Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel Horwood has lifted the lid on Len Goodman's replacement, Shirley Ballas. Although he was one of the favourites to take on the position of head judge, Craig has confessed he is delighted the coveted role has been handed to Shirley. Speaking with Radio Times this week, the 52-year-old revealed: "She's a brilliant dance trainer, although she has been a TV judge only once or twice in America, just as a guest. I think she will be great because she has more knowledge than any of the other judges, including me."
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He added: "Although telly requires more than that. Time will tell. It's very difficult being succinct, creating one-liners and soundbites. It would be tough for anyone. But she’s funny and quick. And she finds me amusing." The professional choreographer also admitted that it would have been "wrong" for him to replace Len as he "would have had to be a smiley mediator which isn't in my nature".
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In May, the BBC announced that Shirley would be joining the judging panel for the 2017 series. The experienced ballroom dancer was considered one of the outsiders to take on the position, with many fans assuming the role would go to a former Strictly dancer. But Shirley, 56, is said to have impressed BBC bosses with her vast experience as a dance coach and her work on hit US show Dancing With The Stars. In a statement, Shirley said: "I am so excited and over the moon to have been given this wonderful opportunity. I can't wait to get into the ballroom and be part of the incredible and respected judging panel. Strictly is so loved by the British public. I have always been a massive fan. I just can't wait!"