Her life may seem full of sequins and glitterballs, but Strictly Come Dancing’s Shirley Ballas has been hiding a heartbreaking secret.
Away from the cameras, the head judge has been nursing her mum, Audrey, who has cancer.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, the 58-year-old revealed: “She was diagnosed earlier this year. But she’s a trouper and we are dealing with it.
“I came over to her in the summer to take care of her and I had to learn to be a nurse.”
Shirley says she speaks to her mum – who she calls “a star” – four times a day and cooks for her, despite being “terrible” at it.
She added: “I would put her food down on a tray on her bed and I would be standing there like, ‘Is this okay?’ And she would say, ‘You did good. Maybe a bit more salt next time.'”
Audrey, who is 81, has decided not to have chemotherapy, a decision Shirley supports.
The Strictly star also paid tribute to her mum earlier this week, with a moving post on Instagram.
Alongside a sweet picture together, she wrote: “My mum is one of the best blessings, grateful for every day I get to spend with her.”
She added: “Grateful for family and extended family and friends. Grateful for health. Grateful to be able to help so many people. Grateful to be able to meet so many wonderful people through my work. What are a few of the things you are grateful for?”
The new interview comes amidst a rough series for the former champion dancer.
Saturday night’s episode of Strictly Come Dancing might’ve been the most shambolic ever, thanks to a mishap with the leadership board and Shirley messing up the order she announced the points.
In fact, some viewers called for her to be sacked, with one commenting: “For God’s sake get rid of her.”
The outspoken head judge has also spent the series defending herself against accusations of bias and favouritism. And she recently went on a Twitter rampage telling off her trolls.
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