shirley ballas strictly

Is head judge Shirley Ballas returning to Strictly Come Dancing?

The Strictly star replaced Len Goodman as head judge last year

Sharnaz Shahid

Shirley Ballas will return as head judge for this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing, it has been reported. The news comes after months of speculation following Shirley's clash with ex Strictly star Brendan Cole during the last series. According to The Sun, BBC bosses and Shirley have "come to an agreement" and it's likely that she will be joined by fellow returning judges Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel-Horwood. A source told the publication: "Shirley and the BBC wanted to do another series so everyone's chuffed they’ve come to an agreement. The whole panel is coming back.

Shirley Ballas is planning to return to Strictly Come Dancing

"Viewers seemed to like the chemistry between them. It's all verbally agreed," the insider continued, adding that "formal contracts should be signed in the coming days". The 57-year-old replaced original head judge Len Goodman last year - and since her debut, Shirley's spat with Brendan has dominated the headlines. She criticised his dance with Good Morning Britain's Charlotte Hawkins, which caused the New Zealand-born star to jump to his partner's defence. During an appearance on This Morning in December, Shirley remained coy about whether she would be leaving the show after just one series. "I've had the most spectacular time," she said. "There have been some things to get used to like Twitter and the press. But generally I've thoroughly enjoyed every minute of being on the show."

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The star added: "As of yet, nothing has been decided. So we will wait and see." Shirley, 57, also confessed it was "terrifying" to fill in Len's shoes. "I'm quite a perfectionist," she said. "When I first came on and I had to judge the first show, it was terrifying. I take my job extremely seriously. You are totally under scrutiny. I go from week to week. I'm married to what I do. I think I did pretty good. I would probably give myself 'seven'. In anything you do there is room for improvement."

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