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Tess Daly Backs New ‘Strictly’ Head Judge Shirley Ballas… And Admits She’d Love To Take Part Herself

Huffington Post UK logo Huffington Post UK 18/05/2017 Matt Bagwell
Tess Daly © Provided by Huffington Post Tess Daly

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ host Tess Daly has given her seal of approval to the show’s new head judge, Shirley Ballas.

The 48-year-old presenter admitted she hadn’t met Strictly’s latest recruit yet, but said she was pleased there was another woman joining the panel following the departure of Len Goodman after last year’s series.

Speaking on Thursday’s ‘Lorraine’, Tess said: “She looks lovely doesn’t she?

“I think Bruno has already met her through her work because she works on Dancing With The Stars - which is Strictly in America - which Bruno is also a judge on twice a year, they have two series a year over there. And Shirley has worked over there so she’s well known to the American audience.”

“She’s a Wirral lass, from the Wirral, so she’s coming home to be on our panel – and I can’t wait to see another lady.

Tess added that she thinks Shirley is the ideal head judge because she’ll keep the rest of the panel - made up of Darcey Bussell, Craig Revel-Horwood and Bruno Tonioli - in check.

Shirley Ballas will join the 'Strictly' judging panel when the show returns later this year. © Provided by Huffington Post Shirley Ballas will join the 'Strictly' judging panel when the show returns later this year.

“[She has] so much experience, her credentials are unshakeable - she’s phenomenal isn’t she?” Tess said. “I can’t wait to see. I think she’s going to keep those two boys in order, especially that naughty one on the end… Bruno… no names. He needs keeping under control, he’s up out of his chair, he gets very excitable, but I love him for that.”

Tess also revealed that she’d love to take to the dancefloor and compete on the BBC show, but can’t because of her presenting commitments.

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She said: “I couldn’t really because I couldn’t be in two places at once. But I do watch the celebrities, particularly those who haven’t danced before and you see them learn a whole new skill and how they blossom and love every moment of it.

“There is a part of me that thinks I would love to be able to do that… come on Anton give me a twirl, give me a dip, lift me up. It looks like they have a blast you know, so I would rather enjoy it. But I do feel for them as they get so nervous on a Saturday night.”

Strictly's many, many romances (Provider: Photos)

Strictly Come Dancing romances


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