Shirley Ballas on Craig Revel Horwood’s post-row advice amid backlash
26th November 2022

Strictly: Shirley Ballas warns fans to not try lifts

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Shirley Ballas, 62, has faced unprecedented criticisms online during this series of Strictly Come Dancing, and has since shared a poignant piece of advice Craig Revel Horwood, 57, issued to her. The pair have seemingly grown even closer following their 2018 feud which resurfaced earlier this month. 

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Shirley admitted she’d had far more than “a few” hurtful comments aimed at her this season. 

Starting off, the star profusely thanked the fans that have supported her online when angry comments come her way. 

She said: “I’ve had 90 per cent support from the fans that see all the horrible things that are said that are really mean and personal about the way I look, and my body, and this or that, and they come to the rescue. 

“So to those people, I want to thank them.”

She has also turned to her fellow judges and BBC colleagues for support, noting Craig in particular offered her some sound advice, although Shirley admitted she hasn’t necessarily been following it. 

The former dancer shared: “I’ve got Craig who’s saying: ‘You shouldn’t be reading that darling!’ but you do, that’s what you do.”

Although the pair are quite close now, there was a painful start to their relationship. 

In 2017, Shirley replaced head judge Len Goodman on Strictly Come Dancing, while Craig had been on the show since it started in 2004. 

Shortly after she joined the judging panel, Craig went on a tour to promote his autobiographical book, and the choreographer made a joke about Shirley’s breasts. 

He reportedly said: “What happened is that she came to the audition and literally had her thing open to her navel. I am not joking.

“Her boobs were like La BaZooKa things hanging out. It was not very, erm, Strictly.

“So they came in and sewed all that up. Then they had to push them down… and they’re fake.”

Following the jibe, in Shirley’s 2020 book, Behind The Sequins, she spoke about the “awful and very, very painful” aftermath of Craig’s swipe.

The comments had taken her back to her “toughest days” with her ex-husband when he would make similar comments about her body. 

Craig reportedly sent her a “groveling apology” along with some flowers to make up for his off-handed comments and their friendship has only grown since then. 

Shirley also told Express.co.uk that she thinks the hurtful online trolling she’s been receiving this season may be “a woman thing”.

She said: “I still remember when I gave one contestant a four and Craig gave it a three, and yet the comment was directed towards me. 

“I hope in the future we can change that.”

Shirley revealed: “Motsi’s [Mabuse] also had her fair share.”

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday on BBC One at 7:15pm. 

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