Former Strictly Come Dancing star James Jordan has hit out at the BBC show – claiming the professional dancers are badly treated.
The 36-year-old dancer – who left the show last year – has opened up to the Daily Star after leaving the Celebrity Big Brother house, and revealed he thinks Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli should be axed from the judging panel.
James, whose wife Ola is still a professional dancer on Strictly, said: “No one feels like they’re treated well. Everyone says among themselves that it’s disgusting. We were basically dictated to.
“By last year they were telling us what to wear and how to theme the dances. Then they were sending in people to check on our choreography. It’s insulting.
“But no one dares to speak up for themselves because they want to keep their job. It’s difficult to stand together.
“Standing up to the BBC can’t happen unless you’re a group. Brendan Cole used to say we should all stick together, just like I did. But there are always going to be people saying, ‘I can’t, I need this job.’
“I get messages from dancers still on the show saying they wish they’d stood by me.”
James – who gained a reputation for talking back to the judges on the live show – revealed he had told producers what he really thought last year, only to be dropped a few weeks later.
James said: “All we heard from the producers was, ‘You are all replaceable. Nobody is bigger than the BBC.’ I brought that up with them and said, ‘F***ing replace us all then. See what happens.’
“They were just trying to intimidate us. I bit my tongue for seven years because I needed the job. But it got to the point where I thought, ‘F*** off’.”
He added: “The celebrities get much better treatment and that’s wrong. The dancers make that show and they don’t get the credit they deserve. Doing Celebrity Big Brother has been good for me because I have finally been treated in a nice way.
“I’d never go back. I don’t think I’m very BBC. They can’t control me and I don’t think they liked that.”
James also claimed Strictly had lost sight of its ballroom roots and called for judges Craig and Bruno to be dropped from the panel.
He said: “The show needs to go back to its roots of ballroom and Latin dancing. It’s gone a little bit commercial, which I don’t like.
“It could be on TV for a long time, as long as they don’t f*** it up. Each new producer wants to put their stamp on the show and that could go wrong.
“At the moment, it isn’t taken seriously in the dance world because of who’s on the panel. They only respect Len Goodman and Darcey Bussell.
“Craig has been the same for 10 years. It’s time to mix it up. Him and Bruno should go. They ditch dancers. They should do the same with those two judges.”