Craig Revel Horwood denies Darcey Bussell quit 'Strictly' over pay disputes

Amy West
Craig Revel Horwood speaks out about Darcey Bussell’s exit from ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)

Craig Revel Horwood has weighed in on Dame Darcey Bussell quitting Strictly Come Dancing – and given how well known he is for delivering brutally honest and often scathing critiques, it comes as no surprise that he’s telling it like it is.

The long-standing judge told The Mirror that the rumours suggesting Bussell stepped down due to receiving a smaller salary than fellow panel members Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli is “absolute rubbish.”

Read more: Dame Darcey Bussell steps down as judge from ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

“It depends what else you do for the BBC,” he explained to the publication. “The same was said about Len [Goodman] and Bruno earning more than Darcey and I. That was because Len did that dreadful Partners in Rhyme show. Darcey and I are absolutely fine.”

Despite Bussell stating that she “enjoyed every minute” of her seven years on the BBC dance competition and that she was “not leaving because of any upset or disagreement at all”, viewers were quick to speculate otherwise.

Dame Darcey Bussell steps down as judge from ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

Fueled by insider comments, some arrived at the unfounded conclusion that she had become tired of “‘the Bruno show’ and felt the dynamic between the judges changed after Craig’s jibes at Shirley’s cosmetic surgery”.

But Revel Horwood insists that Tonioli’s “theatricals annoy everyone, darling. Not just Darcey.” Basically, it’s highly unlikely that that was the reason behind her walking away. 

“Darcey is a prima ballerina – we were really honoured to have her,” he added. “That’s really important, that we had someone of her calibre on the show.

Read more: Oti Mabuse is the favourite to replace Darcey Bussell on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

“It’s a good thing she wants to do other things.”

During the interview, Horwood noted how he had sent well wishes to “best mate” Bussell privately “unlike everyone else who sends their condolences as though she’s dead!”

“She’s not died, she’s just left the show,” he laughed. “I’m really going to miss her [but] she’s got a life to lead – she’s a Dame, she doesn’t need it.”