Strictly bosses at loggerheads with judges over Ed Balls

Oh dear, here we go again. Remember all that hoohah about John Sergeant and Ann Widdecombe overstaying their welcome on Strictly Come Dancing?

This year, it’s Ed Balls’ turn.

The former Labour MP has been a huge hit with viewers, sailing through the competition without ever finding himself in the bottom two.

But The Sun claims that judges Len Goodman, Darcey Bussell, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli are failing to see the funny side of the 49-year-old’s startling progress, and reckon he’s making a “mockery” of the show.

Sound familiar?

According to a source, Len Goodman and co want to put pressure on Ed to throw in the towel now that he’s edging closer to the final. But BBC bosses are reveling in climbing ratings – and put it all down to Ed’s dad moves.

“The judges publicly say Ed is entertaining because he is,” said the insider. “But privately they think it’s making a mockery of the show if he gets to the final as there are so many talented dancers this year.

“The producers are over the moon he’s still in it and have been congratulating themselves as it has boosted ratings over The X Factor.”

Ed’s adamant he won’t quit, too. His dancing is improving all the time, and he earned his highest score of the competition yet with dance partner Katya Jones – a mightily impressive 27.

“People are supporting you and paying to vote,” he told Grazia this week. “The only way I’ll stay in beyond a certain point is if my dancing is clearly getting better. The problem is, there isn’t anybody else this year that’s worse.

“I’ve always known I had this strong inner camp. I’ve just never quite revealed it in this way.”

The ex-Shadow Chancellor also added that he doesn’t want to be this series’ ‘joke act’.

“The one thing I did decide right at the beginning was that I did not want to be this year’s John Sergeant or Ann Widdecombe,” he said.