CRAIG Revel Horwood has denied rumours he's set to quit Strictly Come Dancing over a money row with the BBC' after his cruel Stacey Dooley jibe.
The Mail on Sunday reported the no-nonsense judge, 54, was locked in talks with show bosses over his future - sparking fears it could be his last series.
The paper claimed Craig is refusing to sign a new contract - because he wants a pay rise.
But sources have told The Sun Online the claims are "categorically untrue".
Craig has been a judge on the dance show since it began in 2004 and is thought to earn up to £200,000 a series.
He was forced to apologise last month after talking about winner Stacey's relationship with her dance partner Kevin Clifton.
Craig said: "Stacey was dragged up from the dance gutter… of course, if you sleep with your dance partner that helps."
A source told Mail on Sunday: "He wants to do work in the theatre and it's now unlikely that the BBC would pay him what he wants – or indeed feels he deserves – especially after the controversy he has prompted over the last few years."
Rumours about Craig stepping down come as fellow judge Bruno Tonioli tips Darcey Bussell to return to the show.
She quit last year after a six-year stint saying she wanted to "give more focus to my many other commitments in dance" and not "because of any upset or disagreement at all."
Darcey has been replaced by professional dancer Oti Mabuse's sister Motsi.
She's already been a hit with fans who praised her fun attitude.
One viewer said: "I'm absolutely loving Motsi Mabuse. She talks a lot of sense without dragging a celebrity down.
"Congratulations girl, you're gonna rule."
But other viewers thought the judges were particularly harsh in the opening episode.
Neil Jones and Alex Scott got the action underway with a Quickstep to I Get A Kick Out Of You by Frank Sinatra, and despite impressing viewers, they received a mediocre 21.
Things got worse for Chris Ramsey and Karen Hauer who did a Cha Cha to Juice by Lizzo.
Chris was savaged by Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood for his lack of rhythm, with Craig saying: there was "absolutely no hip action in sight."
Catherine Tyldesley and Johannes Radebe fared a little better dancing the Viennese Waltz to I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher.
The former Corrie star got fives across the board, scoring a so so 20. But Shirley Ballas did describe her as a force to be reckoned with.
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