Craig Revel Horwood insisted Gemma Collins was banned from 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

Craig Revel Horwood

Craig Revel Horwood

The 53-year-old choreographer - who has been a judge on the show since it began in 2004 - claims he was responsible for the programme's ban on reality TV stars, which he "created" after the 'Only Way is Essex' star asked for a spot on the dancefloor following her dramatic fall at the BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards last year.

He explained to The sun newspaper: "I created that, thank goodness. Well that was Gemma Collins, who wanted to make her merry way on the show and try to hold the BBC to ransom after falling down a hole.

"The ransom was that she wouldn't sue if she went on 'Strictly' and I went, 'There's no way that's going to happen'. Yeah, I did."

Craig previously branded Gemma too "low rent" for 'Strictly', prompting her to lash out in response.

She fumed: "I'm not low rent, Craig. We've all got to start somewhere and it's a shame to just knock someone out of giving them a chance because they don't think I'm high calibre enough.

"Well I'm sorry I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth but I get 2.2million hits on my social media. Where did he start?

"He was just a dancer and I was just a girl from Romford once. I'm not being funny, a couple more years who knows? I could be sitting drinking tea with Madonna.

"If anything, I'd probably bring a different audience to the BBC."

Gemma was left nursing a bad back and bruises after she dramatically fell through a trap door at the ceremony, and revealed plans to consult her lawyer, but later claimed she'd drop her threatened legal action if she could compete on 'Strictly'.

A source said at the time: "Gemma is deadly serious about the 'Strictly' trade off.

"She has said to BBC that she will not pursue legal action if they give her a slot on the show. She loves 'Strictly' and has always wanted to have a crack at it. She thinks this might be her chance to get on the show."