Shirley Ballas reveals Strictly Come Dancing bosses’ ‘warning’ as she discusses future on show

14 Apr 2023, 14:06

Shirley Ballas, Strictly Come Dancing

Shirley Ballas has opened up about her future on Strictly Come Dancing while revealing the ‘warning’ BBC bosses once gave her.

The 62-year-old first appeared on the glitzy dancing competition in 2017 – replacing Len Goodman. But after relentless trolling during last year’s series, Shirley has since hinted she may not return.

And now, she has revealed her son and fellow dancer Mark has helped her decide on whether to return.

Strictly judge Shirley Ballas has hinted she might not return to the show (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

Shirley Ballas on ‘tough abuse’ from Strictly

Speaking on the Kaye Adams How to be 60 podcast, Shirley candidly opened up about the aftermath of the “really tough” abuse she received. The dance champion was left in tears as hate messages poured in after every show.

She said: “The criticism was second to none – it was really tough. I’m judged for every single thing I do. How I walk, how I sit, if I stand up, I’m too jovial, if I sit down, I’m too boring, I don’t like women, I don’t like men. I don’t like young ladies, I don’t like young men.”

Shirley Ballas reveals Strictly bosses ‘warning’

As a result of the online abuse, Shirley admitted she built a protective wall around her to cope with the trolling in the dance industry.

They said: ‘You’re going to have to let those walls go, because the public will never warm to you.’

She also revealed that when she first joined the dancing show, BBC bosses apparently warned her that the public wouldn’t like, or take to her, if she didn’t let her guard down. She explained: “They said: ‘You’re going to have to let those walls go, because the public will never warm to you.’”

Shirley went on to say how after her first year on the show, she asked her son Mark what he thought. But according to Shirley he thought she was a “little bit hard”. She quipped how he noted she “can still give a good honest critique, it’s just the way you do it”.

Shirley claimed BBC bosses ‘warned’ her (Credit: BBC)

Shirley son Mark

Following last year’s series and the online abuse, Shirley called up on son Mark, who won last year’s Dancing with the Stars – the US version of Strictly.

She said: “We sat there for many hours. And I did feel much better when I came away from it. Because after the Strictly tour I took a break. I turned down a lot of things that were offered to me – for personal reasons. I just wanted to clear my head and see what I wanted to do – do I want to continue? Don’t I want to continue?”

Shirley added: “And my son helped me with that. So I feel in a much better place, because it was just constant.”

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing 2023 line-up rumours after Shirley Ballas declared it ‘couldn’t get any better’

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