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Karen Hardy axed from Strictly Come Dancing

The BBC has again found itself at the centre of ageism allegations following reports that Karen Hardy, 39, has been axed from 'Strictly Come Dancing' in favour of two younger dancers.

According to the Daily Mail, Hardy will play a smaller role in the reality show with two younger professional dancers, Lithuanian Katya Virshilas, 25, and Australian Natalie Lowe, 28, expected to partner the celebrity contestants.

The news comes just weeks after Strictly judge Arlene Phillips, 66, was axed in favour of former champion Alesha Dixon, 30, sparking accusations of ageism. The BBC has refused to confirm or deny that Hardy has been dropped from the hit show.

However, an insider has told the Mail that the makers of 'Strictly Come Dancing' are looking to attract a younger audience for the next series.

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