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Darcey Bussell’s rep slams ‘lies’ about reasons for departure from Strictly

She was with the show for seven series

It was sad news for Strictly Come Dancing fans yesterday as it was announced judge Darcey Bussell had quit.

Darcey, 49, has decided to step down from her role as a judge on the BBC show after seven series, saying she wants to give “more focus to my many other commitments in dance”.

Shortly after the news broke, unsubstantiated reports emerged claiming that Darcey quit the show because she was denied a £40,000 pay rise and was “embarrassed” by the show’s “soap opera” scandals.

However, a representative for Darcey has slammed the claims, calling the rumours “categorically untrue”.

Darcey has decided to step down from her role as a judge (Credit: BBC)

Read more: Darcey Bussell issues statement after quitting Strictly Come Dancing

It comes after allegations that Darcey was sick of non-stop stories about romances between the professional dancers and celebrity contestants, such as the kissing scandal involving Seann Walsh and pro Katya Jones last year.

A so-called ‘insider’ claimed Darcey was also annoyed by Bruno Tonioli’s theatrics, Craig Revel Horwood’s spats with fellow judges and the celebrity status of the pro dancers.

It was reported Darcey wanted a £40K pay rise (Credit: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com)

The source said Darcey is a “happily-married, family-orientated woman” and thinks Strictly had “become some sort of sleazy soap opera”.

A rep for Darcey told Entertainment Daily that the reports are “categorically untrue”.

On Wednesday, the dancer announced she was leaving the show.

In a statement, she said: “It has been a complete privilege for me to be part of Strictly, working with such a talented  team.

Darcey said it was a “privilege” to be a judge on Strictly (Credit: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com)

“I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone, from my fellow judges and  presenters to the dancers and musicians, and the entire backstage team, and especially the viewers of the show who have been so supportive.

“I am not leaving because of any upset or disagreement at all. I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance.

“After seven wonderful years that I can’t imagine having gone any better, I know I will miss being part off this unique show, and the fact it celebrates dance is something I am so passionate about.

“I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day.”

Read more: Claudia Winkleman says Darcey Bussell will be “so so missed” as judge quits Strictly Come Dancing

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, said in a statement: “It has been an absolute honour to have Darcey, a national treasure and British dance icon, bring her passion for dance and her graceful presence to the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel for seven consecutive years.

“She will be thoroughly missed by us all and will of course remain part of the Strictly family in the future.”

Suzy Lamb, MD, Entertainment and Music, BBC Studios said: “We feel very fortunate to have had Darcey on the Strictly judging panel for seven glorious years.

“Her exceptional knowledge of dance and generous spirit have helped many a celebrity keep dancing.

“Darcey is much loved by the entire Strictly family and I know will be missed in both the ballroom and in sitting rooms across the country.”

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