Strictly Come Dancing bosses are said to be eyeing up Carlos Acosta as a potential replacement for Dame Darcey Bussell.
The BBC Latin and ballroom show’s head honchos are said to have been considering the Cuban dancer – who has performed with the retired ballerina before – as a possible panellist on the programme after Darcey announced last week she has quit as a judge.
A Strictly insider said: “Carlos is a huge name in the dance world and has been on Strictly’s radar for a long time.
“Shirley Ballas‘ popularity as head judge proves that audiences love genuine experts, even if they’re not a household name yet.”
But it is said show bosses might have to fork out a rumoured £400,000 – around £150,000 more than the other judges receive – for Carlos’ services.
The insider added to The Sun newspaper: “Carlos is a vibrant character, full of energy, with vast experience in his field. He ticks all the boxes and has the backing of influential producers.
“If Strictly can strike a deal, it would be an exciting prospect.”
Carlos has previously performed in Royal Ballet productions of Swan Lake, Giselle and The Nutcracker.
But one person who will not be filling Darcey’s spot on the judging panel is Strictly pro dancer Oti Mabuse, who yesterday (17.04.19) ruled herself out of the role.
When she was quizzed on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show about speculation she could swap dancing for judging on the programme, Oti said: “No, no. No”.
Host Zoe then said: “You see now the thing is, you would be brilliant at it, but the only thing is it would mean that we wouldn’t get you on the dance floor.”
And The Greatest Dancer captain replied: “Yeah, Yeah. I think the Strictly audience is just like, ‘No, we’re not ready to let her go.’
“But you know I love dancing. I love coming to the rehearsals. I love being a part of the group, it’s a really special group to be a part of.
“There are no dancers like Strictly dancers, how close we are.
“I think I would absolutely miss that and that part of it.”
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