Strictly Come Dancing's head judge Shirley Ballas will be on the TV a lot more over the upcoming weeks – but there will be no dancing involved! Instead, she will be helping a group of over-50s find love as she plays matchmaker on This Morning's new segment, Matchmaker Mountain. The programme is set in Morocco, and will air each Tuesday during January, following Shirley and a group of six single people – three men and three women – during their time out there. Shirley very much enjoyed her time during filming, admitting that: "Aside from Strictly, this is absolutely the best thing I've ever done."
Strictlys Shirley Ballas will be seen playing matchmaker in Morocco
On what viewers can expect, Shirley teased: "I think viewers are firstly going to be enthralled that people over fifty are looking for love. When I went on this trip I was a little bit sceptical because I’ve been single a long time, but actually, it renewed my faith that there are lots of men and women out there, like myself and that there was no need to be nervous. Everyone was nervous about meeting each other at first!" The professional dancer also revealed that she got on so well with the other contestants, that she will remain friends with them forever. "We just all gelled and clicked," she said.
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Shirley with her fellow Strictly judges
While Shirley is known for giving her dancing critique on Strictly, the show will reveal her softer side as she often acted as a shoulder to cry on when things didn’t work out between the couples. She said: "There were tears when someone liked somebody but it didn’t quite happen. I was a good shoulder to cry on! But they were all there for me too because I was also sharing some of my dating experiences!"
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Shirley is currently starring in her first ever pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, at the Liverpool Empire, and will soon be getting dancers ready for the UK World Dance Championships at the BIC Centre in Bournemouth. "All the kids fly in from all over the world and that's a full week on for me in January," she said. "And then I go straight back into the Strictly Come Dancing tour, which I can't wait for! There are several professional dancers that help me keep fit on the road too so I'll join them and I know they'll steer me in the right direction when it comes to keeping fit."
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Matchmaker Mountain starts from 8th January on This Morning, 10.30am on ITV