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Exclusive: Strictly's Shirley Ballas shares her thoughts on Anton Du Beke's new gig for the first time

Strictly Come Dancing is nearly upon us!

shirley ballas interview© Photo: Rex
September 5, 2021
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Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas has revealed her top picks for the new series of the hit BBC1 show. The Liverpool-born dancer known as the Queen of Latin has already got her eye on a few of the stars taking part.

"I think we've got a really great cast," Shirley tells HELLO!. "Dan Walker looks like he'd be an ideal ballroom person and AJ Odudu has got such a great, larger-than-life personality, so she's going to bring something really unique and special. Tom Fletcher is a musician, so you would think he has rhythm."

MORE: Strictly judge Shirley Ballas breaks silence on 2021 celebrity line-up

WATCH: Shirley Ballas teases celeb line-up

And she is also looking forward to seeing actor Greg Wise, who is dancing in memory of his sister Clare, who died of cancer in 2016, on the dancefloor. "I think anybody who dances from the heart is always more unique," she says. "It's not always just about footwork, it is about that soul and performing in that honest, giving way, so that's lovely to watch."

MORE: Strictly Come Dancing 2021: everything you need to know

Shirley also speaks for the first time about Anton Du Beke's appointment on the judging panel. "I think he will be just fabulous and I'm sure he'll approach everything with kindness, because he's been on the other end of that wagging finger," she said of Anton, who is replacing Bruno Tonioli for this series.

shirley and anton© Photo: Rex

Shirley is delighted that Anton has joined the judging panel

"The public really loves him, and he's worn his heart on his sleeve about wanting to be an adjudicator for so long, so I am really pleased for him."

In the interview, Shirley, who is supporting Macmillan Cancer Support's Coffee Morning, urges people to take part in the initiative on September 24. "Nearly 98% of Macmillan funding comes directly from donations. I can only urge the public to host a coffee morning as it will really help us deliver these services to people living with cancer, who desperately need it right now and in the future. Every little bit counts; Macmillan is doing everything it can to support people with cancer so I think it's important that we try to do our part, too."

shirley hello talk© Photo: Rex

The star is excited about this year's series

Shirley is supporting Coffee Morning to help Macmillan Cancer Support continue to do whatever it takes for people living with cancer. Macmillan urgently needs people to sign up at and host a Coffee Morning on 24 September, or whenever suits you best.

To read the full article, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale now. Subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.

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