Saturday 24 August 2019

Shirley Ballas: There was bullying going on in the industry

The ballroom star has also said she is looking for love again.

Women of the Year Lunch – London
Women of the Year Lunch – London

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas has said she finally feels body confident after years of “bullying” in the dance industry.

Ballas, who replaced former head judge Len Goodman on the show this year, has also revealed that she is single and is looking for a “kind, caring and loving” partner.

The 57-year-old told Hello! magazine, of her thoughts on her appearance: “I am self-critical and always have been.

“There was some bullying going on in my industry, which I felt particularly when I was growing up and as I got older.

“But over the past two years I have got my head into a good space and now just want to be a good role model for people and show that eating well and getting plenty of rest is what you need to do.”

Ballas, who has been married twice, told the magazine she tried online dating, but that she is currently “completely” single following the end of her last relationship two and a half years ago.

“If I was in a relationship again it would have to be with somebody that really cared about me, who was kind, caring and loving,” she said.

Shirley Ballas joins the Strictly judges on the red carpet

Of some of the initial remarks from Strictly viewers when she appeared on the judging panel, Ballas said: “I haven’t tried to change.

“There are always some people that like what you do and there’s always going to be some who don’t like what you do.

“But maybe I have learnt to take those technical points and put them in layman’s terms.”

Ballas praised her fellow Strictly judges Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood, and said she fit right in when she took her seat on the panel.

She said: “It’s my job to slot into the panel but I didn’t have to try too hard because it just kind of clicked. It’s a laugh a minute, actually.

“I have known Bruno for 11 years and I love him to bits. Craig is a big soft pussycat and Darcey is very mothering and very sweet.”

:: Hello! magazine is on sale now.

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