ENTERTAINMENT
03/07/2018 15:10 BST

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Judge Craig Revel Horwood Isn't Happy Head Judge Shirley Ballas Is Now Earning More Than Him

'What would you say to a woman coming in after you’ve been in the job for 15 years when they’ve done absolutely nothing to earn it?'

Strictly Come Dancing’ judge Craig Revel Horwood has spoken out about the salary of head judge Shirley Ballas, insisting her earnings from the show should be lower.

The panellist says because she only joined the show last year - taking over from former head judge Len Goodman - she should be paid according to her experience.

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Craig Revel Horwood and Shirley Ballas

His comments have reignited the show’s gender pay debate, after it was previously revealed Shirley was paid £180,000 when she joined the BBC One dance show last year, which was less than her predecessor.

BBC documents have revealed that the head judge has had her pay boosted to £250,000 for her second year on the show, matching Len Goodman’s salary - and taking her above Craig’s.

Discussing the equal pay debate, Horwood told The Sun: “I think women should be paid the same as men. That’s for sure.

“But what would you say to a woman coming in after you’ve been in the job for 15 years when they’ve done absolutely nothing to earn it? I don’t think that’s right.”

Addressing Shirley’s case directly, he added: “You’d expect she would start on something lower because she’s never been on TV before, the show’s been going for 14 years.

“Len Goodman earned a major reputation and put the show on the map like we all did. We all created it from the beginning. And I don’t think it’s comparable.

“Sorry. It just isn’t.”

His comments were back by his former ‘Strictly’ colleague Arlene Phillips during an interview on Tuesday’s ‘Lorraine’.

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Arlene Phillips and Craig Revel Horwood

She said: “I do think experience counts, if you’re on a show in the West End and you decide to stay on you get an increase every year for the experience that you’ve had.

“Then when you go back to square on because you want to do a new show, you go back to everybody’s starting salary – your age doesn’t carry weight.

“He’s been on the show for about 15 years and I think they should rise every year absolutely.

“But it is important that women do get the same pay – same job, same pay grade. But also for experience – Craig has been there a long time and I think he deserves every penny.”

Earlier this year, Shirley addressed Strictly’s pay gap during an appearance on ‘Loose Women’.

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She said: “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 they will be more than fair.”

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