13/08/2018 10:31 BST

'Strictly Come Dancing': Shirley Ballas Backed By Predecessor Len Goodman In Gender Pay Gap Debate

'If you’re doing the same job, you should get the same money.'

Former ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ judge Len Goodman has sided with his successor Shirley Ballas in the ongoing discussion about how much she should be paid.

Last year was Len’s first year away from the ‘Strictly’ panel, with Shirley stepping into his shoes as Head Judge.

However, she revealed back in May that she was paid less than Len to do the same job, with reports also suggesting she was paid less than fellow judge Bruno Tonioli.

David M. Benett via Getty Images
Shirley Ballas

She said at the time: “I do believe if a woman is doing the same job as a man then everybody should be on equal pay. But I do also understand that my first time on ‘Strictly’ was like a trial so to speak.

“You’ve got to see that you can do the job, so I felt that everybody was really happy and I’m sure that [the BBC] will be more than fair [this year].”

Len has now reiterated Shirley’s comments, insisting it’s only fair that she should earn the same as he did when he was on the show.

HGL via Getty Images
Len Goodman

He told The Sun: “If you’re doing the same job, you should get the same money.”

Fellow judge Craig Revel-Horwood was previously less enthusiastic, claiming that the former judge’s high pay packet was due to the fact he “earned a major reputation” over a number of years, which Len also addressed in his interview with the newspaper.

“The only thing that comes between that is what Craig said – when ­someone’s got more experience,” he continued. “But does that matter? I don’t think it does.

“You have to turn up at the same time, critique the dancing the same. I think it’s perfectly fine [for Shirley to be paid the same]. It’s difficult to step in for anyone. She did really well.”

Shirley is set to return for her second year on the ‘Strictly’ panel this autumn, with the BBC now having started teasing this year’s celebrity line-up, beginning with model and TV personality Katie Piper.

Check out the full list of rumoured stars here.

Photo gallery Strictly Come Dancing's Former Pros: Where Are They Now? See Gallery