Shirley Ballas has said she is “99% sure” Strictly Come Dancing will return to television later this year and when it does it will honour those who have helped fight coronavirus.

The head judge said she believes people will need the glitz and glamour of the show when the weather gets colder.

She told Hello! magazine: “Of course everything changes day-to-day but I have spoken to Strictly’s executive producer, and I am 99% sure that we will be on screens in one form or another.

Shirley Ballas with fellow judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Bruno Toniol
Shirley Ballas with fellow judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Bruno Tonioli (Kieron McCarron/BBC)

“We all realise that when the colder months come, we need some glitz and glamour – it’s like going to Hollywood or Vegas and it’s something that the whole family can enjoy.

“It’s imperative that that show goes ahead so you can bet your trolley they are doing their best to get it on.”

Ballas said she has some thoughts on who she would like to see take part, adding: “I have always wanted anyone from the royal family. But it doesn’t have to necessarily be someone that’s in the limelight because what I enjoy the most is getting to know someone’s journey.

“And I know we are going to have some fantastic NHS stories, there is going to be a reflection on the coronavirus and what people have done for communities and I think it’s going to be a real tearjerker.”

Shirley Ballas
Shirley Ballas is feeling confident Strictly will make it onto screens this year (Hello)

Ballas, who has been in lockdown with her boyfriend Daniel Taylor, said the crisis has given her a newfound appreciation for the simple things and made her re-evaluate her lifestyle, adding: “I will never take another ballroom for granted again. I will never take any work or shopping for granted.

“And I now realise I don’t have to work 24/7. I love to work but just as important is the time that you spend with your family.

“You have to put your partner and family at the top of the list and there must be downtime – time for gardening, cooking time, book reading time.”

She continued: “Danny and I have a very lovely relationship, but we were only used to spending a couple of nights together.

“It’s been three months now and it’s been educational! The plus side of it is that I am grateful for time to be able to share with my partner. At 60, I want it to work, I want a long-term relationship but you need to spend time with that person to find out if it’s going to work.”


The full interview is in Hello!, out now.