Craig Revel Horwood: Karen Hardy has audition for Strictly judge job

Craig Revel Horwood believes Karen Hardy should treat her judging role on the 'Strictly Come Dancing' tour as an audition to become a permanent judge on the ballroom show for the next series

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Craig at Collars and Coats Ball

Craig Revel Horwood at Collars and Coats Ball

Craig Revel Horwood says Karen Hardy needs to treat the 'Strictly Come Dancing' tour as a tryout for the judging job as Len Goodman's replacement.

The 72-year-old head judge is leaving the panel at the end of the current series of the BBC ballroom show leaving a spot open for a newcomer to join the programme.

Winning 'Strictly' professional Karen has had discussions with bosses of the show about the possibility of taking the job and Craig insists if she does well when she sits on the judging table for the live shows which kick-off in January then she will put herself in the frame for the role full-time.

Speaking to BANG Showbiz at the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home's annual Collars & Coats Gala Ball, Craig said: "Well Karen is doing the tour with me so we'll try and test her out there. If she fails at that and she's too loud-mouthed then she's out! I don't know, it's not up to me it's up to the BBC executives and producers to decide what they're going to do."

Craig - who has sat on the judging panel since 'Strictly' began in 2004 - does want the incoming judge to be someone with a background in competitive ballroom and Latin dancing because the panel will miss that when Len departs as he and fellow judges Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli

He added: "I do feel, certainly, it should be someone who is ballroom and Latin. Everyone knows I am not ballroom or Latin I have a classical and tap-dancing background and I'm a West End choreographer, so I do theatre stuff and opera stuff. Darcey of course is classically trained and Bruno is not just on a pole. He does television, commercial choreography - so I think it should be someone from a ballroom background. Whether that will be one, two, three, four or five people I don't know."

Previously speaking to BANG Showbiz, Karen revealed she had been talking to producers about taking the spare judging job and she definitely wants it.

The 46-year-old dancer - who was employed as a professional dancer on the programme from 2005 until 2008 - said: "Let's just say, there's been rumblings going around. But let's just say, if an email comes in, I won't say no."

Craig, 51, was joined on the red caret of the event held at Battersea Evolution in London's Battersea Park by a host of celebrities, including David Gandy, Dr. Christian Jessen, Sister Sledge, Chris Packham and Harry Hill.

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