Strictly in explosive row with band who claim they were dropped from It Takes Two after BBC refused to pay them

STRICTLY Come Dancing has come under fire by a group of musicians, who claimed their appearance was dropped after they asked to be paid for performing on the ballroom stalwart's spinoff show.

Amaraterra, a band who perform traditional southern Italian music, said they were approached by producers to feature on It Takes Two alongside professional dancers Nadiya Bychkova and Graziano Di Prima.

However, the band have claimed that when they asked for a performance fee, producers told them that the show doesn't "have money in the budget to pay for contributors".

In emails seen by the Guardian, the publication states that the group was in turn offered a "free lunch" and a "decent amount of screen time, as well as a mention of their group name" as a form of compensation for their time.

Amaraterra were also told by the show's producer: "Hopefully, when things return back to normal, and the arts is final[ly] restored, taking part in this [recording] for such a great show will be of benefit to you."

Band member Cassandre Balosso-Bardin told the publication that she asked the show to cover the "low rates agreed with the Musicians’ Union for session work" as well as factoring in their rehearsal time.

Despite her attempt to negotiate a fee, Cassandre said that she got a response several days later to say they had been dropped.

When contacted by The Sun Online about the claims, a BBC spokesman said the decision to drop the band from the programme was made for editorial reasons and not because they asked for a fee.

They said: "As we do with lots of artists, we discussed a proposed performance with Amaraterra for It Takes Two that ultimately didn’t happen for editorial reasons."

The BBC spokesman insisted they would have been eligible to be paid had the performance taken place.

They said: "Had they performed they would of course have been paid for their appearance."

It Takes Two sees hosts Rylan Clark-Neal and Zoe Ball discuss all things Strictly Come Dancing with the contestants and professionals.

The weekday spin-off show features expert dancers and those who work behind the scenes.

As always it is packed with backstage gossip and extra action from the hit programme.

Naturally, the celebrities and dancers take part in the series.

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