12 Apr 2023, 13:29
Shirley Ballas, Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has reportedly been given a ‘take it or leave it’ ultimatum by bosses over her return to the series.
The 62-year-old has been a regular on the glitzy BBC One show since 2017 – often wowing fans with her impeccable knowledge and jaw-dropping outfits. But her time on the series, especially last year’s, has also come with a lot of relentless trolling – something she has candidly been open about.
Following the torrent of vile online abuse she received, Shirley hinted last month that she may never go back to Strictly. And now a source has reportedly shared an insight into whether Shirley will be coming back – with bosses apparently giving her a ‘take it or leave it’ deal.
Shirley Ballas hinted she might not return to Strictly (Credit: BBC)
Shirley Ballas ‘to leave Strictly’ after online abuse?
Head judge Shirley came in for a torrent of abuse on social media during the 2022 series. Very often the unpleasant reactions came as a result of questions about her assessments of performances.
She said in a recent interview she estimates around a fifth of the thousands of social media messages she received during the 2022 series were negative.
Shirley told the Mirror last month: “I felt the abuse snowballed out of control and impacted me in such a negative way. That was an all-time low since I joined the show, it was the most negativity I’d ever experienced. The BBC were brilliant, checking in on me and offering counselling and support.”
Asked about whether she might quit, Shirley replied: “It was a difficult series, I’ll leave it at that. Will I go back to Strictly? I always take one step at a time.”
Shirley says she received online abuse during last year’s series (Credit: BBC iPlayer)
Strictly bosses ‘will do whatever they can do’
And now, to stay on the show, it has been reported that Shirley has been offered a raise. It will apparently be in line with her fellow judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke.
A TV insider told The Sun: “The team on the show care very deeply about Shirley’s wellbeing. And will continue to do whatever they can to alleviate the effects of what’s said on social media.
“But they are also very conscious that we are in the midst of a cost of living crisis and a licence fee freeze. And it’s against this whole backdrop that the deal has been put to Shirley. Nobody wants her to walk, but Strictly has proved throughout its history that no one is bigger than the show.”
ED! has contacted reps for Shirley and the BBC for comment.
Read more: Strictly Come Dancing 2023 line-up rumours as Shirley Ballas declares ‘couldn’t get any better’
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