ACID-tongued Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood has branded Motsi Mabuse “a diva” in an outspoken interview.
Craig Revel Horwood has branded Motsi Mabuse a ‘diva’Credit: BBC
Craig says former judge Bruno Tonioli would have liked to have left with ‘more of a fanfare’Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Craig also defended co-judge Shirley Ballas and denied fan claims that she’s sexistCredit: Getty – Contributor
Explaining how low-maintenance he is compared to fellow judge Motsi, 41, catty Craig said: “Motsi’s got six people in her dressing room doing the make-up, the lipstick, the eyes, the false eyelashes, her hair, her dress. She’s a diva.
“Whereas I have no one. I do my own. I do my own hair and make-up.”
Last week, popular former pro dancer Anton was crowned best TV judge at the NTAs, as voted for by the public, and Craig has claimed the accolade has inflated his colleague’s ego.
He said: “His head is so big it doesn’t fit through our connecting dressing room doors. He wants my rider. The fruit and nut mix, yeah, he was very jealous of that.
“But I thought it was fantastic that he won. You know what, I even voted for him.
“Anton is definitely the biggest flirt on the show, it’s part of his personality, darling.”
Craig, who has appeared on the series since it launched in 2004, added that he had never scooped the gong himself as his competition was much stiffer than Anton’s.
He said: “Darling, I was up against the greats, you know, the Simon Cowells of this world, so it was quite difficult for me to win.
“But I think Anton sort of won it with a landslide and it was brilliant, and he’s a great addition to the team.”
The juggernaut BBC1 show’s judging panel had an impromptu shuffle in 2020, when veteran Bruno was unable to fly back and forth between Strictly and its US counterpart Dancing With The Stars due to the pandemic.
Discussing how Anton stepped in for Bruno, initially temporarily before being made a permanent fixture, Craig said: “Bruno just wished he had more of a fanfare because it sort of just dwindled out, which is a shame because of Covid.”
Anton du Beke won a recent NTA award for being ‘best judge’Credit: BBC
Despite rumblings of a feud between Bruno and Anton, Craig maintains his Italian pal is happy living in LA, where he picks up a rumoured £1million per series on Dancing With The Stars.
Speaking at magazine Best’s Heroes Awards, on Tuesday night, Craig said: “Bruno is very happy just to live his life in LA, he loves it.
“He’s got a massive set of friends in America, he has a beautiful swimming pool, a beautiful house, he’s quite at home there and doesn’t miss us at all.
“He’s a dear friend of mine. We’ve been working together for the last 25 years. We’re great mates.
“I could never work on the US show though, I’d get shot if I went on with my comments. I wouldn’t last in the street there.”
Asked if Bruno ever found it difficult flying backwards and forwards across the Atlantic between the two shows, Craig quipped: “It must be awful for him, drinking champagne in first class.”
Earlier this month, industry veteran Shirley, 62, was blasted by fans who claimed that she is sexist — accusing her of preferring male celebrity dancers to women stars on the hit show.
But Craig explained: “Shirley has a different job to do in the fact that she is specifically like a forewoman.
“She will base all of her arguments and decisions on technicality.
“I base mine on artistry, on arms, on telling the stories. We’re all four different judges, from different walks of life and entitled to our opinions. I don’t think it is sexist.”
It is the not the first time Craig has raised eyebrows with his opinions.
In 2018, he was forced to apologise to Shirley after he said on stage her breasts were “fake”.
Promoting his book in Oxford he said: “The book is honest like me but on the telly I wear my judge’s hat. I can’t be myself.
“In those ten or 20 seconds where I have to answer Tess’s quite dull questions actually . . . I tend to avoid them and not answer.
“I showed my book to the BBC and they cut one part about Shirley’s breasts.
“What happened is that she came to the audition and literally had her thing open to her navel.
“Her boobs were like La BaZooKa things hanging out [some artists from French dance troupe La BaZooKa have giant inflatable breasts].”
Last week, it emerged the series has been rocked by a backstage investigation to identify who has been leaking to “Strictly mole” David Thorp’s results website, revealing in advance which celebrity is voted off on Sunday night.
Craig said: “Everyone is sworn to secrecy and it’s part of protocol so breaking protocol is not a great thing and I don’t agree with it.”
Craig Revel Horwood says Motsi has six people in her dressing room doing make-upCredit: BBC