Darcey Bussell: There's no plot to get Ed Balls off Strictly
Strictly Come Dancing's Darcey Bussell has denied there is a plot to oust Ed Balls from the hit show - as she voted him "out" while pretending to be head judge.
The BBC has been accused of trying to remove the ex-shadow chancellor from the show this weekend by organising a group dance, in which the couples get voted off one by one, as well as the usual routine.
Bussell, 47, told Chris Evans' Radio 2 Breakfast show: "I don't know if he will go (this weekend). There's no plot. It's up to the public."
She admitted that the Cha Cha Cha was "one of the hardest dances" but added that Balls could survive, saying: "I think he'll do it quite well."
But when Evans asked broadcaster Jeremy Paxman, stage star Elaine Paige and Madness frontman Suggs to pretend to be judges and for Bussell to be head, the former prima ballerina voted Balls "out".
At first she refused to say what she thought, telling Evans: "I don't think I have a say because I am a judge on the show."
But the Radio 2 DJ persisted, saying: "Len Goodman's stepping down as head judge. We have a tie situation here. This is your audition for head judge. Is he through to the next week or is he off the show?"
Bussell exclaimed: "Out!"
Balls has survived the BBC1 show thanks to votes from viewers despite poor scoring from the judges.
Bussell said she wanted to see a ballroom and Latin expert recruited as head judge following Goodman's departure.
Helen Richey, a judge on Australia's Dancing With The Stars, has been tipped to replace the popular head judge.
Bussell suggested that she also approved of Richey and that Goodman had put her name forward.
"Len has already said that he's given some ideas of who he believes should take his space and those are the experts in the field," she said.
"The Australian show Dancing With The Stars has just finished and he said 'there's the perfect woman there'. She's...knows the knowledge."