Shirley Ballas’ major personal change behind scenes of Strictly after tough time

This Morning: Shirley Ballas promises Strictly ‘treat’

Shirley Ballas has warned cruel trolls that they will be “filtered out” as the new series of Strictly Come Dancing kicks off after she was subjected to hateful messages on social media last year.

The head judge admitted that she had a “tough” time during the 2022 series and has now hired an assistant named Harry to rid her page of vile comments.

Shirley, 63, told “I got myself some education and some help and this year I will take on a young man who will do my social media under the instruction of my son (Mark Ballas).

“So, all messages from all the trolls out there, you will be filtered this year I’m afraid!

“I don’t want to miss out because I do engage with fans and it’s nothing for me to write a nice little message. But Harry will be filtering so I won’t be dealing with the trolls.

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“It’s the first time ever I will be delegating in my entire life to anybody.”

The extent of the online criticism last year was so intense that Shirley decided to take a break from the public eye.

She said at the time: “I’m going to take some time off as soon as Strictly has finished and collect myself and see what I want to do with myself next year. It’s been quite difficult.”

During her break, Shirley spent time with her son, Dancing with the Stars pro Mark, 37, and contemplated if she would even return to the BBC dance show.

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However, she was still receiving abuse months after Strictly had ended.

She shared a screenshot from one of the trolls who sent messages like, “Ur an actual fat tramp”, and “Ur the worst judge on strictly” (sic).

Speaking to Kaye Adams on her How To Be 60 podcast, Shirley revealed that her reposting the messages had resulted in the person then being trolled.

In the end, she spoke with the person on the phone because she “didn’t want him to suffer”.

Shirley told the Loose Women star: “He said: ‘I am so sorry I wrote that, but you sent home someone who we really loved, and I just got on there and ranted’.” The judge then replied: “Well, maybe you were one rant too many for me.”

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 begins tonight at 6.35pm on BBC One.

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