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Dan Walker defends Strictly's Shirley Ballas following barrage of online abuse

The newsreader took to social media

dan walker
Phoebe Tatham
Content Writer
13 December 2022
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Dan Walker has leapt to Shirley Ballas' defence after the Strictly judge became the subject of online abuse.

MORE: Strictly's Will Mellor breaks silence following elimination

Taking to Instagram, the 45-year-old issued an impassioned plea, asking fans to leave Shirley in peace. He penned: "Can people please lay off @shirleyballas? It's okay to disagree but some of the bile & hatred is horrible.

WATCH: When did Shirley Ballas start dancing?

"She's been dancing her whole life, has won a gallon of titles and loves and cares for what she does. Just be nice! PS I'm speaking as someone who she booted out," followed by a laughing face emoji.

MORE: Strictly star Will Mellor reveals son Jayden’s modelling career plans

READ: Dan Walker shares some disappointing news – TV fans react

Dan's message of support comes after Shirley received a lot of flak from numerous Strictly fans. The judging panel were critical of Will Mellor's Paso Doble, with Shirley explaining how "basic fundamentals" were missing from the routine.

Dan Walkers message of support© Photo: Instagram

Dan Walker jumped to Shirley's defence

She added: "When you choose to use a cape you have to extend it, you can't use it as a little scarf around your neck, so I didn't get a good start from the beginning."

Over on Twitter, fans of the dancing show raced to share their thoughts, with one writing: "Shirley has her favourites again, same as every other year," whilst a second penned: "Sorry I don't agree with you this week Shirley - Fleur should have gone!"

Echoing Dan's outlook, a third fan remarked: "This is so true! Please stop honestly, she deserves so much better!! She's only doing her job! She's the best judge!!" and a fourth added: "People are just vile on social media. Keyboard warriors who are suddenly dance experts!!!"

The Strictly judging panel© Photo: BBC

Head judge Shirley sent Will home on Monday evening

Following Will's emotional exit on Monday evening, Helen Skelton, Hamza Yassim, Fleur East, and Molly Rainford have all made it through to the highly anticipated Strictly finals.

The 20th Strictly final will be hosted by presenting duo Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman just a week before Christmas on Saturday 17 December.

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