The BBC has denied claims that Strictly Come Dancing is in ‘turmoil’ following tabloid reports that Sharon Osbourne and Richard Madeley had quit the BBC1 show over pay.

The Mirror reported on Wednesday that former X Factor judge Sharon and presenter Richard had walked out after BBC1 boss Jay Hunt insisted on a 30 per cent reduction in costs this year.

But a spokesperson for the show said in a statement that Sharon and Richard “were never signed to take part in the series and fees were never discussed”.

Strictly has faced tough criticism in recent weeks over its decision to replace Arlene Phillips with 2007 winner Alesha Dixon on the judging panel.

The statement read: “The suggestion that Strictly Come Dancing is in turmoil couldn’t be further from the truth and we will be announcing the exciting and varied line-up of dancers and celebrities in the coming weeks.”

The Mirror also claimed that a number of Strictly’s professional dancers have also revolted against cuts to their £35,000 series fee by refusing to sign contracts.

The statement continued: “The BBC does not discuss its artist contracts or disclose individual fees because it’s both commercially sensitive and a private matter.

“We have a firm commitment to reduce the total amount we spend on top talent in the coming years. This process has started, with new contracts already agreed for less than we have paid in the past.”

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 in the autumn.