The Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers will not have their pay cut, according to reports.
The Sun reports that each of the 13-strong team will in fact see an increase in their £30,000 salaries for the new series, which starts on BBC1 next month.
The dancers – including partners Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova (pictured) – will apparently receive an additional £4,200 each for working two extra shows, which take place on a Friday at the beginning of the series.
It’s believed that Strictly host Bruce Forsyth and the show’s judges have had their pay cut – but insiders say BBC bosses decided that the dancers should be viewed as temporary staff rather than ‘talent’.
One said: “The feeling was that the professional dancers already get a fairly modest pay deal and they do a lot of the actual work.
“While they are to all intents and purposes ‘talent’, the dancers are really more like staff as their dance partners are the main attraction.”
According to the paper, the BBC expects have contracts signed for all 13 dancers within the next few weeks – but past winners Karen Hardy and Camilla Dallerup will not be part of this year’s line-up.
Dancer Hayley Holt also expressed her ‘disappointment’ on Wednesday after being dumped from the show by email.
New Zealander Hayley told The Mirror that Strictly bosses emailed her agent saying her services were no longer required without explaining why.
She said: “I’m not too sure why I wasn’t asked back. They didn’t really give me a reason. My agent had to ring them up to find out what was going on. It leaves me wondering why. It is frustrating.”
A BBC spokesperson described Hayley’s departure as “an amicable decision”.
Strictly has been accused of ageism in recent weeks over its decision to replace Arlene Phillips on the judging panel with 2007 Alesha Dixon then axing 39-year-old Karen for a younger dancer.