You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fancy footwork can’t save ‘Dancing’

World Brief

ROME — Argentine soccer icon Diego Maradona’s fancy footwork riveted Italians in the 1980s and, more recently, on pubcaster RAI’s “Ballando con le stelle” (Dancing With the Stars).

But, to RAI’s dismay, the 44-year-old — recently reinvented as a TV star, after battling drugs and obesity — abruptly ended his “Dancing” gig last week, less than a month after his debut.

The reason? Local tax authorities have confiscated Maradona’s pay.

They say Maradona owes $35 million in back taxes from his days at Napoli, the team where he spent most of his career.

Maradona appeared on “Dancing” via satellite link from Buenos Aires to apologize to 6 million Italians for pulling out, blaming poor health, which at the time seemed plausible.

Since August, he has been hosting talkshow “La noche del 10” (The Night of the 10) on Buenos Aires broadcaster Artear-Canal 13. Handling both engagements made a gruesome timetable.

With Maradona cutting the rug, “Dancing” trounced Hollywood blockbuster “Gladiator” on Mediaset’s Canale 5 with a 40% share and consistently won the Saturday-night race since.

The show’s perf sans Diego is likely to be less stellar.

“Unfortunately, I doubt he’s going to be back,” a RAI spokeswoman said last week.

More TV

  • This Is Us cast SAG Awards

    Sterling K. Brown, 'This Is Us' Cast Talk Time's Up at SAG Awards

    ROME — Argentine soccer icon Diego Maradona’s fancy footwork riveted Italians in the 1980s and, more recently, on pubcaster RAI’s “Ballando con le stelle” (Dancing With the Stars). But, to RAI’s dismay, the 44-year-old — recently reinvented as a TV star, after battling drugs and obesity — abruptly ended his “Dancing” gig last week, less […]

  • Frances McDormand SAG Awards

    SAG Awards: Actors Fall Hard for 'Three Billboards' but the Oscar Race Is Far From Over

    ROME — Argentine soccer icon Diego Maradona’s fancy footwork riveted Italians in the 1980s and, more recently, on pubcaster RAI’s “Ballando con le stelle” (Dancing With the Stars). But, to RAI’s dismay, the 44-year-old — recently reinvented as a TV star, after battling drugs and obesity — abruptly ended his “Dancing” gig last week, less […]

  • Veep SAG Awards

    SAG Awards TV Winners: 'Big Little Lies,' 'Veep' Propel HBO Over Netflix, Hulu

    ROME — Argentine soccer icon Diego Maradona’s fancy footwork riveted Italians in the 1980s and, more recently, on pubcaster RAI’s “Ballando con le stelle” (Dancing With the Stars). But, to RAI’s dismay, the 44-year-old — recently reinvented as a TV star, after battling drugs and obesity — abruptly ended his “Dancing” gig last week, less […]

  • SAG Awards Snubs and Suprises

    SAG Awards: Biggest Snubs and Surprises

    ROME — Argentine soccer icon Diego Maradona’s fancy footwork riveted Italians in the 1980s and, more recently, on pubcaster RAI’s “Ballando con le stelle” (Dancing With the Stars). But, to RAI’s dismay, the 44-year-old — recently reinvented as a TV star, after battling drugs and obesity — abruptly ended his “Dancing” gig last week, less […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    SAG Awards 2018: Rose Marie, Don Rickles, Adam West Honored During In Memoriam

    ROME — Argentine soccer icon Diego Maradona’s fancy footwork riveted Italians in the 1980s and, more recently, on pubcaster RAI’s “Ballando con le stelle” (Dancing With the Stars). But, to RAI’s dismay, the 44-year-old — recently reinvented as a TV star, after battling drugs and obesity — abruptly ended his “Dancing” gig last week, less […]

  • William H. Macy SAG Awards

    William H. Macy at SAG Awards: 'It's Hard to Be a Man These Days'

    ROME — Argentine soccer icon Diego Maradona’s fancy footwork riveted Italians in the 1980s and, more recently, on pubcaster RAI’s “Ballando con le stelle” (Dancing With the Stars). But, to RAI’s dismay, the 44-year-old — recently reinvented as a TV star, after battling drugs and obesity — abruptly ended his “Dancing” gig last week, less […]

  • Kristen Bell SAG Awards

    Kristen Bell Calls for 'Empathy and Diligence' During SAG Awards Opening Monologue

    ROME — Argentine soccer icon Diego Maradona’s fancy footwork riveted Italians in the 1980s and, more recently, on pubcaster RAI’s “Ballando con le stelle” (Dancing With the Stars). But, to RAI’s dismay, the 44-year-old — recently reinvented as a TV star, after battling drugs and obesity — abruptly ended his “Dancing” gig last week, less […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content