Exclusive: Shirley Ballas on how she's losing 20lbs for Strictly

The star revealed all to HELLO!


Shirley Ballas met up with HELLO! this week to talk about everything from lockdown weight gain, counselling and the upcoming season of Strictly Come Dancing!

MORE: Shirley Ballas reveals heated row with Craig Revel Horwood over hurtful comments

Shirley, 60, spent the lockdown period in south London with her boyfriend of nearly two years, 47-year-old actor Daniel Taylor, and like all of us, put on a few extra pounds while cooped up during the coronavirus pandemic.

But it wasn't until the Strictly Come Dancing judge paid a visit to her beloved mother that she decided to take action.

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WATCH: Shirley's reveals her favourite Strictly Come Dancing moments in 60 seconds

Shirley hilariously explained: "I went to visit my mother and she opened the door and said: 'My goodness, who's been eating all the cookies?'"

"I'd gained 20 pounds!" the famous dancer said. "I can't get into my clothes and I refuse to buy more."

In a bid to shed extra pounds, Shirley is working out with Cara Stubbington, an online personal trainer, for at least one hour, six days a week. 

MORE: Shirley Ballas lets slip major Strictly Come Dancing secret


Shirley Ballas has revealed she is training six days a week after gaining 20 pounds during lockdown

MORE: Shirley Ballas reveals hopes for royal contestant on Strictly Come Dancing

"We do lots of arms and abs and we do a lot to lift my 60-year-old bottom so nothing is dropping all over the stage. She helps me tone all my bits and bobs. If it bobs, she tones it,” head judge Shirley tells HELLO!.

The Liverpool-born star also candidly revealed that she had turned to counselling after writing her autobiography Behind the Sequins.

"It was very difficult to write," she says. "It’' almost like I was reading somebody else's life," Shirley told the magazine.

The book brought back memories of several tough and unresolved periods of her life, Shirley added. 


The Strictly Come Dancing judge has released a book, Behind the Sequins

"It put me into counselling – I'd been reliving everything and thinking if there was anything I could have changed or done differently. 

"I need to process everything that has been brought up by writing the book and also understand a little bit about why I have so many walls that go up."

Shirley's counselling is ongoing and is "definitely" helping, she said.

"I can see now, at 60, that I can let some of these things go and be happy. Rather than beating myself up all the time, I have to realise it’s okay to cry and show emotions."


Read Shirley's full interview in this week's HELLO! magazine, out Monday

As for the upcoming season of Strictly Come Dancing, Shirley will be reporting on all the action exclusively for HELLO! in her new weekly video column, and it sounds as though Shirley is just as excited as we are! 

"I'm so excited to share my life with the readers. I've never done anything like this before," she gushed. 

"It will follow my daily regime and I'll film myself throughout the day. I'll also take the camera into my dressing room, where you can see my Strictly wardrobe and where I might pick out something for the live show."

See more pictures and read Shirley's full interview in the new issue of HELLO! magazine, out Monday. 

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