shirley ballas at premiere

Strictly's Shirley Ballas shares tender photo with first fiancé Nigel Tiffany

The pair were engaged when the dancer was 16

Ainhoa Barcelona

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas surprised fans after posting a very sweet photo with her former fiancé Nigel Tiffany. The mother-of-one revealed that the pair were engaged when she was just 16, and that they have remained good friends ever since. Posing at the Strictly TV studios, Shirley wrote: "@nigeltiffany my first fiancé, engaged when we where 16, and still my best friend, my financial advisor. Such an amazing man who has done so well in life. He came along to @bbcstrictly to support me. Grateful to have been friends for 42 years. So many amazing memories. Cheers Nigel."

Fans, unsurprisingly, loved the photo, with many praising Nigel and Shirley's strong friendship. "This is just beautiful....... solid friendship from 1st love," one fan replied, while another posted: "Wow that's rare, much love to both of you and your very special bond."

Behind the scenes with Shirley Ballas:

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Shirley, 58, has been open about wanting to find love again, telling HELLO! last year: "If I was in a relationship again it would have to be with somebody that really cared about me, who was kind, caring and loving." She also admitted she tried online dating for a brief spell, saying: "I haven't had a boyfriend for a long time. I do believe it will happen. I don't know when or where, but I would love to be in love again."

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Shirley posed with her former fiancé Nigel Tiffany

Speaking about the dating scene in Hollywood, where she divides her time between there and London, Shirley added: "The men here seem perfectly charming, but everybody is super busy. If it's good-looking men you're after, the place to go is Italy. Every Italian I've ever come across is handsome."

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Shirley has been married twice before, to her former dance partner Sammy Stopford from 1980 to 1984, and her next dance partner Corky Ballas, with whom she shares a son Mark. Mark competes as a professional on US show, Dancing with the Stars.

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