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New Strictly Judge Confirmed

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Rampant Rabbit Fan
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  Quote Thess Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2017 at 13:46
I couldn't be more pleased. I would have been content with Karen Hardy, truth be told, but Shirley is a brilliant addition to the judging line up. Credentials second to none and a great personality too.

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.
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  Quote Maisie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2017 at 13:25
Great news - glad she's head judge too, you couldn't really let any of the others do it, over her.
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  Quote Bren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2017 at 11:07

Strictly Come Dancing confirms new head judge Shirley Ballas to replace Len Goodman

A new judge will join the panel of the BBC series following the departure of stalwart Len Goodman last series


Shirley Ballas has been confirmed as the new Strictly Come Dancing judge who will replace Len Goodman on the panel.

The 56-year-old was a surprise name to be involved in the auditions for the role at the end of last month, with many viewers expecting a former Strictly dancer to get the role.

But bosses have chosen Shirley for her ability and experience as a dance coach and were also impressed by her work on screen on US show Dancing With The Stars.

Say hello to your new Strictly head judge, Shirley Ballas

In another shock move, despite her inexperience on Strictly itself, Shirley will even take over Len’s role as Head Judge with the casting vote in the dance-offs.

Shirley said: “I am so excited and over the moon to have been given this wonderful opportunity. I can’t wait to get in to the ballroom and be part of the incredible and respected judging panel.

"Strictly is so loved by the British public, I have always been a massive fan. I just can’t wait!"

Last year's Strictly lineup: Len, Darcey, Craig and Bruno

Her co judge Darcey Bussell said: “I look forward to meeting Shirley and welcoming her to our Strictly team. Her years of experience in Ballroom and Latin dancing are impressive and I’m sure she will be a great addition to our judging panel.”

Craig Revel Horwood said: “Fantastic news that Shirley will be joining me and the other judges on the panel. I look forward to working with her on the next series of Strictly!”

And Bruno Tonioli, who has worked with her in the US, added: "I know Shirley well - she is an incredible Latin dancer and trainer and I am sure she will be a great addition to the Strictly team.”

Shirley with son Mark, also a dancer

The former Dancing With The Stars expert outshone her rivals when she auditioned at the end of last month in front of BBC execs when they mocked up a mini Strictly show at Elstree studios and asked her to comment on dancers who performed.

They moved quickly to thrash out terms and she has now signed up for the 2017 series and the Christmas Special.

When it was first reported that Shirley had auditioned, it was claimed she has already been hit by the so-called Strictly ‘curse’ on relationships.

Her dancer ex-husband Corky Ballas, 56, left her for former Strictly pro Kristina Rihanoff after he became her teacher in 2003.

Shirley with new Strictly co-star Bruno. They worked together on Dancing with the Stars

Originally from Wallasey, Shirley is a former 'British Open to the World' Champion, European, German, United Kingdom, United States and International Latin American Champion.

She retired from competitive dancing in 1996 and is now an acclaimed and respected international coach to many of the top professional and amateur dancers as well as a highly renowned sought-after adjudicator for Ballroom and Latin American competitions judging all around the world.

Nicknamed the ‘Queen of Latin’, Shirley is one of the top and most decorated professional dancers in the world.

She is three-time ‘British Open to the World’ Latin American Champion, 10-time United States Latin American Champion, and multiple-times British National Champion.

By the age of 21, Shirley had won nearly every major title she competed in worldwide. She is the only person to have ever won the ‘British Open to the World’ Latin American Championships in Blackpool with two different partners and reached the finals an impressive 17 times.

Shirley still remains the youngest ever female to reach the ‘British Open to the World’ Dance Championship finals.

Shirley is mother to Mark Ballas, the musician, Broadway star, professional dancer and two-time winner on Dancing with the Stars in the US

Shirley was also guardian to professional dancers Julianne and Derek Hough during their childhood in London.

The two-time and six-time winners of Dancing with the Stars respectively are still part of her family to this day.

Other names who auditioned for Len’s role included ex-pro Karen Hardy and Ireland’s Dancing with the Stars judges Loraine Barry and Brian Redmond.

Len Goodman is stepping down after 12 years
Len%20Goodman
Fans will miss Len's marking and quips

Len Goodman left the show after 12 years and said at the time: "This adventure began when I was 60 and now that I’ve reached my 70s, I’ve decided after this year it’s time to hand the role of Head Judge to someone else.

"It is an honour being part of the wonderful Strictly Come Dancing family and I’m looking forward to my last series very much and to whatever comes next.”

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content says, “Len’s are big shoes to fill, but the ‘Queen of Latin’ is the ideal new Strictly judge.

"Shirley Ballas is a British ballroom expert whose credentials speak for themselves; she’s going to be a fabulous addition to the best judging panel in showbiz

Strictly Come Dancing returns for its 15th series this autumn on BBC One.

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  Quote Bren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2017 at 10:57
Shirley Ballas has just been confirmed by the BBC as Len's replacement on SCD. 

Terrific news imo a WORLD class Judge, trainer and dancer who really knows her stuff.  Originally from Wallasey, Shirley has lived many years in the States and trains many of the worlds leading latin dancers and travels extensively lecturing and judging
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