- The ballroom experts, who are currently paid £50,000 per series regardless of long they’ve appeared on the show, believe they deserve more
STRICTLY Come Dancing’s professional dancers are forming an unofficial union to fight BBC bosses for a pay rise.
The ballroom experts currently receive £50,000, per series for the flagship BBC1 show, but believe they deserve to pocket a lot more for their work.
It is believed that fee is the same for each pro, regardless of how many years they have been on the show.
Meanwhile, the Strictly judges receive between £150,000 and £250,000 per series.
Now the pro dancers have formed a un ion amongst themselves to call for bigger salaries.
A telly source said: “The professionals have been talking among themselves and are going to come together to ask Strictly bosses for a pay rise.
“They put in incredible hours rehearsing both with their celebrities and also group routines. A lot of them are putting in 10 hour days which is a lot of dancing.
“It has been on the cards for a long time and they haven’t had a payrise in years. They love the show, they just want to feel their money reflects the amount of work they put in and also the celebrity status and profile that comes with it.
“Some of them are now almost better known than the celeb contestants and they feel that should lead to more cash — especially when the judges get paid so much just for turning up once a week. Some feel it’s a bit of a joke.”
It comes three years after judge Bruno Tonioli, 62, blasted pros for complaining about their wage packets.
He ranted: “Those are the terms of the negotiations. If you don’t like it, stop moaning and f*** off. The BBC will never pay the kind of fees that ITV will pay (BBC Pays more).
“Strictly has not made me a millionaire. I still live in the same apartment I bought in 1991, before Strictly. But I never moan. The BBC do a wonderful job.”
Axed Strictly star Brendan Cole, 42, who was on the series for 15 years, was regularly vocal about his anger towards the dancers’ fees.
In 2008 he moaned that he couldn’t afford to buy a house or a car said: “My money from ‘Strictly’ just about pays the bills. I don’t have a car but I would like to get one.
“I don’t even own my own house that I live in. I can’t afford it. I rent where I live.”
The new series of Strictly Come Dancing kicked off earlier this month with a massive peak audience of 8.5million, and returns with celebrity contestant first dances on Saturday evening.
CASUALTY star Charles Venn looks like he’s absolutely loving his Strictly training with professional partner Karen Clifton as they flash their torsoes during rehearsals.
Charles, 45 — who plays nurse Jacob Masters in the Beeb medical drama — posted this Instagram snap with Venezuelan Karen, 36, on Tuesday with the caption: “Team12pack 5 days to go . . .”
The pair, who bookies have at 12/1 to win, will dance the cha-cha-cha to Sub Sub’s Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use) on Saturday.