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Craig Revel Horwood just said something very controversial about fellow Strictly judge Shirley Ballas

We weren't expecting that…

Fiona Ward

Craig Revel Horwood has admitted he thinks Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas should be paid less than him, because she entered the show later than he and his co-stars. He told The Sun: "The point about this pay thing is, yes, I think women should be paid the same as men. That’s for sure. But what would you say to a woman coming in after you’ve been in the job for 15 years when they’ve done absolutely nothing to earn it? I don’t think that’s right."

Craig with fellow judges Shirley, Darcey and Bruno

The publication reports that after Shirley was initially appointed to the BBC show, her salary was raised to match that of former head judge Len Goodman's, in light of the gender pay row - meaning she earns the same as Bruno Tonioli but more than Craig and Darcey Bussell. 

MORE: Exclusive! Shirley Ballas opens up about relationship with Brendan Cole

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Craig continued: "For instance Shirley Ballas in that way, you’d expect she would start on something lower because she’s never been on TV before - the show’s been going for 14 years. Len Goodman earned a major reputation and put the show on the map like we all did. We all created it from the beginning. And I don’t think it’s comparable. Sorry. It just isn’t."

READ MORE: Strictly Come Dancing couple reunite after split rumours: see picture

The outspoken dancer also recently spoke out about why he didn't get the head judge role himself - admitting to The Express that he had never wanted the job at all. "The role as head judge... you have to be the mediator and I am who I am and love the job I do," he said. "I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I didn’t want the responsibility, I like where I am at the moment. I think it’s good."

Craig feels Shirley should be on a lower salary

Strictly will return in the autumn, with all four judges confirmed to be returning to the panel. Rumoured contestants include Anneka Rice, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Catherine Tyldesley. The show has welcomed three new professionals this year in their biggest professional line-up yet, since saying goodbye to veteran Brendan Cole and 22-year-old Chloe Hewitt.

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