Shirley Ballas details method put in place to cope with overwhelming hate

Shirley Ballas details method put in place to cope with overwhelming hate

Shirley Ballas says she’d go on I’m A Celeb

Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas has admitted to feeling “overwhelmed” with the extraordinary trolling she receives.

Shirley, 63, has suffered a significant amount of backlash since stepping into the role of Head Judge on the BBC show in 2017, replacing the late Len Goodman.

Following the hateful messages, Shirley decided to take control of the situation and employ a social media manager to filter out the abuse.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, she said: “This is my seventh series as Head Judge. I think I’m getting stronger as the years go by but the trolling got to me last year: it was bad. I think I was just overwhelmed.”

Since returning to the ballroom this year, Shirley has hired a tech wizard named Harry who manages her social media accounts.

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Delighted with his work, she confessed: “This year I’ve taken on a young man called Harry who does all my social media, which is proving to be just fabulous”.

This has meant that she does not see the negative comments. However, she previously said that she found it “extremely difficult” dealing with the abuse that has come alongside her role on the show.

The dancer said that she found it so tough that she considered not returning to the 2023 series and was left feeling scared to leave her own home.

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Discussing her experience in October last year, Shirley appeared on the ITV show Olivia Attwood vs The Trolls and admitted that her mental health was being deeply affected.

She revealed: “I’ve had people draw coffins with me in it with somebody with a spade that said, ‘Die you b**ch’.

“It’s when it is personal about myself and my family and it affects my mental health. I am not just talking about your phone.”

Thankfully, Shirley did return to the series and will judge the remaining contestants in this weekend’s semi final.

Battling it out for the Glitterball Trophy are Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola, Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin, Annabel Croft and Johannes Radebe as well as Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell.

Strictly Come Dancing: The Semi-Final airs Saturday at 7.25pm on BBC One.

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