'Strictly Come Dancing' bosses are reportedly preparing to smash their budgets to land big-name stars for this year's series.

Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Anastacia and partner Brendan Cole

Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Anastacia and partner Brendan Cole

Producers are prepared to pull out all the stops to ensure the Latin and ballroom contest has a strong line-up in order to make the programme a must-watch after the BBC saw a lot of their 2020 schedule disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

A source told The Sun newspaper's Bizarre TV column: "Coronavirus has made planning a TV show difficult but producers are keen for 'Strictly' to remain the jewel in the BBC's crown.

"Bookers have been told they can as much as double what they've paid for stars in the past.

"They've made some offers already and will be continuing to do so over the next few months to lock down a stellar line-up."

Previously, the biggest names on the show were reportedly paid in the "high five figures", with some even close to £100,000.

It is believed JLS singer Aston Merrygold, who competed in 2017, and Anastacia, who was a contestant in 2016, were the previous highest-paid stars.

It is thought 'Strictly' could be in a good position to attract stars to this year's series after production on numerous shows and films was cancelled, due to the pandemic.

A source previously said: "The thing is - because of the lockdown, a lot of celebs are having films, TV shows, tours and theatre bookings cancelled and 'Strictly' is likely to go ahead - it's a big payday and a huge, prestigious show.

"When packed schedules might have stood in the way before, now a lot of stars' calendars have opened right up."

And it was recently revealed that "two A-listers" who have been on wish lists "for years" are finally considering signing up.

An insider said: "'Strictly' bosses are actually in talks with some huge stars now the lockdown has come into effect.

"There are two A-listers in particular that bosses have been trying to sign for years who are now considering joining the show."