SHIRLEY Ballas definitely made her mark on Strictly after she took over as head judge from Len Goodman back in 2017.
With the show about to return for its 17th series, the glamorous dance expert seems happier than ever when it comes to her life and career. Here’s everything we know about the star judge…
How much does Shirley Ballas get paid for Strictly?
Shirley joined Strictly in 2017 and was paid £180,000 by the BBC for that series.
This was £70,000 short of the amount given to her predecessor Len Goodman, 75, for the same role.
But in 2018 she landed a victory when she received a pay rise to equal Len’s former £250k salary.
Fellow judge Bruno Tonioli reportedly earns the same amount, while Craig Revel Horwood and former judge Darcey Bussell received £180,000 for each series of Strictly.
Why did Shirley Ballas split from husband Corky?
Shirley, 58, married Corky Ballas back in 1985.
But they split when he left her for former Strictly pro Kristina Rihanoff after he became the dancer’s teacher in 2003.
Shirley divorced Corky in 2007 but his relationship with Kristina is said to have fizzled out the following year.
Who is Shirley Ballas dating now?
In January 2019, The Sun exclusively revealed that Shirley is dating her panto co-star Daniel Taylor, 44.
They were in Jack And The Beanstalk together over Christmas 2018.
Shirley Ballas hinted she had started dating again when she tweeted that her panto co-star Daniel Taylor was a “very funny handsome man”.
The duo had also been seen getting cosy in selfies taken during their stint together in the Christmas show.
Though it’s not entirely sure if they’re still dating as the star hasn’t shared any pics of him recently – though she could just be choosing to keep their relationship private.
What is Shirley Ballas’ relationship with Derek and Julianne Hough?
In 1997, Shirley was on a teaching trip to Salt Lake City when she met the now famous dancers Derek and Julianne Hough.
Their parents were going through a divorce when they were aged about eight and 11 and Derek asked Shirley if he could come and live with her in the UK.
He went to live with his coaches Shirley and Corky and Julianne joined him a few months later.
They only intended to stay for a year of training but Derek stayed for 10 and Julianne returned to the US after five years.
Derek and Julianne, along with Shirley’s son Mark, were trained by the couple at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, learning everything from song to dance and gymnastics.
Mark and Julianne danced together and became the youngest couple to the win the British Open and the World Junior Championships.
All three went on to work as professional dancers on the American version of Dancing With The Stars with Julianne winning seasons 4 and 5.
Mark won season 6 and Derek finished top on five separate occasions.
While Derek credits the couple for his success as a dancer, Julianne claimed she was “abused, mentally, physically, everything,” during her time in London.
What is Shirley Ballas’ rise to fame?
Shirley Ballas, 58, is a British ballroom dancer who specialises in Latin dance and has won several championships earning her the nickname, The Queen of Latin.
She grew up in Wallasey in the North of England with her mother Audrey and brother David.
Her love of ballroom dance started aged seven when she took her first class in her local hall.
The talented youngster then started competing in competitions from the age of eight and, at 15 she moved to North Yorkshire to compete with British Ballroom Champion Nigel Tiffany.
They got engaged when she was 16 and a year later they moved to London.
However, she was then asked to try out to be Sammy Stopford’s partner, they fell in love and got married and went on to become one of the fastest rising couples in ballroom dance.
They danced together from when she was 18 to 23 and won all the major titles worldwide.
The pair then parted ways and she met Corky Ballas, who she married and had son Mark in 1986.
Corky and Shirley competed together and won their first professional Latin title in 1984 and went on to win it a further eight years in a row.
In 1990, they moved back to the UK and went on to win the Open British Professional Latin title in 1995 and ’96.
Shirley was previously a judge on the American version of Dancing With The Stars.
more strictly gossip
When does Strictly Come Dancing 2019 start?
Strictly Come Dancing is returning for its 17th series this Saturday (September 7, 2019) at 7.10pm on BBC One.
The episode – which was filmed on August 31 – sees the professionals and celebrities paired up and getting their first go on the dancefloor.
But it doesn’t air until September 7 to allow the new dancing couples to have two weeks to prepare for the hectic live shows.
There after the main show will air live on Saturday evenings with the results the following day on Sundays.
The series technically kicked off with the red carpet launch on Monday, August 26, 2019.
You can get the FULL celebrity line-up here.