Belfast Telegraph

Karen Hardy's Strictly Come Dancing tour audition

Craig Revel Horwood believes the new Strictly Come Dancing judge should be from a ballroom background.

Karen Hardy can consider the Strictly Come Dancing tour her audition for a judging role, according to Craig Revel Horwood.

Len Goodman will be departing the BBC talent show after the current series, leaving bosses the difficult task of finding someone to replace him. Karen is among the names being tipped for the role, alongside Anton Du Beke and Brendan Cole, and current judge Craig is keen to see how the 46-year-old fares on the upcoming live tour when it kicks off in January (17).

"Karen Hardy is going on the tour with me so we can test her out there and if she fails at that and is too loud-mouthed then she's out," he joked to Digital Spy.

However, Craig - known for his cutting criticism of contestants on the show - admitted that he doesn't have much of a say in who replaces Len on the panel.

But he does have some opinions on what kind of dance professional should be enlisted.

"It's not up to me at all. It's up to the BBC executive producers to decide what they want to do but I certainly feel that it should be someone who is ballroom and Latin," he said. "I am tapdance and classical background and I am a West End choreographer, so I do theatre and opera stuff. Darcey (Bussell) is classically trained. Bruno (Tonioli) is not just on a pole. He does television, commercial choreography - so I think it should be someone from a ballroom background."

There has also been rumours that Len may be replaced by more than one person, but Craig isn't sure how that would work.

"Whether that be one, two, three, four or five people - I don't know how many people we can fit in the desk and we only have two minutes so that would limit what we have to say but apart from that bring it on," he smiled.

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