Shirley Ballas

Strictly Come Dancing: Shirley Ballas reveals she was sent death threats during panto stint

The TV judge was told that she was hated by the public

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has revealed she was sent a vile death threat while she was doing panto.

The 60-year-old TV star previously received a letter showing her digging her own grave, and was told that she was hated across Britain.

Shirley replaced former head judge Len Goodman on the BBC show back in 2017.

shirley ballas 2020
Shirley Ballas has revealed she was once sent a vile death threat (Credit:

Strictly Come Dancing: What did Shirley Ballas say?

Opening up on the vile message, Shirley said: “More recently, a death threat was delivered by hand to where I was appearing in pantomime.

“This one showed a figure of me digging my own grave, with the message, ‘Do you realise how much you are hated?

“‘The country hates you. How did they ever give a job to someone like you, you old witch.'”

However, Shirley feels that her tough upbringing and experience of bullying, as well as the setbacks she’s survived in her professional life, have helped her to cope with the death threat.

Shirley Ballas
The Strictly Come Dancing judge was taking part in panto at the time (Credit: ITV)

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The dancer feels she’s become “as hard as a hob-nailed boot”.

She explained: “What these people don’t realise is I come from a tough housing estate.

“I’ve spent many years being bullied in my industry.

“So I’ve developed an exterior shell as hard as a hob-nailed boot.”

Shirley Ballas
Shirley has also become a target for social media trolls (Credit:

During her time on Strictly, Shirley has also become a target for social media trolls.

But the dancer refuses to lash out, due to fears the trolls may be vulnerable like her brother David, who took his own life 17 years ago.

According to The Sun, Shirley wrote in her ‘Behind The Sequins’ memoir: “If I can do good for someone by reacting like this, then I feel I’m doing my bit to protect and honour his legacy.

“It’s my way of trying to create something positive out of the biggest sorrow of my life.”

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When does Strictly Come Dancing return?

The Strictly 2020 launch show will begin on Saturday October 17 on BBC One.

Meanwhile, judge Bruno Tonioli is not expected to return, reducing the judges to just three.

The popular judge has said he will prioritise his role on the US version of Dancing with the Stars.

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