ENTERTAINMENT
06/03/2012 08:02 GMT | Updated 06/03/2012 08:56 GMT

The Voice: New BBC Show Leads 'Strictly' Judges To Demand More Cash - Do They Deserve It?

Strictly Come Dancing's remaining judges are reportedly demanding more money after seeing how much the coaches on BBC1's new talent show The Voice are being paid.

The Sun newspaper reports Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood currently earn around £90,000 each for a series - not bad for sitting behind a desk and commenting on some amateur star's cha-cha-cha twice a weekend.

However, they are allegedly put out that international popstar US rapper Will.i.am, who has signed up to be one of The Voice's four coaches, is reportedly on a deal worth £500,000.

Joining Will.i.am in the hunt for the next big unsigned act, which differs from the X Factor in that the coaches cannot initially see who is singing - they can only hear 'the voice' - is Sir Tom Jones, estimated to be on £300,000. Less established star Jessie J will pick up £200,000 and the Script's frontman Danny O'Donoghue £100,000.

A BBC source told the paper: "When they come to renegotiate their contracts the BBC will bear in mind that last year's series was one of the best ever — and their new deals will reflect that and they will be paid accordingly."

But should Strictly's stars really expect to be paid as much as these world famous singers?

The BBC was no doubt forced to offer its coaches on The Voice huge sums to secure their place on the show. After spending £22m of licence fee payers' money on the rights to the singing show, it needs to pull in the viewers and big names are one obvious way to do that. The US panel includes Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, country star Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green.

The BBC initially secured the UK rights to the show, devised by the creator of Big Brother, after a bidding war with ITV, who reportedly offered £10m more but failed to clinch the deal.

The show sees contestants perform a 'blind audition'. When the coaches have blindly picked 10 acts each, the process of whittling down their acts for the live performance rounds begins. Eventually the winner lands a record deal with Universal Music.

This isn't the first time stories about the Strictly judges' salaries have emerged, but in 2009 head judge Goodman seemed far less upset about what he was earning.

He told the BBC: "I think we'll probably be asked to take a pay cut which I understand, we are in the middle of a recession,

"The job's brilliant. It's not exactly working on the docks - which I did for 10 years - is it?

"It's a joy so anything I get I always feel a bit of a fraud, so I don't mind if they knock off a couple of bob."