a Saturday night when there are tens of thousands of you refreshing the site at the same time).

I’ve tested the site pretty thoroughly before making the switch so there shouldn’t be any issues but if any of you notice anything wrong let me know either in the comments section or over on Facebook or Twitter and I’ll get it sorted. Same applies for when the spoiler is posted if you are having issues let me know and I’ll ramp the resources up. The first couple of spoiler weeks I’ll be trying to find the right balance of resources to cope with the spikes so may have to play around with my settings to get things right but hopefully after that the site should be issue free (touch wood)

I continue to be amazed at just how much this has grown over two short years from receiving a few hundred visits over a Strictly weekend to several hundred thousand towards the end of the last series. I have a feeling that 2016 will blow that out of the water but with any luck the site now will be able to cope just fine!