Sharon Osbourne pulls out of Strictly Come Dancing

Plans for this year's edition of Strictly Come Dancing have been thrown into disarray after two of the stars scheduled to appear decided to pull out.

The Mirror reports that Sharon Osbourne will not take part in the popular reality show after failure to reach an agreement over her fee while Richard Madeley has also pulled out of the new series.

BBC1 controller Jay Hunt is alleged to have slashed the costs on all shows by 30 per cent making it difficult for the producers of Strictly to attract big names and angering the show's professional dancers who have been forced to take a pay cut.

The news comes just weeks after Ms. Hunt decided to replace judge Arlene Phillips, 66, with the 30-year-old former champion Alesha Dixon in an attempt to challenge X Factor's youthful demographic.

According to the Daily Mail Osbourne was put off participating in Strictly after witnessing how Phillips was treated by Hunt. However, the BBC has denied claims that the hit show is in crisis.

"The suggestion that Strictly Come Dancing is in turmoil couldn’t be further from the truth and we will be announcing the exciting and varied line-up of dancers and celebrities in the coming weeks," a spokesperson told the Mail.

"Sharon Osbourne and Richard Madeley were never signed to take part in the series and fees were never discussed. The BBC does not discuss its artist contracts or disclose individual fees because it’s both commercially sensitive and a private matter."

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