Strictly Come Dancing’s Darcey Bussell has denied there is a plot to oust Ed Balls from the hit show – as she voted him “out” while pretending to be head judge.
The BBC has been accused of trying to remove the ex-shadow chancellor from the show this weekend by organising a group dance, in which the couples get voted off one by one, as well as the usual routine.
Darcey, 47, told Chris Evans’s Radio 2 Breakfast show: “I don’t know if he will go (this weekend). There’s no plot. It’s up to the public.”
She admitted that the Cha Cha Cha was “one of the hardest dances”, but added that Ed could survive, saying: “I think he’ll do it quite well.”
But when Chris asked broadcaster Jeremy Paxman, stage star Elaine Paige and Madness frontman Suggs to pretend to be judges and for Darcey to be head, the former prima ballerina voted Ed “out”.
At first she refused to say what she thought, telling Chris: “I don’t think I have a say because I am a judge on the show.”
But the Radio 2 DJ persisted, saying: “Len Goodman’s stepping down as head judge. We have a tie situation here. This is your audition for head judge. Is he through to the next week or is he off the show?”
Darcey exclaimed: “Out!”
Ed has survived the BBC1 show thanks to votes from viewers, despite poor scoring from the judges.
Darcey said she wanted to see a ballroom and Latin expert recruited as head judge following Len’s departure.
Helen Richey, a judge on Australia’s Dancing With The Stars, has been tipped to replace the popular head judge.
Darcey suggested that she also approved of Helen and that Len had put her name forward.
“Len has already said that he’s given some ideas of who he believes should take his space and those are the experts in the field,” she said.
“The Australian show Dancing With The Stars has just finished and he said ‘there’s the perfect woman there’. She…knows the knowledge.”