BBC denies Ed Balls' Strictly Come Dancing success is causing tensions

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The BBC has dismissed claims that Strictly Come Dancing judges and producers are in conflict over the success of Ed Balls.

The ex-shadow chancellor, 49, has survived the show week after week despite low marks and his comic moves.

Strictly Come Dancing
Ed Balls and Katya Jones (BBC)

The Sun said the show's judges believe that Ed should quit to avoid the show looking silly, while producers want him to stay as his routines go down so well with viewers.

In 2008, ex-political journalist John Sergeant pulled out of the show because, he said, winning would have been "a joke too far".

John Sergeant (Ian West/PA)
John Sergeant (Ian West/PA)

But a BBC spokesman dismissed the claims about Ed and said that they were "nonsense".

Ed and his dancing partner Katya Jones, 27, got their highest score at the weekend -- 27 out of 40.

Undated BBC handout photo of judges (left-right) Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli during Saturday's live edition of the BBC1 show, Strictly Come Dancing.
Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli (Guy Levy/BBC)

It comes after Strictly dancer Brendan Cole said that if Ed continues to improve at the rate he's going, he could get his hands on the coveted glitterball.

"He's improving week upon week and that's what the show's all about... it was spot on for me as a Strictly dance," he told Digital Spy.

Brendan Cole (Ian West/PA)
Brendan Cole (Ian West/PA)

He added: "I absolutely do think Ed could get to the final or even win - and I hope he does in many ways. I think it would be a great thing for the show.

"Some of the contestants come under criticism because they've danced before so it's not that difficult for them, but it is very difficult for them... it's just a lot more difficult for somebody that's not done it!"