Shirley Ballas hints at exciting change to Strictly Come Dancing format - 'we'll be seeing a lot of things you won’t be expecting'

Shirley Ballas has hinted at a potential change to the Strictly Come Dancing format as she also reveals her dream contestant

Shirley Ballas
(Image credit: Dave J Hogan / Contributor / Getty Images)

Shirley Ballas attended the TRIC Awards 2022 at Grosvenor House on July 6, 2022, and spoke about potential changes fans can look forward to on Strictly Come Dancing. 

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 was an incredible success and fans loved seeing the program change its format by including its first-ever deaf contestant, and first-ever male same-sex pairing. These changes to the format were warmly welcomed by fans, and head judge Shirley has now hinted that fans can look forward to even more exciting changes for the next season of the dance competition. 

Shirley Ballas

(Image credit: Gareth Cattermole / Staff / Getty Images)

Speaking to the Metro.co.uk (opens in new tab) at the TRIC Awards 2022 (Television and Radio Industries Club) Shirley reflected on the change in the Strictly judges 2022 shake-up  as it was announced that once again, Bruno Tonioli would not be returning to the panel and Anton DuBeke would be staying on as a judge, just like in the 2021 show.

"Of course I miss Bruno, I love him to bits, but Anton and I go back so far," said Shirley as she then revealed it was her 'dream' to dance with Anton. "My dream is to dance with him one day on the show. That’s just on my bucket list. Love him to bits, he’ll do a grand job," said the judge.

When asked if there was anyone else she might like to dance with Shirley replied, "somebody from the royal family would be rather nice!" Reportedly, Duchess Camilla is in talks to hold a live episode of Strictly Come Dancing at Buckingham Palace. This suggests that some of the royals are fans of the show, and a royal appearance may not be as farfetched as some may think!

At the same awards ceremony, Shirley spoke to the Mirror (opens in new tab) and was asked about the possibility of the show including a gender-fluid dance couple. Shirley seemed receptive to the idea and replied, "everything is possible. [Executive producer] Sarah James is always looking outside the box, and if it fits... I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of things you won’t be expecting."

Shirley Ballas

(Image credit: Dave J Hogan / Contributor / Getty)

There are also other rumors that a beloved Eurovision 'national hero' is tipped for a Strictly appearance. Sam Ryder, the UK entry who came in second in the Eurovision song contest and became a superstar in the UK, has already been pegged to join the cast of the competition. 

Nothing has yet been confirmed and at present fans are just hoping to see their favorite stars compete on the beloved show. But Strictly fans will have to wait until next month when the lineup starts being announced in August 2022.

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


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