Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli has addressed claims the panto star called him an “attention seeker” and has insisted Craig is simply “jealous” he’s “more popular”.
He told The Sun newspaper: “There’s more than a hint of bitterness there.
“He’s trying to create some attention for himself. He’s jealous I’m more popular than him.”
The 63-year-old dance expert also dismissed Craig’s comments saying he is “tight” with his money, claiming he treated him to an extravagant birthday meal at London’s world famous The Ivy restaurant.
He added: “And tight? I paid for him and Bananarama at The Ivy for my birthday party, so he can’t say that.
“I bought a meal for him and his boyfriend at The Ivy and he must have drunk 20 bottles of rosé.”
Though he and Craig don’t always agree, Bruno says the current judging panel – completed by head judge Shirley Ballas and Dame Darcey Bussell – is the “best”.
He said: “We’re like the Spice Girls. We all have different traits in our personality and we just work that angle.
“Craig is the evil, bitter pantomime dame. Darcey is just gorgeous, she’s The Lady. And Shirley is the school mistress.
“They call me the jester who never quite knows what is going to come out.”
Bruno also quipped that he’s nearly wiped Shirley out several times with his flamboyant and erratic arm gestures, after admitting she has the most “dangerous” job in television sitting next to him.
He joked: “I’ve nearly decapitated her a few times.
“She’s now got her ducking and diving down to a T.”
He said previously: “I think poor Shirley has the most dangerous job in TV. I think she’s got almost decapitated quite a few times.
“The reason [it’s happening more] is this series is probably one of the most exciting we’ve ever had.
“It’s so wonderful seeing the competitors always deliver such exciting performances, I can’t help but express myself physically.
“Poor Shirley, she’s a specialist in diving and ducking!”
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