09:02 04 August 2009
The BBC is facing fresh accusations of ageism after axing Strictly Come Dancing star Karen Hardy.
According to reports, 39-year-old Hardey, who has been a dancer on the hit show for four years, is being replaced by two younger dancers.
However, the BBC have stressed that the decision to change dancers has "absolutely nothing to do with age".
The broadcaster said that the decision to end Hardy's tenure as a dancer was a "mutual decision" and she is now discussion about new ways to be involved in the show.
Hardy, who is a Latin American dance specialist, won the fourth series of Strictly with cricketer Mark Ramprakash in 2006.
In a statement, she said she was also looking at "a number of exciting projects and opportunities that have come my [her] way".
The announcement comes after the BBC's decision to replace panellist Arlene Phillips, with pop star and former Strictly champion Alesha Dixon, 30.
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