It was sad news for Strictly Come Dancing fans yesterday as it was announced judge Darcey Bussell had quit.
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”.
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.
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.
“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.”
— Darcey Bussell (@DarceyOfficial) 10 April 2019
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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