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Shirley Ballas breaks silence on Strictly exit reports

Shirley is head judge on the BBC show

Shirley Ballas
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
27 March 2023
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Shirley Ballas has broken her silence following reports that she might not be returning to her role as head judge on Strictly Come Dancing. 

While appearing on Monday's edition of This Morning to talk about her new romance book, Murder on the Dance Floor, the 62-year-old was asked whether she would be returning to the show. See what she said in the video below.

WATCH: Shirley Ballas breaks silence on Strictly exit reports

In a recent interview with The Mirror, Shirley explained that during last year's series of the BBC dancing show, she struggled with her mental health due to online trolling. 

While talking about the upcoming season, host Holly Willoughby asked the dancer: "You're not thinking of not being there?"

Shirley Ballas on Strictly© Guy Levy/BBC
Shirley Ballas on StrictlyShirley said online trolling took a toll on her mental health

Shirley didn't confirm nor deny the report, saying: "Well, we're waiting for that invitation and once it gets there and we sort out... I love the job, I love the actual critiquing. I love to get tips and help people along the way, to move forward to be beautiful dancers and all that they can be."

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The BBC star also explained that due to the online trolling, someone will be stepping in to monitor her social media account. "This year, I've got a wonderful gentleman called Harry Surplus who is doing my social media and he's getting rid of any of those messages," she said. "My son checks over everything because it really did take a little toll on my mental health for a minute. 

"What I'm realising is everybody gets it, I'm not the only one."

In her interview with The Mirror, Shirley explained the impact that the negative messages had on her mental health. 

Anton du Beke; Shirley Ballas; Motsi Mabuse; Craig Revel Horwood,© Ray Burmiston/BBC
Shirley is head judge on the BBC show

"Last year I was struggling. It wasn't just a little bit, it was a lot – the majority of it was in silence," she said. "I felt the abuse snowballed out of control and impacted me in such a negative way. I'm a pretty stoic person, and I tend to hold everything in. When it all kicked off, it seemed like it was larger than anything else."

She continued: "I was crying, I was emotional, but I was embarrassed about being so emotional. I didn't want to talk to anybody about it.

"And that was an all-time low since I joined the show – it was the most negativity I’d ever experienced. The BBC were brilliant, checking in on me and offering counselling and support."

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