Craig Revel Horwood has claimed the 'Strictly Come Dancing' pay is "below the poverty line."
The acid-tongue judge has sat on the panel of the ballroom and latin show since its inception in 2004 and, although he keeps reclaiming his seat year after year, he has admitted the money he gets from the three-month stint isn't as good as people may expect but he does it because it's "fun."
He explained: "Holding up paddles from one to 10 is not a career - it's a light-hearted entertainment TV show. If I didn't have a creative outlet, I'd be suicidal. 'Strictly Come Dancing' is Saturday night fun. The pay's not amazing. The majority of the money comes from directing and royalties. Someone once did an expose of what the judges earned, and it was below the poverty line."
And, although the last series of the dancing show was the most successful to date, the 52-year-old choreographer almost refused to attend the audition for the programme when his agent first approached him with the idea because he was convinced the format wouldn't work.
He said: "I didn't want to do it. I said: 'That's going to be awful - professional people who can't dance paired with people who have been dancing since they were three? It's going to be painful and terrible. We are all going to look stupid.' But from week three of series one, the viewing figures went crazy and every week they went up and up.""
The next instalment of 'Strictly' will hit television screens at the end of September but this year will be slightly different as head judge Len Goodman - who had been on the panel since 2004 - has been replaced by Shirley Ballas following his decision to quit the show after last year's series.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Craig said: "I've only met her once at the Beeb just to say hello, but she's going to be brilliant. I'm delighted with the decision. She's the most qualified of all of us on the panel, she completely knows her stuff, and to be 10-times champion in America - where they're seriously good - is frightening.
"She's completely different from Len. He's a cheeky chappy. She's cheeky but in a different way. She's from Manchester, full of life, vitality, spirit. She knows exactly what she's talking about."
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