At the beginning of the week, it was announced that Shirley Ballas would be the lady to replace Len Goodman on the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel.
Come autumn, the nicknamed ‘Queen of Latin’ will be joining Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell, and Craig Revel-Horwood, to judge the novice celebrity dancers.
But it seems concerns are already rising about the tensions the new addition might bring to the old Strictly hands, who are rumoured to be rather put out about the announcement that Shirley might is coming in as head judge.
According to rumours, Shirley is preparing for talks in order to ‘clear the air’ between her and Darcey, who has been a judge on the show for the last three years.
The tension is mainly surrounding the notion that Shirley is now set to fill Len’s shoes as head judge on the panel – a role that, before the news, was apparently set to be Darcey’s.
A source told the Sun: “Craig and Bruno have been mates with Shirley for years because they have mixed in the same circles. But she has never met Darcey and wanted to get to know her straight away.”
(Shirley Ballas with son Mark)
Bruno has famously appeared on Dancing with the Stars, where Shirley regularly offered expert commentary. Darcey herself made a statement about Shirley joining the show, saying “I look forward to meeting Shirley and welcoming her to our ‘Strictly…’ team.
“Her years of experience in Ballroom and Latin dancing are impressive and I’m sure she will be a great addition to our judging panel.”
The source however continued to say, “It wasn’t clear that Len’s replacement would also be the show’s head judge and Darcey no doubt had hopes because she had been tipped for the role.”
But the source has said that all Shirley wants to do is have a chat and get to know Darcey before the show. They said, “Shirley just wants to meet up, introduce herself and above all else, seek her advice about the show. I’m sure they’ll get along fine and put the appointment behind them so there is no awkwardness before the new series.”
Despite the rumoured tensions, it seems the judging panel are excited to welcome Shirley to the fold.
Bruno said of Shirley’s appointment, “I know Shirley well – she is an incredible Latin dancer and trainer and I am sure she will be a great addition to the ‘Strictly…’ team.”
Craig also commented, “Fantastic news that Shirley will be joining me and the other judges on the panel. I look forward to working with her on the next series of ‘Strictly…’!”
So do you think Shirley was the right person to fill Len’s role as Head Judge? We’ll have to wait and see…