The BBC has gone to war with Strictly Come Dancing judges over wage demands, telling them ‘Read the room, take what we offer or leave.’
It is believed they are particularly angry with Shirley Ballas, who some bosses would like to see leave the program.
Sources at the Corporation told the Daily Mail they are refusing to accede to her and co-stars Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke’s demands for an 11% pay rise and fear the situation is now ‘bad’ could become. nasty’ between the BBC and the stars.
Chiefs are also outraged that the foursome have joined a “union” to get what they want – and many suspect it is Ms. Ballas who is fueling the fight for more money.
It’s also clear they were upset with her when she publicly said she might not be returning to the show last month, citing trolling from the British public behind her reluctance to return.
Behind-the-scenes drama: The BBC has gone to war with their strict judges over wage demands, telling them ‘Read the room, take what we offer or leave’ (LR) Anton du Beke; Shirley Ballas; Motsi Mabuse; Craig Revel Horwood
In the firing line: They are believed to be particularly angry with Shirley Ballas, who some bosses would like to see leave the program
Shirley, who currently earns £500,000 for her three-month appearance on the show, came under fire as a judge last year when she was charged with ageism and sexism.
A BBC insider said: ‘We can’t justify giving them what they want and it’s up to them. They can go if they want, of course that’s not the desired outcome, but they have to read the room.
“Their viewers are really struggling to survive in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.
“They get paid as much as it is and right now it looks like they might not get paid at all, so it’s up to them.
“But you can’t see any of them being paid exactly what they’re being paid elsewhere at the BBC. The ball is in their court.
“As for Shirley saying she might not return to the show because of trolls, first, we were able to see through her strategy, and second, don’t look at Twitter.”
However, sources close to Ms Ballas, 62, responded to criticism that she, Mr Revel Horwood, 58, Ms Mabuse, 42, and Mr Du Beke, 56, have suffered after demanding the pay rise – and insisted a wage freeze during Covid means they have earned the same since 2019.
They also claim that strict BBC rules mean they can’t make extra money from social media endorsement deals, and that they have to be ‘at their beck and call’ throughout the series.
Dream on: Sources at the Corporation told the Daily Mail they are refusing to respond to demands for an 11% pay rise being made by her and co-stars Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke and fear the situation now could happen between the BBC and the stars get ‘very nasty’
Profitable: The raise requested would see Chief Judge Shirley, who currently earns £500,000 for her three-month stint, making a staggering £15,960 an hour on the show
The source said: ‘The request for a raise is due to the fact that there has been no raise since Covid. People inside and outside the BBC have had annual raises, so Shirley and the other judges think they are entitled to them.
How much do Strictly judges earn?
Shirley Ballas – £500,000
Craig Revel Horwood – £200,000
Motsi Mabuse – £200,000
Anton Du Beke – £180,000
“Being a part of Strictly also means making sacrifices. Unlike other channels, the BBC does not allow Instagram endorsements, which are very lucrative.”
A BBC spokesman declined to comment.
It comes after Shirley revealed that her son Mark had set rules if she were to return to Strictly later this year, after considering quitting due to her mental health.
She said she had to seek medical attention for low mood and anxiety as she struggled to cope with the relentless trolling during last year’s series.
In a new interview, the TV star revealed she turned to her son Mark, 36, for advice on what to do after he recently announced his departure from America’s Dancing With The Stars after 20 seasons.
The star was subjected to terrible online abuse as well as vicious taunts about her appearance.
But speaking to former Strictly contestant Kaye Adams on the How to turn 60 podcastShirley revealed that Mark has set some ground rules to keep her from sinking back into depression and anxiety.
‘I just came back from a visit to Mark and we spent a long time talking about the whole thing, ‘Would you like to do Strictly again, what were the setbacks, pitfalls for you mom? ‘, She said.
Speaking out: It comes after Shirley revealed her son Mark had set rules if she were to return to Strictly later this year, after considering quitting due to her mental health
Candid: The judge had to seek medical attention due to bad mood and anxiety as she struggled to cope with the relentless trolling during last year’s series, but Mark was on hand to support her (pictured with son Mark)
‘It makes me emotional. He was absolutely fantastic, and he said, “You know, everybody gets it mom, it doesn’t matter who you are, what level you’re at, if you go on social media, somebody’s going to troll, sitting on their computer, it makes their day good to make you miserable”.
He said, “So if you want to take Strictly back, these are the rules I’d follow if I were you”.
“So we sat there with him and his beautiful wife for many hours and I felt much better after I left because after the Strictly tour I took a break.
“I have turned down a lot of things that were offered to me for personal reasons and I just wanted to clear my head and see what I want to do.
Shirley continued, “Do I want to continue, don’t I want to continue?” And my son helped me with that. I feel in a much, much better place.”
Ballas, who was given the role of head judge in 2017, said she made a conscious decision after talking to her son at the end of her first series to be kinder to contestants.
Talented: Mark recently left Dancing With The Stars after winning the show with celebrity Charli D’Amelio
She said, “Well, after freshman year, and when I talked to my son too, because I said, ‘What did you think when you watched Mark on TV?’ he said, ‘I actually jumped back mommy’.”
“Ooh that’s a little hard,” he said, “these people put their shoes on for three months, this isn’t the Brit open to the world like the mother of the US championships, you can still get a good honest criticizing, it’s just the way you do it.’
But Shirley said the relentless criticism of her decisions as chief judge took its toll.
“I let the walls come down and I let the people in, then the criticism was a little harder to bear,” she said.
“The social media was unparalleled last year — it was pretty tough.
“I remember being at work one day and reposting something someone posted just because I was so furious about all the horrible messages I was getting.
“I reposted it and then this gentleman got cheated. He contacted my team.
“Eventually he and I talked on the phone because I didn’t want him to suffer, if you will.
And he said to me, ‘I’m so sorry, I wrote that, but you sent someone home that we really loved and I just got there and ranted’.
“I said, ‘Well, you may have been one tirade too much for me.’
“I don’t think people realize the effect they can have on someone checking their social media.
“This year I’m letting someone else do my social media and I won’t be aware of that because it really hit me last year.”