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The Royal Ballet’s top dancer, Darcey Bussell will replace Alesha Dixon on Strictly Come Dancing’s panel of judges.

Bussell has accepted £100,000 to take Alesha’s seat alongside Craig Revel Horwood, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli.

Revel Horwood campaigned for the role to be given to the 42-year-old mum of two, who will relocate from her current home in Sydney temporarily to join the show.

BBC bosses spent months trying to persuade the ballerina to take the role after Dixon moved to ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent for £300,000.

But at one time, she was reportedly in competition with ballroom dancer Karen Hardy and choreographer Karen Bruce for the judging position.

Hosted by Bruce “nice to see you, to see you nice” Forsyth, 84, the show will be on screens from September to December.

A source said: “Darcey is a living legend as far as dancing is concerned — and she is just perfect for Strictly.

“She took some convincing as it means uprooting and being in cold, wet and windy England for four months instead of sunny Sydney.

“But she said the Strictly job is probably the one thing that would bring her back. We’re delighted to have her on board.”

Bussell retired from ballet five years ago, with a final performance at the Royal Opera House which went out live on BBC Two.

She has continued to perform, touring with singer Katherine Jenkins for Viva La Diva.

She also appeared on Strictly’s dance floor in 2009.


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Ballet icon Darcey Bussell to take over from Alesha Dixon
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