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Monday 6th July 2020

Strictly judges 'want Ed Balls to quit to stop show looking silly'

Panel reportedly at loggerheads with producers behind the scenes

Not everyone is in love with Ed Balls' ongoing presence on Strictly Come Dancing, if The Sun is to be believed.

The tabloid is reporting that the show's producers and judges are squabbling over the former MP's success.

Privately they think it's making a mockery of the show.

The ex-shadow chancellor, 49, has survived to dance another show this weekend, despite low marks and his, let's say, alternative moves.

Strictly Come Dancing
The paper claims the judges believe that Ed should now 'do a Sergeant' and quit to avoid the show looking silly, while producers want him to stay as his routines go down so well with viewers.

A paper insider said: "The judges publicly say Ed is entertaining because he is.

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"But privately they think it's making a mockery of the show if he gets to the final as there are so many talented dancers this year."

In 2008, ex-political journalist John Sergeant pulled out of the show because, he said, winning would have been “a joke too far”.

John Sergeant (Ian West/PA)
However a BBC spokesman has dismissed the claims about disputes over Ed and said that they were “nonsense”.

Ed and his dancing partner Katya Jones, 27, got their highest score at the weekend — 27 out of 40.

Undated BBC handout photo of judges (left-right) Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli during Saturday's live edition of the BBC1 show, Strictly Come Dancing.
This report comes after Strictly dancer Brendan Cole said that if Ed continues to improve at the rate he’s going, he could get his hands on the coveted glitterball.

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“He’s improving week upon week and that’s what the show’s all about… it was spot on for me as a Strictly dance,” he told Digital Spy, referring to the weekend's routine.

Brendan Cole (Ian West/PA)
He added: “I absolutely do think Ed could get to the final or even win – and I hope he does in many ways. I think it would be a great thing for the show.

“Some of the contestants come under criticism because they’ve danced before so it’s not that difficult for them, but it is very difficult for them… it’s just a lot more difficult for somebody that’s not done it!”