Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas has revealed her thoughts about Darcey Bussell's replacement on the hit TV show - and admitted she's yet to see her in person since the shock announcement that she was leaving the show. Talking to HELLO! on the Baftas TV Awards red carpet, the popular judge admitted she hadn't managed to catch up with the retired ballerina since the news hit.
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"Darcey's become really special in my heart. A beautiful lady, she's become really special to me on the Strictly tour so I'm sad about that but things move on and I'm sure they'll find the right person for the job. I've been super busy and she's been super busy and I've just got back in town, I'm moving house, but we will soon," she said. "I'm excited by a new Executive Producer, It Takes Two with Rylan, and a new judge."
Looking stunning in a black bedazzled one-shouldered gown for the occasion, Shirley revealed to reporters that she's as excited to find out who Darcey's replacement will be as we are. And she insits she's happy with a man or a woman in the role. "The BBC always get it right so as long as the person suits and fits in with the panel and they are fair and they judge without fear or favour and they are positive and kind, I think whoever they choose I’m very happy with, man or woman, I don’t mind," she said.
Shirley Ballas on on the BAFTAs TV red carpet
“I think they are also big shoes to fill – she has been on that show for seven years. So I think it’s going to take somebody with a sense of humour, somebody that’s light-hearted, that has some dance experience that can bring maybe a little twist from what I do or Bruno or Craig."
Earlier this month, Darcey opened up about why she decided to leave Strictly for the first time, admitting that it was "not a decision that came easily". The retired dancer, who announced her decision to leave the show after seven years back in April, told The Sun: "It is not a decision that came easily at all. But I knew I had the most amazing time for seven years and it is like pushing your luck to think that I could even do another seven years. So I just knew it was time for me to finish and to give that place for somebody else to judge on that wonderful show."