HELLO! is delighted to announce that Strictly Come Dancing's head judge Shirley Ballas will be joining us to write an exclusive weekly column all about the hit show. As well as delivering her verdict on each week's performances on HELLO! Online, Shirley will share her views on the eliminated couple and give us all the backstage news.
"I'm so excited to be writing a column for HELLO! readers," she said. "I'll be bringing you all the latest news and updates from the studio, my thoughts on the show each week and what goes on behind the scenes." And stay tuned, because later this week we'll be announcing our other Strictly columnist!
Shirley will be sharing her views on the Strictly episodes
This will be Shirley's third series of Strictly – she took over after former head judge Len Goodman left in 2016. This year's judging panel has a new look, too. While Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood will be back in their seats, newcomer Motsi Mabuse, the sister of Strictly professional Oti, will take over from Dame Darcey Bussell, who quit in April.
And it turns out Shirley, 58, has previously judged Motsi. During an appearance on This Morning on Monday, she told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: "I used to judge her when she was a competitive dancer… she is just beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. She knows her trade inside and out and we have the same sense of humour, so we are on the same page. It just gels, it just clicks, it just works." Shirley added: "She has judged, she has been on the German version, she is out there and quite vivacious. I'm going to have Bruno on my left, Motsi on my right. So, I have a strong energy coming from both sides."
Shirley with new judge Motsi Mabuse
Life is looking very rosy for the Queen of Latin, who will be back on our screens on Saturday. The dancer is happily loved up with actor Danny Taylor, 46, who she met through panto. The couple have been dating for six blissful months, with Shirley explaining: "When you get to my age, it's very difficult to find someone you are compatible with and in every facet in every part of our life we are compatible and that's just amazing to me."
She added: "I'm happy to have found someone who is so kind, caring, understanding, loving. I just watched the way he treats other people. I thought I was kind of special, in fast realised I wasn't, he treats everybody like that… He does a lot for charity. We are just on the same wavelength and he's from Liverpool. So it's perfect, just the perfect, perfect relationship."
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