Television bosses in the UK are reportedly locked in a £500,000 bidding war over British-Nigerian Strictly Come Dancing champion, Ore Oduba .
BBC chiefs are worried that the Breakfast sports reporter could defect to ITV following his victory on Saturday night, according to London-based Sun newspaper.
The newspaper said that broadcasting bosses fear Ore may defect to ITV similarly to Susanna Reid, who joined Good Morning Britain after finishing as runner-up in the contest in 2013.
They say that Ore, 30, could be in the running for the Friday presenting slot on BBC’s The One Show if he stays, and that BBC controller Charlotte Moore was spotted chatting to him immediately after his victory.
Apparently, bosses are panicking about losing the reporter after he stood in for Phillip Schofield on ITV’s This Morning last month.
A source told the newspaper: “It’s clear Ore’s a rising star and he’s now a household name because of Strictly.
“He was given his One Show presenting debut during Strictly in a really tricky episode where he had to interview Sir Cliff Richard, but passed the test with flying colours.
“There’s a sense of urgency to get him presenting some other programmes and have him based in London now after his sport on This Morning.”
The source also suggested that the BBC was keen to keep him “because he’s a black presenter” and will bring more diversity to the channel.
Ore has spoken of how the shock moment he won Strictly Come Dancing felt as good as his wedding – and now the gruelling show is over his next ambition is to become a dad.
He also dedicated the victory to his wife Portia, admitting: “It’s not easy being a Strictly partner.”
In his only newspaper interview, the presenter – who had no previous dance training – told the Mirror they may now try to start a family.
And he laughed: “I have to be careful because my wife is here but winning was right up there with our wedding.”
Ore, who was paired with professional dancer Joanne Clifton, said claiming the Glitterball trophy in front of more than 13 million viewers was even more special because of how hard it was being away from Portia so soon after tying the knot.
She endured five-hour round trips every weekend from their Manchester home to London, where Ore was training and living.
“It’s been incredibly difficult not being together day to day,” Ore said.
“With her living up North, we’ve had to spend a lot of time apart. It’s been stressful and strenuous for her.
“I’d imagine it’s not easy to be a Strictly partner. She had her own work, family and friends in Manchester but then you’ve got the 24/7 support role that is being my wife. She had it full-on but she loved it. I couldn’t have done it without her.”