Page last updated at 11:56 GMT, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 12:56 UK

Strictly judges 'to take pay cut'

Len Goodman
Len Goodman also judges on US show Dancing with the Stars

Judges on BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing are expecting to be asked to take a pay cut for the next series of the show, Len Goodman has said.

The show's chief judge, 65, told BBC Radio Ulster he did not mind "if they knock off a couple of bob".

The BBC would not discuss individual pay but said it was committed to reducing money spent on "top talent".

Goodman said he was "enjoying life" after an op three weeks ago to remove a cancerous tumour in his prostate.

Earlier this month, stars including Strictly Come Dancing presenter Bruce Forsyth and Sir Terry Wogan were warned to expect their salaries to be cut when their contracts were renewed as part of the BBC's plan to save money.

Arlene Phillips
The BBC will not confirm reports that Arlene Phillips is to be replaced

"I think we'll probably be asked to take a pay cut which I understand, we are in the middle of a recession," Goodman said.

"The job's brilliant. It's not exactly working on the docks - which I did for 10 years - is it?

"It's a joy so anything I get I always feel a bit of a fraud so I don't mind if they knock off a couple of bob."

He added: "It's not arduous. I'm not digging ditches am I?

"I'm only sitting there saying, 'cock your leg up and keep your head up higher'."

A BBC spokesman said: "We never discuss individual contracts.

"However, we have been clear that, as part of wider efficiency savings, we have a firm commitment to reduce the total amount we spend on top talent in the coming years."

The BBC has refused to confirm reports that judge Arlene Phillips will be replaced by the show's 2007 winner Alesha Dixon on the panel.

'Fantastic' recovery

Goodman, who is also a judge on US show Dancing with the Stars, said he had been operated on after a "very slight sign of cancer" had been discovered during an annual check-up.

It makes you realise we are vulnerable and, once you get past 60 - or whenever - things can go wrong and so on. It has made me feel that I must enjoy my life more
Len Goodman

"I don't in anyway feel like I'm an invalid or that I've had it done - it's just been fantastic," he said.

He said he had not told any of his co-stars about the operation.

"If I was one of the producers on Strictly Come Dancing and I thought, 'well there's a chance this old boy can pop his clogs halfway through it', you would be reticent.

"It wasn't because of that I didn't tell them.

"I thought, 'what interest would it be'?"

"Afterwards, if I in any way felt uncomfortable or not able to fulfil my duties as a judge on the show, I would tell them and say, 'best to find someone else'."

He added: "It makes you realise we are vulnerable and, once you get past 60 - or whenever - things can go wrong and so on.

"It has made me feel that I must enjoy my life more."



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