She’s the newest addition to the BBC show, but it seems new Head Judge Shirley Ballas has been left surprised about the huge attention being on Strictly Come Dancing has brought to her life.
Strictly is one of Shirley’s first foray into showbusiness. The professional dancer has appeared on American show Dancing With The Stars numerous times, but the BBC programme is her first full-time job in the industry.
So it makes sense that her first full-time TV gig (on one of the biggest shows in the UK, no less) has left her feeling slightly overwhelmed.
When asked at a recent event what has surprised her most about being on Strictly, she revealed, “How invasive people are in your private life, probably.”
But it’s clear that fame doesn’t phase Shirley too much, as she has a strong support system on hand to help her cope.
She continued, “I have my [publicist] Laura, she’s there every day, she helps, and my children help.
“It’s everyone’s jobs to do what they do. I have a job; they have a job.”
And she also admitted that she’s even willing to understand fated online ‘trolls’, who send abuse her way on Twitter.
“I forgive anybody who writes anything bad or that’s mean, even on Twitter. I’m very kind to people.”
Unfortunately, the new Head Judge has come under her fair share of criticism in her new role so far.
She came under fire for what many called her ‘harsh’ critique of Claudia Winkleman during the past weekend’s shows, telling her she often slouched. And Shirley also had a series of tense disagreements with dancer Brendan Cole earlier on in the series.
However, many fans have also praised Shirley for her wealth of dancing knowledge, and constructive feedback for Strictly’s celebrity contestants. One fan on Instagram wrote, “You have brought beauty and lots of knowledge and skill to the show. Loving it with you. You know your stuff beauty queen. Xx”.
While another said, “Love this lady! Such a fab constructive judge!”