BBC ageism backlash as Strictly dancer axed

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  • Karen Hardy is dropped from Strictly Come Dancing at just 39

    The BBC is facing another ageism backlash after axing its oldest female dancer, Karen Hardy, at the age of just 39.

    Instantly recognisable as one of the top dancers on the popular show and winner of the hit dance show’s 2006 final with partner Mark Ramprakash, Hardy is set to be replaced by dancers in their 20s.

    The news comes after the BBC were at the centre of an age row last month, following the departure of panel judge, 66-year-old Arlene Phillips, who is to be replaced by former contestant on the show, Alesha Dixon, 36 years Phillips junior.

    However, the BBC has responded to the news that Hardy is being sacked, insisting she will remain on Strictly but in a new role.

    Adamant that the dancer is not being sidelined, in favour of younger models, a BBC spokesman commented: ‘The decision to change Karen’s role has absolutely nothing to do with age. It was a mutual decision between her and the BBC.

    ‘She’s been a fantastic dancer on Strictly for the past four years and we are in discussions with her as to what her new role will be in this year’s series.’

    It is thought the dance show is being revamped to challenge its big Saturday night rival The X Factor.

    Speaking to The Mirror, a spokesman for the programme said: ‘We cannot comment on the line-up of the new dancers as yet, but we will be announcing full details in the coming weeks.’

    We want to know what you think. Are the BBC guilty of ageism? Let us know your comments in the box below.

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