Shirley Ballas reveals she nearly quit Strictly after one series due to stress of overnight fame

SHIRLEY Ballas nearly quit Strictly after one series as head judge because she found it tough to cope with the overnight fame.

Shirley, 61, who replaced Len Goodman in 2017, said she asked her mum whether she should return.

She eventually decided to carry on — and has never looked back since.

Shirley, known as The Queen of Latin during her dance career, said: “The mainstream fame which is handed to you by shows like Strictly has been quite hard to deal with.

"You have to be resilient when people start writing or saying unkind things about you.

“When the producers asked me back for a second go, I asked my mother if she thought it was a good idea. It is invasive on your private life but, eventually, we decided it would be OK to do it again.”

Shirley said she applied to be head judge, despite having no TV experience, to make a stand against bullying in dancing.

She added: “To change that . . . is what drove me to go for the job.”

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