Former Strictly Come Dancing star Gleb Savchenko has hit out at the BBC over their pay, claiming the professional dancers should "earn more". Since leaving the popular ballroom show after one series, the 34-year-old, who appeared alongside presenter Anita Rani in 2015, has gone on to find success on the US version of Strictly, Dancing with the Stars. He told The Sun: "They should pay more to dancers. They don't get paid enough. They should triple it. The amount of work we do is unreal."
Gleb Savchenko with Strictly dance partner Anita Rani
He added: "If they would do that, they would see the dancers actually start caring. You want to work harder when you know you're going to make money." In addition to pay, Gleb has also expressed his desire for Strictly to introduce same-sex couples. "Producers are just scared to try new things and go in that direction. It should have been done a long time ago," he added. "I would love to see same-sex couples. It would be amazing. It would be huge entertainment."
The professional dancer continued: "We have same-sex couples competing in real dance championships and they do it so well. To see the energy and the chemistry and the vibe in the rehearsal room with two guys – imagine you put Anton du Beke with a guy. I would really want to see that." In August, Gleb and his wife Elena welcomed their second child together, a baby daughter called Zlata. Unfortunately, the dancer missed Zlata's arrival as he was on a flight from Los Angeles to Sydney, where his wife gave birth.
"I wasn't freaking out, but I couldn't wait to get there," he told Us Weekly. "You try to put yourself in the zone like, 'Okay, you can't do anything on a plane!' I was standing in the airport getting my luggage and it was a mix of feelings. I was emotional and so happy." Explaining his daughter's unusual moniker, the TV star added: "Zlata is an old, unique Russian name that means golden."