Shirley Ballas breaks silence on rumours she’s quitting Strictly Come Dancing

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Shirley Ballas has spoken out about rumours she could be set to quit Strictly Come Dancing.

Shirley joined the show in 2017, taking over the role of head judge on the panel from Len Goodman.

Following rumours she could be set to step down from the BBC One series, Shirley spoke on The Jonathan Ross Show this weekend about her Strictly future.

Strictly Come Dancing judges (L-R): Anton du Beke; Shirley Ballas; Motsi Mabuse; Craig Revel Horwood
Strictly Come Dancing judges (L-R): Anton du Beke; Shirley Ballas; Motsi Mabuse; Craig Revel Horwood. Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston

Shirley said coyly: “Well… I do believe it’s in the process. Is that the right way to say it? Yes.. their people are talking to my people.”

Speaking about touring recently with the show, Shirley continued: “It was an amazing experience. Anton Du Beke was on it this time – that man is so funny. He comes across as the perfect gentleman, but he’s very naughty behind the scenes.

“He came to my dressing room [and] I had my big girl Marks & Spencer knickers out. The next thing I know, we’re on set and he pulled them out of his top pocket and started to wipe his head with them… good job they were clean, eh?”

The BBC will confirm this year’s Strictly judges in due course.

In the meantime, Shirley is preparing to release her own book, Murder on the Dance Floor.

Shirley explained to Jonathan Ross: “It’s loosely based on every story that I’ve witnessed that’s gone on in my industry, but with fictitious characters. Some of it’s fun, some of it’s really intriguing, very sensual..

“The lady that drops dead, while she’s doing a Tango, is closely entwined with her partner… you have to find out who is the murderer. She dies, right there in the Tango!”

Shirley added: “I absolutely have covered everything. My mother and I were reading the book in the kitchen and she was like, ‘Oh Shirley, oh dear’ [while reading a saucy bit]. Next thing we turned around and Charlie [the dog] was bonking the toy duck. Even he enjoyed the book.”

She continued: “But my mother, who is very critical, she loves to read, she read it overnight, she didn’t go to bed and she loved it.”

Discussing how many of the sensual scenes are based on her own experiences, Shirley said: “I’d probably say about 90%. Some of those scenes are going to curl your toes.”

She added: “I’m writing another one next year. Even though I’m 63 I wanted to do something I’ve never done before. I like to write. I enjoyed the process. Along with a wonderful writer who helped me. She just brought all my stories to life.”

You can catch up on The Jonathan Ross Show on ITVX here. The show continues Saturday nights on ITV1.