Has Strictly ALREADY lined up a replacement for Shirley Ballas?

There’s a new head judge on the horizon…

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It hasn’t even been confirmed that head judge Shirley is leaving at the end of this series – yet Brendan Cole is already the favourite to replace her.

The outspoken Strictly professional dancer is 5/2 favourite to step into the coveted head judge role, according to bookies Coral.

But it looks like Brendan could also have some stiff competition – former Strictly star Karen Hardy is the second favourite at 3/1 and Brendan’s fellow professional dancer Anton Du Beke is next in line at 4/1.

Former head judge Len Goodman is even in the running – he’s currently 12/1 to make a dramatic come back to the show when the new series starts next year.

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But despite all this talk of replacements for Shirley – it hasn’t even been confirmed whether the new head judge is staying or leaving at the end of this series.

The odds are 4/6 that the 57-year-old leaves the show after next weekend’s final – and 11/10 that she’ll be back to reprise her judging role in 2018.

There have been rumours circulating all series about whether Shirley gets on with her fellow Strictly judges and what that means for next year, and Shirley appeared on This Morning on Friday to set the record straight…

“As of yet, nothing’s decided so we’ll wait and see,” she told hosts Eamonn Holmes and celebrity dancer from this series, Ruth Langsford.

So with nothing decided, it looks like the bookies could be right and there might be a job opening at Strictly should Brendan decide to hang up his dancing shoes.

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But, Shirley doesn’t sound like she’s going to vacate her judge seat that easily… she went on to tell Eamonn and Ruth that she’s got everything crossed that she’ll be back on our screens next year…

As the interview between the trio closed she added: “I’m hoping so.”

So who is your money on?