Shirley Ballas has told of her upset at receiving hand-delivered hate mail at the theatre where she is working, from an unknown sender.
The Strictly Come Dancing judge, who is starring in the Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime at the Darlington Hippodrome, wrote on Instagram that it was “cowardly to just drop off at my place of work” and that “enough is enough now”.
In a video post, she said: “As we know, I had quite a lot of bullying on Strictly this time, and my inbox on Instagram was full of horrific and horrendous messages, but this has gone a step further now.
“I’ve had a hand-delivered message which I’m going to share with you, hand-delivered to the Hippodrome, addressed to me, with not such nice comments or words.”
The note, which showed a white handwritten message on black paper, referred to Ballas as a “gobshite” and told her to “remove your head from your huge fat arsehole”.
The message also said that “it was a very sad day when you were appointed a judge on Strictly, a very sad day”.
In the video, Ballas added: “My message for young people, or anybody out there who receives awful messages or hate mail or things from people that don’t know them, the issue is the other person’s, it’s not so much ours, even though I do find it quite upsetting when I’ve been out there performing, and then I read something like this from someone who doesn’t even know me.”
She added: “The message out there is to be strong going into 2020, really, really love yourself and don’t be fazed by the bullies.”
Ballas, 59, recently revealed that she has been subjected to more online bullying during the recent series of Strictly than in previous years.
She told BBC Breakfast in November: “I’ve had more online bullying this time than I’ve had in any series of Strictly, particularly direct messaging, more so from the younger fans if their chosen one gets sent away.
“It’s ‘I hate you, die, go kill yourself’ – those types of messages in my direct message box.
“My concern is not so much for myself, it’s for the younger people out there… if they do that kind of bullying online, what do they do in the workplace, what do they do at the school? So my concern is always for the younger generation.”
Ballas became the head judge on Strictly after Len Goodman’s departure.