Strictly Come Dancing: Will Shirley Ballas be back this year?

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Strictly Come Dancing's Shirley Ballas hopes to return for another series this year.

New judge Shirley joined Strictly Come Dancing last series in place of Len Goodman, who stepped down after a decade in 2016.

As well as taking over his seat on the panel, Shirley has become the new head judge and has the casting vote in the dance off.

Speaking at the National Television Awards, where Strictly won Best Talent Show, Shirley said she was hoping to be invited back again in 2018.

"I’ve had such an amazing, amazing time on the show and if they were to ask me back, I would certainly come back," she told the Radio Times magazine.

Shirley Ballas
Shirley Ballas

Strictly co-host Tess Daly added: “Oh we love you Shirley. We want you! We want you back! You heard it here first – she’s back. It’s official.”

Shirley previously opened up about the 'shocking abuse' she had received since joining the show.

Speaking after the end of last series, the award winning dancer confessed she was unsure of her future on the show.

When asked about a return this year, Shirley told ITV's This Morning in December: "I have thoroughly enjoyed it. As of yet nothing has been decided [about the next series]."

She gave herself a "seven out of 10" for her first series: "I think I did very good, so I think I would score myself a seven, I believe [in] anything you do there is room for improvement."

While some fans may have turned on Shirley, with viewing figures up on last year show bosses are reportedly very happy.

“Shirley is a stickler for technique and she’s proud of her dance knowledge. She’s trying to ignore social media for a while and not let other people’s opinions get to her but it does get hard, especially when the abuse is so personal," a source revealed.

They explained: "Bosses are delighted with how she’s getting on and like her detailed critique.

"She’s been told to carry on and ignore the trolls.”

Meanwhile, Shirley herself has hit back at critical viewers.

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She said in an interview with the Daily Mail newspaper: "I judge with no fear or favour, but it has been a very tough week and I really don’t like to see somebody go home.

“But I entirely stand by my decision and that will never change. Don’t anyone tell me how to do my job – I’ve been doing this since I was 16.”

Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One.

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