Strictly Come Dancing creator was paid just £4,000 for hit BBC show idea
The woman who came up hit BBC show Strictly Come Dancing was reportedly paid just £4,000 for the idea in 2003.
Despite the show becoming more commercially successful than Top Gear and being licensed to 53 territories, Fenia Vardanis received her bonus, chocolates and a bottle of champers for her creativity.
Vardanis (52) was a middle ranking exec at the Beeb at the time and told the Sunday Times that she came up with the at first unpopular idea during a regular commissioning meeting.
“I suddenly said, wouldn’t it be funny if we did Celebrity Come Dancing. I came up with the title, suggested Bruce [Forsyth] and the judges.”
She added, “In those days there were annual staff bonuses and I didn’t get anything extraordinary. I got a staff bonus which I probably would have got anyway.
However, she said she was perfectly happy with what she received.
“The only thing I got was a bottle of Champagne from BBC Worldwide. I also got a box of chocolates which spelt the words Strictly Fantastic and I’m not saying this in a bitter or twisted way at all. The champers and the chocolates were very nice,” she said.
Initially the idea didn't go down too well, however.
“At the time, I promise you, everybody thought it would be a horrendous flop so it was a risk – I mean ballroom dancing on a Saturday night?”