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Shirley Ballas teases upcoming Strictly Come Dancing series

Shirley Ballas (PA)
Shirley Ballas (PA)

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has teased the upcoming series of the popular show, saying “you cannot miss it, they have got so many things lined up”.

The BBC One Saturday night staple won the gong for entertainment programme – the second time the show has won the award – at this year’s Bafta Television awards.

The next series of Strictly will take place later this year, though it will be shorter than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking after the series win, Ballas said: “They have done everything in their power to bring light and happiness to people for the autumn and winter months coming, you will not be disappointed.”

Asked about the rumours fellow judge Bruno Tonioli might not take part in the upcoming series because he will not be able to travel to and from the US, where he is a judge on Dancing With The Stars, Ballas said: “If there is a way to fly backwards and forwards he will, if he had to walk on water, he will.

“Bruno will fly his little arms, I love him so much and I know he will give his all to get there.”

The ballroom professional said her dream contestant on the series would be one of the younger royals.

Strictly Come Dancing 2019
 The Strictly judges (Guy Levy/BBC)

She explained: “I think it would be lovely for one of the younger royals, the world is changing we have even seen the Queen on Zoom, I know so many of the royal family are such fans of the show.”

The 59-year-old also addressed the possibility of same-sex partnerships on Strictly.

Last year, Johannes Radebe and fellow professional Graziano di Prima made history when they performed together in the show’s first individual same-sex dance.

Ballas said: “For me it doesn’t matter, I had a little girl partner until I was 12, for me it doesn’t matter, it’s two bodies on the dancefloor, movement to music, creativity and that is what it is, we see it all the time on the West End, so for me it’s nothing new, so let’s just see.”

The dancer also revealed she has been ill and has taken a coronavirus test, saying: “I broke my foot, so that is healing, I’ve not been so well with a cough, so I just took the Covid test today so I have to wait for 24 hours.

“Then my boyfriend will come back some time next week.”

Strictly presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman also reacted to the show’s win.

Daly tweeted: “So happy. Night/Year made. Thanks Bafta and biggest thanks to the best team @bbcstrictly love you to bits xxxx”.

Her co-presenter Winkleman tweeted: “Thank you so so much to @BAFTA. We’re SO happy. @bbcstrictly”.

This year’s Bafta TV Awards were shown on BBC One and filmed as live, with Glenda Jackson, Jared Harris and Fleabag star Sian Clifford among the winners.

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