Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli has been paid around £33,000 by the BBC for every minute he appears on the show – by video link from America.
The extrovert panellist is reportedly getting £125,000 – half of his usual £250,000 pay packet – after the Covid-19 crisis meant he couldn’t make his usual weekly commute across the Atlantic.
Programme bosses promised viewers he would be sharing his views on the celebrity contestants as usual, beamed in from his home in Los Angeles.
But figures compiled by The Mail on Sunday show that he has been seen or heard for only a total of 3 minutes 46 seconds – or 226 seconds – during the current series.
He has just two more potential opportunities to feature.
Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli has been paid around £33,000 by the BBC for every minute he appears on the show – by video link from America
But so far he seems to have earned £33,185 per minute, or £553 per second.
The 65-year-old choreographer only appeared on the Saturday night edition for the first week on October 24, when viewers saw him for a total of 47 seconds.
Since then, he has featured only on the Sunday night shows. While he is expected to appear tonight, it is not yet known what his role will be for Saturday’s final.
Tonioli featured for 85 seconds on November 1 to briefly critique the celebrities for their dancing, as well as telling fellow judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse that he didn’t want ‘to interfere’ with their views as he wasn’t there in person.
The 65-year-old choreographer only appeared on the Saturday night edition for the first week on October 24, when viewers saw him for a total of 47 seconds. Pictured: Ranvir Singh and Giovanni Pernice
Programme bosses promised viewers he would be sharing his views on the celebrity contestants as usual, beamed in from his home in Los Angeles
The following five Sundays saw him on air for 52 seconds, 32 seconds, 28 seconds, 33 seconds and 69 seconds respectively.
Tonioli, who has starred on Strictly since it began in 2004, also has a key role on the American version of the programme, Dancing With The Stars, but the pandemic meant he couldn’t fly between the two countries.
He chose to remain in LA, where his salary is understood to be around £1million per series.
His BBC pay is likely to prompt fury after bosses moved to scrap free licences for the over-75s. Only those who receive Pension Credit are now eligible.
The corporation has faced a huge backlash over the money it pays its stars – including Gary Lineker, who earned £1.75million a year before taking a £400,000 pay cut recently.
Radio 2 DJ Zoe Ball reportedly asked to reduce her earnings after she became ‘uncomfortable’ over the £1million rise she received to present the breakfast show.
A spokesman for the BBC declined to comment, but a source said: ‘Bruno is with us for around six hours each week – as with all talent, the time commitment for the show of course far exceeds on-screen time.’
HRVY and Janette Manrara perform a rumba on Strictly on Saturday
Maisie and HRVY set for Strictly showdown
Maisie Smith and online sensation HRVY look set to be in the final of Strictly Come Dancing next week after their performances left them first and second on the leaderboard.
The EastEnders actress, 19, and partner Gorka Marquez scored a near perfect 59 out of 60 with their Viennese waltz and a street dance that was called ‘out of this world’.
HRVY, 21, was six points behind after scoring 53 with his partner Janette Manrara for their Charleston and rumba.
EastEnders actress Maisie Smith, 19, and partner Gorka Marquez scored a near perfect 59 out of 60 with their Viennese waltz and a street dance
Janette revealed that she scrapped a sexy rumba routine in favour of a more romantic number because their 16-year age gap meant ‘it didn’t feel right’.
Viewers will learn tonight which four couples will be in the final, with Good Morning Britain star Ranvir Singh, comic Bill Bailey and reality star Jamie Laing facing a tough battle for a coveted place.
Ranvir, 43, received a shock score of just five for her nautical- themed jive to Christina Aguilera’s Candyman – leaving her bottom of the leaderboard with 44 out of a possible 60. Bill, 55, and Jamie, 32, both got a total of 48.