After seven years as a judge, Dame Darcey Bussell waltzed away from Strictly Come Dancing in 2019 with little explanation.
Now, the prima ballerina has made shocking revelations about her time on the dancing competition.
According to the 53 year old, BBC bosses wanted to dumb down her on-screen persona despite Darcey originally being hired for her dance expertise.
Despite studying ballet since the tender age of 13, Darcey was told that audiences wouldn’t be interested in her highly technical criticism of contestants.
The former Royal Ballet star had also performed numerous times at the Royal Opera House, with the dancer being awarded an OBE for her contribution to the arts in 1995.
Speaking on the Royal Academy of Dance podcast, she told listeners: “They were convinced that the public weren’t going to take that on board….”
She added: “But the public did take it on board and [nevertheless] were happy to have me as a judge…”
Darcey was swiftly replaced by dancer Motsi Mabuse, whose older sister Oti Mabuse was a professional on the hit BBC show.
Ealier this year, Oti left the the show after seven years – with younger sister Motsi remaining a part of the judging panel.
These are just some of the major changes the show has undergone in recent years which included the sudden passing of host Bruce Forsyth in 2017, as well as the departure of beloved judges Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli.
Both men had been part of the series since it’s debut in 2004, and Bruno’s exit earlier this year shocked fans.
Though Bruno cited scheduling issues as his reason for leaving, many will be questioning this following Darcey’s allegations.
The mum-of-two has also added that she wasn’t prepared to change her personality to suit the show.
“I was always going to play myself, however much I was convinced that to look like and be like the ballet dancer wasn’t the right thing…”
Execs of the dancing competition have also come under fire for their treatment of former judge Arlene Philips, who accused the BBC of ageism after she was hastily replaced with musician Alesha Dixon in 2009.
At the time, Arlene was in her mid-sixties whilst the Scandalous singer was just 30.
The news was met with intense criticism from fans and questions in Parliament from then-Minister for Equality, Harriet Harman.
During a House of Commons session, Harriet stated that she believed the BBC and Strictly executives’ decision to drop Arlene was motivated by discrimination.
Harriet even demanded that the BBC not to replace Arlene, when the new series aired later that year. Instead, the broadcaster refused to give a statement about the debate and insisted that the decision was not due to ageism.
The BBC have also not responded to Darcey’s comments, which were made earlier this year in April.
OK! has gone to the BBC for comment.
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