TV bosses are facing a hold-up in production on hit series THE SIMPSONS - after the voice actors behind the animated characters failed to turn up to work following a pay dispute.

Stars Dan Castellaneta, who voices HOMER, and Nancy Cartwright, who plays BART - have refused to attend recent script readings in response to a pay row involving the renewal of their three-year contracts.

Other actors on the animation show - Julie Kavner who plays MARGE, HANK AZARIA as MOE, Harry Shearer who plays MR BURNS and Yeardley Smith who voices LISA - are all negotiating new deals but "to no avail" according to their representatives.

Now entering its 16th series - this is not the first dispute among staff on the show . There was a row in 1998 when the actors were making $30,000 (GBP16,000) per episode.

01/04/2004 17:13