Shirley Ballas opens up about Strictly Come Dancing nerves and anxiety battle

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Shirley Ballas has opened up about her nerves on Strictly Come Dancing.

Shirley joined the BBC One series last year as the new head judge, replacing outgoing Len Goodman.

They were big shoes to fill and Shirley has said she was as nervous as the celebrities.

Opening up about battling anxiety, Shirley revealed to Top Sante magazine this month: "I've had anxiety in the past and two years ago I wasn't in a great place.

"Without a stable mind, it's ­difficult for anything else to ­function."

Explaining how she has learned to cope, she added: "I meditate and take time for controlled breathing, this was especially useful when I started Strictly, I was as nervous as the celebrities."

Shirley went on to speak about mental health, following the tragic death of her brother David from suicide in 2003.

"People get embarrassed about admitting they feel low but you can't help the way you feel," she said.

Shirley previously candidly spoke of her brother's passing in a chat on Loose Women.

She explained: "He had this six weeks of being really down, not really feeling up to himself. It was one day when my son was singing in St Paul's Church. I spoke to David on the phone. My mother, I love her to death, but it's not an over-communicative family.

"I don't think I ever really understood to the great extent how sick he was. I don't think my mum did either. She came to watch Mark [Shirley's son] at the church singing, and it was that particular day he chose to take his life."

Shirley and Mark currently launched The Ballas Foundation, which supports suicide prevention and awareness programs.

If you ever need help, Samaritans offer confidential advice and support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week over the phone on 116 123 or online

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