He is thought to need the cash to pay the bill for the £35,000 hair transplant he revealed during last night’s final (left).
The Australian judge proved unpopular with some sections of the audience (and even received death threats after slating war hero Johnson Beharry..) following some high profile run-ins with head coach Karen Barber and Denise Welch’s hubby Tim Healy, but he claims that his notoriety brought in more viewers this year and he deserves a pay rise for his work.
According to The People, the troublesome judge said: “I am that show. Without me it is dull. I know they want me on the next series but they are going to have to pay what I’m worth.”
His announcement follows a successful series for ITV – which was won last night by former EastEnder Sam Attwater – and a source at the channel seemed to think that Gardiner had good reason to ask for a pay rise.
“His run-ins with Karen Barber and Tim Healy have been the most talked about episodes. Viewers may not always like what he says, but they also want to hear his opinions,” said an insider. “The top brass realise they need to start talking about Jason’s future here. Money will be an issue. It now all depends on whether there is enough dough in the budget to complete the sort of deal we know Jason is after.”