Shirley Ballas scores huge pay rise to match Len Goodman after BBC gender row

Shirley Ballas has won a £70,000 pay rise to match former Strictly head judge Len Goodman – after the BBC gender pay row.

Shirley was paid £180,000 last year by the BBC – less than Len’s £250,000 for doing the same job.

She was given parity after a national outcry over salary gaps between men and women at the Corporation.

A Strictly source said: “Shirley was thrilled her salary was brought up to what Len Goodman was paid in the role of head judge.

“She couldn’t see why she should get less than the person she replaced – especially after more than proving herself in her first year. It’s a great victory for equal pay.”

Tonight friends said LA-based Shirley was “highly likely” to sign the new deal. The former world champ – dubbed The Queen of Latin – joined the show last year, replacing Len, 73, after 12 years leading the panel.

She was offered the same £180,000 deal as judges Darcey Bussell, 48, and Craig Revel Horwood, 53.

They earned less than Len and Bruno Tonioli, 62, each on £250,000 to match their fees for judging Dancing With The Stars in the US.

The BBC came under fire when China editor Carrie Gracie quit after learning male international editors earned “at least 50 per cent more.”

The row sparked a national debate – and sources says Merseyside-born Shirley wanted to “set the tone” for the rest of the BBC by getting a deal equal to a male star.

Tonight a Strictly spokesperson declined to comment on “contractual matters.”

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