Shirley Ballas Hits Back At Strictly Come Dancing Pay Row Reports

Strictly's head judge was pressed about recent headlines in the media about the panellists' salaries during an appearance on Loose Women.
Shirley Ballas during an appearance on Wednesday's Loose Women
Shirley Ballas during an appearance on Wednesday's Loose Women
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Shirley Ballas has shot down reports the Strictly Come Dancing judges were recently in a stand-off with the BBC over pay.

Reports in the tabloid press earlier this month suggested Shirley and fellow judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke were holding out for an inflation-busting 11% pay rise before agreeing to return for this year’s series.

With the four panellists all since confirmed for the forthcoming run of the BBC ballroom show, Shirley was put on the spot about pay as she appeared on Loose Women on Wednesday.

Shirley had been paying tribute to her friend and predecessor as Strictly head judge Len Goodman, who died earlier this week at the age of 78, when presenter Janet Street Porter pressed her about the recent pay rise rumours.

“What were all these stories about you not going back?” Janet asked.

Laughing, Shirley said: “Do you read the press? Do you believe everything you read in the press?

“Don’t believe what you read in the press. If don’t you hear it from me personally, you know it’s a load of rubbish.”

“Shirley, holding out for more money though?” Janet asked.

“Absolutely not true,” Shirley insisted. “I’m going to look you in the eye. Absolutely not true. I’m very excited.”

Strictly judges Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood and Mosti Mabuse
Strictly judges Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood and Mosti Mabuse

Shirley made similar comments during an appearance on Good Morning Britain earlier in the week.

“First of all, I can clarify that there was no arguing with the BBC over pay,” she said.

“I want to say particularly... we’re in a crisis, a living crisis, where finances in different homes are very, very difficult. This is absolutely not true. So I can honestly say that there are no pay rises, it’s just not true, and no arguing. It is what it is.”

She added: “I think people are vigilant, the BBC are vigilant, we are vigilant, that we are going through a crisis,” she added. “You look at the nurses, you look at all these people who need the pay rises. There was no stand-off – I don’t know who leaks this information or where the information comes from, but it’s absolutely not true.”

HuffPost UK previously contacted representatives for Strictly Come Dancing, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood and Anton Du Beke for comment on the claims, but did not receive any responses.

Prior to claims about the judges’ pay making headlines, Shirley publicly admitted she was considering her future with Strictly after the intense social media trolling she experienced during the last series.

She told The Mirror: “I felt the abuse snowballed out of control and impacted me in such a negative way....

“And that was an all-time low since I joined the show – it was the most negativity I’d ever experienced.”

Asked if she considered quitting, Shirley replied: “It was a difficult series, I’ll leave it at that...

“Will I go back to Strictly? I always take one step at a time,” she said.

Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV1. Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later in the year.

Watch Shirley’s full Loose Women appearance below...


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