Shirley Ballas responds to rumours she won’t return to Strictly

Shirley Ballas ‘hasn’t yet been invited’ to do Strictly 2023

Shirley Ballas joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 when she replaced Len Goodman as the BBC show’s head judge. The 62-year-old is recognised as one of the most successful Latin American dancers in the world, so she came with great credentials. She responded to rumours she’s exiting the series with Jonathan Ross in an interview which airs this weekend.

Shirley addressed the speculation over her return to the judging panel with Jonathan as she suggested negotiations are underway.

She explained to ITV viewers: “Well… I do believe it’s in the process.

“Is that the right way to say it? Yes.. their people are talking to my people.”

Shirley hinted last month she might not return to Strictly after “struggling” with abuse from BBC viewers on social media.

She later suggested she was open to the possibility of reprising her role as head judge.

Shirley appears on this weekend’s episode of The Jonathan Ross Show alongside actor Jeff Goldblum and comedians Lee Mack and Jack Whitehall.

Shirley also opened up about being part of the Strictly tour and shared a cheeky tale about fellow judge Anton du Beke.

“It was an amazing experience,” she exclaimed. “Anton Du Beke was on it this time – that man is so funny.

“He comes across as the perfect gentleman, but he’s very naughty behind the scenes.

“He came to my dressing room [and] I had my big girl Marks and Spencer knickers out.

“The next thing I know, we’re on set and he pulled them out of his top pocket and started to wipe his head with them… Good job they were clean, eh?”

Shirley also discussed her racy book, Murder on the Dance Floor which is “loosely based on every story that I’ve witnessed that’s gone on in my industry”.

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“Some of it’s fun, some of it’s really intriguing, very sensual,” she teased.

“The lady that drops dead, while she’s doing a Tango, is closely entwined with her partner… You have to find out who the murderer is. She dies, right there in the Tango!”

Shirley added: “I absolutely have covered everything. My mother and I were reading the book in the kitchen and she was like, ‘Oh Shirley, oh dear’ [while reading a saucy bit].

“Next thing we turned around and Charlie [the dog] was bonking the toy duck. Even he enjoyed the book.”

She concluded: “But my mother, who is very critical, she loves to read, she read it overnight, she didn’t go to bed and she loved it.”

The dancer explained about 90 percent of the sensual scenes are based on her own experiences, adding: “Some of those scenes are going to curl your toes.”

She adds: “I’m writing another one next year. Even though I’m 63 I wanted to do something I’ve never done before. I like to write. I enjoyed the process. Along with a wonderful writer who helped me. She just brought all my stories to life.”

The Jonathan Ross Show airs on ITV and ITVX on Saturday at 9.50pm.

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