BBC bosses are said to be increasing the amount of money celebrities are paid to take part in Strictly Come Dancing after Coronavirus puts this year's series in jeopardy.
With many of the nation’s favourite TV shows – like the Apprentice and the Great British Bake Off – likely to be cancelled owing to the coronavirus crisis, BBC bosses are keen to make this year’s Strictly Come Dancing one of the best ever. And they’re willing to pay the big bucks to secure a strong line-up.
According to The Sun, an insider said, “Coronavirus has made planning a TV show difficult but producers are keen for Strictly to remain the jewel in the BBC’s crown. Bookers have been told they can as much as double what they’ve paid for stars in the past.”
While it’s never been made public just how much the stars of Strictly get paid, it is thought their fee for the show tends to be in the “high five figures” and then increases dependant on how far they make it in the series.
Although COVID-19 could make the upcoming series a logistical nightmare, producers are hoping bigger name celebrities have more time on their hands due to other projects being cancelled.
The source added, “They’ve made some offers already and will be continuing to do so over the next few months to lock down a stellar line-up.”
It comes just days after it emerged that plans to save the series could include putting celebrities and their dance partners in isolation together – in a bid to lower the risk of coronavirus – and filming the BBC show without a studio audience.
The stars would be put into isolation with their pro partners over a week before the start of the series to avoid risks of illness.
“In theory they would stay in the same place and train together daily with minimal contact with the outside world,” a TV insider revealed.
While it might seem “an extreme idea,” it’s one that has allowed the German version of the show – on which Motsi Mabuse is also a judge – to continue airing.