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Inside Strictly! Darcey Bussell and Shirley Ballas dispel rivalry rumours

HELLO! can reveal the female judges appeared on great terms during filming

Sophie Hamilton

This week judges Darcey Bussell and Shirley Ballas came under fire for their supposedly ‘frosty exchanges’ on Strictly Come Dancing, but we can reveal that the two female judges are actually great buddies behind the scenes. Taking our spot in the studio audience on Saturday night, HELLO! watched as judges Darcey, 48, and Shirley, 57, chatted happily and did a fun dancing skit together between takes. When Shirley had a run in with professional dancer Brendan Cole over a footwork issue, Darcey even comforted a shaken-looking Shirley off camera.

The Strictly Come Dancing judges

Brendan and his celebrity dance partner Charlotte Hawkins performed a Tango to Top Gun song Danger Zone on Saturday night, with Shirley commenting on an error in Charlotte’s footwork. She said: "[Charlotte] needs to stand on her own feet and we established there’s no rise and fall in tango, so we have to make a concrete decision not to use rise and fall." Brendan wasn’t happy and replied: "There was no rise and fall." The pair continued the debate and co-judge Bruno Tonioli reminded Brendan to show respect.

Clearly taken aback by the exchange, Shirley looked to her fellow judge Darcey when the cameras stopped rolling, with Darcey placing a supportive hand on her shoulder as they appeared to discuss the incident. During the rest of filming, the ladies looked to be having a wonderful time together on the show, dispelling any rumours of tension between them.

READ: Strictly secrets! Eamonn Holmes reveals wife Ruth Langsford's training tears

On Shirley’s Twitter page she posted a photo from the show of Darcey placing her hand on her shoulder, writing: "Loving this very tender moment. Love you @DarceyOfficial." The judge’s followers were thrilled to see the picture, with one commenting: "You two make me smile so much! You’re both amazing women and so beautiful." On Shirley’s Instagram she shared another photo of her and Darcey together in her dressing room. She said: "What a great third show. Thoroughly enjoyed #Strictly movie night!"