Strictly Come Dancing pros may “quit tour over pay freeze”
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Strictly Come Dancing may not be able to go on tour in 2013 if a pay dispute with the show’s professional dancers is not resolved.
According to The Metro, the Strictly ballroom dancers have reportedly threatened the BBC with quitting the upcoming tour if they don’t get a pay rise.
An email was allegedly sent round informing the stars their wages would not be going up ahead of the live shows in January.
They currently earn £5,500 a week, which is substantially less than the celebrities they partner up with and have to train up for the programme.
The Metro have named seven stars - including last year's winner Aliona Vilani, runner-up Pasha Kovalev and Kristina Rihanoff - who are demanding a pay increase to £8,000 a week.
The BBC are under pressure as Strictly Come Dancing is currently in the middle of its 2012 series and is enjoying record viewing figures.
In response, Strictly chiefs put in a counter offer of £6,000, but this has reportedly already been declined by the professionals.
A BBC insider told The Sun: “The pro dancers work like dogs on tour. As well as dancing, they are responsible for choreography and preparing the celebrities for the performance.
“Some dancers feel the bosses have forgotten they are household names in their own right.”
If the pay dispute is not resolved in time, it looks like the current crop of Strictly Come Dancing celebrities will be left partnerless.
Producers also worry that fans of the show will be less likely to buy tickets if they have to replace the familiar faces with unknown dancers.
A spokesman for the Strictly tour told The Metro: “The tour is not in jeopardy. All dates will proceed as advertised.”