Shirley Ballas says sending Will Mellor home was ‘difficult’
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Shirley Ballas, 62, has been the iconic face of Strictly Come Dancing for six years, but found last year’s series was the “most negativity” she had ever been confronted with from the fanbase. In her dire moments, the former dancer turned to her boyfriend of four years, Danny Taylor, 49, but has revealed after a “truthful conversation”, the couple has decided to stay as they are for the foreseeable future.
Danny first met Shirley at a 2019 pantomime as they both starred in a Christmas production of Jack and the Beanstalk.
Just one month later their romance was confirmed in the public eye and the pair have been almost inseparable ever since.
Danny, a trained actor and dancer as well, can often be spotted escorting his love down red carpets and into high-profile, lavish events.
Shirley revealed that although just last year she was waiting for her ring, they have decided to remain as a dating couple rather than “rocking the boat” with an engagement ring.
Speaking to The Mirror in a candid interview, the Strictly star shared: “I have decided that – with Danny’s blessing – I’m not in a position at the moment where I want to get married.”
Shirley and Danny had a “truthful conversation on Valentine’s Day” where they decided to remain just as they are because “this works as it is”.
The former dancer reassured: “We are still very much in love, care for each other deeply, and we have a good enough relationship where we don’t need to get engaged or married.”
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
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During her last run on Strictly, Shirley suffered under “abuse that snowballed” online as passionate fans would lambast the judge regardless of what decision she made.
While these criticisms come with almost every Strictly season, the last series saw a lot more people attacking Shirley’s looks, which she struggled with.
She added: “I’ve had husbands in the past who haven’t critiqued me in the best light, so I’ve built a wall around that.
“I don’t need anyone to say to me, ‘You’ve got thin hair, why are you using extensions, your ears are too big, did you know your nose is crooked, you’ve got a funny eye’.
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“I’m my own worst critic.”
While the 2023 series is still months off, BBC bosses are reportedly currently in talks with Shirley to sign her onto the new series.
However, the former dancer is yet to put pen to paper on any contracts.
She added: “If I am back on Strictly this year, I am going to have someone filtering my social media, so I don’t see every comment.
“As they say, if the kitchen’s too hot, get out. But if it’s not, tie on the apron, do up your hair and get on with it.”
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