Thursday 23 January 2020

'I'm happy as Larry' - DWTS pay row rumours rubbish, says pro dancer Karen Byrne

Best foot forward: Darren Kennedy and Karen Byrne dancing during the fifth live show. Photo: Kobpix
Best foot forward: Darren Kennedy and Karen Byrne dancing during the fifth live show. Photo: Kobpix
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

TV STAR Karen Byrne has hit back at claims of a rift over pay between the professionals working on RTE's Dancing With The Stars.

It was reported this week that the Irish dancers on the Sunday night show were up in arms after discovering they were on less money than their foreign counterparts and had their requests for a pay rise refused.

It was said there was now "bad feeling" between the pro dancers, putting the future of the programme in doubt.

However, speaking to the Herald, Byrne said there was "not an ounce of bitchiness" among the professional dancers.

Karen Byrne and Des Cahill on ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Karen Byrne and Des Cahill on ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Byrne (27), from Ballyfermot, who has been on the show since the start, said she had no issue over her contract and was "quite shocked" over claims of a rift among the team of dancers.

"I would never bad-mouth the show. It's one of the best things that I have ever done," she said.

Jake Carter and his DWTS girlfriend Karen Byrne spotted walking on Camden Place, Dublin
Jake Carter and his DWTS girlfriend Karen Byrne spotted walking on Camden Place, Dublin

"Our pay rates was one of those things that had never been discussed. I love the show and I'm very happy with being on it. It's one of the most successful shows on Irish television.

"I don't really care what the others are being paid. I'm happy as Larry on it.

"Obviously I met Jake [Carter, her partner] through doing the show and I'm running my own dance school as well so I'm extremely happy.

"I hope to continue working on the show for as long as I can."

She added there was "not an ounce of bitchiness" among her or any of the dancers, who work "tirelessly" to tutor the celebrities taking part every year. There was nothing but camaraderie between them, she added.

"The show has given me a massive platform in terms of my career here in Ireland so I don't know where these reports are coming from," she said.

She won series two of the hit show with her now-boyfriend Carter and also runs an Inchicore-based dance studio.

Byrne was partnered with RTE sports presenter Des Cahill on the first series of the popular show.

She became a hit with viewers thanks to her performances alongside Des, with one memorable dance being dubbed the 'Dessie Swim'.

Byrne will take to the dancefloor tomorrow for the first episode of the fourth season and is partnered with former Olympic champion Michael Carruth.

This year's line-up also includes TV host Mary Kennedy, 2fm's Lottie Ryan, Brian Dowling and model Grainne Gallanagh.

Kicking off on RTE One at 6.30pm, the contest - which was won last year by Mairead Ronan - will run for a total of 12 weeks before the eventual winner of the Glitterball trophy will be crowned.

Herald

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