Shirley Ballas celebrates Christmas properly for first time since loss of her brother

It's a difficult time of year for the Strictly judge

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas has shared details of how she'll spend Christmas with her family, 15 years after her brother died. The 58-year-old told the Daily Mail: "We've booked a restaurant in Liverpool for Christmas lunch with Auntie Barbara and Uncle Norman [her dad’s sister and her husband] and my niece Mary so Mum doesn’t have to do any work, but then we’ll go back to hers for a nice Christmas pudding." She then explained that her family haven't celebrated Christmas properly since her brother David's death, saying: "There was no way we could enjoy Christmas without David. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t there, eating his treble helpings of Christmas dinner with ten glasses of milk. David wasn’t a drinker but he loved milk and chocolate – he was a chocoholic!"

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In the heartbreaking interview, Shirley continued: "After David died, Mum threw away all the decorations. I was living in the US and we always got together as a family – sometimes his daughter Mary would go to her mother’s, sometimes she’d come to me, usually quietly watching films on television and wishing it would be over. It was all a little bit solemn."

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But it sounds like things will be different this year for Shirley and her mum, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, as they adopt a more positive approach to the festivities. Shirley has been nursing her mum and she told the Mirror that they speak on the phone around four times a day. The pair also dressed up to spend an evening at a charity ball last month, where they both dazzled in glamorous outfits. We hope their Christmas is filled with more sparkle than the Strictly wardrobe department!

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