‘Strictly Come Dancing’ eyeing ballet dancer Carlos Acosta to replace Darcey Bussell

Amy West
Carlos Acosta is at the top of Strictly Come Dancing’s list in regards to replacing Darcey Bussell – but will the show fork out to get him? (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage )

Since Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell announced she was leaving the show earlier this month, fans have been keen to learn who will replace her on the panel. Now, it’s been revealed that the BBC dance series is reportedly eyeing her former ballet partner Carlos Acosta for the gig.

According to The Sun, the show has “set its sights” on the Cuban choreographer but considering he has just signed on to be Birmingham Royal Ballet’s new artistic director from 2020, he’s in high demand.

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

Acosta knows it too apparently, with the publication claiming that he’s requesting a hefty £400,000 pay cheque, which is allegedly £150,000 more than existing judges Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Shirley Ballas get. 

Whether the show will cough up remains to be seen. But one thing’s for certain – it’s keen on bagging the 45-year-old.

“Carlos is a huge name in the dance world and has been on Strictly’s radar for a long time,” an insider told The Sun“Shirley’s popularity as head judge proves that audiences love genuine experts, even if they’re not a household name yet.

“Carlos is a vibrant character, full of energy, with vast experience in his field. He ticks all the boxes and has the backing of influential producers. If Strictly can strike a deal, it would be an exciting prospect.”

Read more: Rylan Clark-Neal to co-host ‘Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two’ with Zoe Ball

Bussell opened up about why she was leaving Strictly on her personal Instagram account, saying: “I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone.

“I am not leaving because of any upset or disagreement at all, I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance after seven wonderful years that I can’t imagine having gone any better.”