Shirley Ballas has reportedly been given a ‘take it or leave it’ deal by Strictly bosses to stay on the show – after the judge revealed she could quit online trolling.
The 62-year-old chief justice and Latin expert has been the subject of widespread criticism over the past year in which trolls slammed her rulings and accused her of ageism and sexism.
But despite previously threatening to quit, Shirley has been in talks with bosses over a potential return to Strictly, revealing on the Jonathan Ross show on Sunday that “their people talk to my people”.
Shirley joined the jury as chief judge in 2017, after Len Goodman left.
The ‘Queen of Latin’ has reportedly been offered a raise in line with fellow judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke.
A TV insider told The Sun: “The show team cares very deeply for Shirley’s well-being and will continue to do all they can to lessen the effects of what is being said on the networks. social.”
“But they are also very aware that we are in the midst of a cost of living crisis and license fee freeze and it is against this backdrop that the deal was offered to Shirley.”
“No one wants her to walk, but Strictly has proven throughout its history that no one is bigger than the show.”
Shirley recently hinted that she may not return to Strictly Come Dancing this year following the torrent of despicable online abuse she received during the last series.
In a candid interview, she indicated that the previous series may have been her last as it hit an “all-time low” after the abuse “spinned out of control”.
The ballroom dancer shared how she was constantly in tears after each show and struggled in silence, telling how it was “the most negativity” she had ever faced.
She told the Mirror: “Last year I was struggling. It wasn’t just a little, it was a lot – the majority was in silence. I felt the violence spiral out of control and had a such a negative impact on me. I’m quite a stoic person and tend to hold everything back.
She explained that when the abuse started it seemed ‘bigger than anything else’, with the star recounting how it left her ‘crying and emotional’, despite being ’embarrassed’ about how she felt and not confided in no one.
Shirley added: “And that was an all-time low since I joined the show – it was the most negativity I’ve ever experienced.” The BBC have been brilliant, following me and offering advice and support.
When asked if she had considered leaving Strictly, she replied, “It was a tough show, I’ll leave it at that…Will I come back to Strictly?” I always take one step at a time.
She went on to say that she “absolutely loves” her job and if it was fair for her to judge without any trolls involved, it would be the most “rewarding” job she could think of.
The Latin Queen went on to say that after Strictly ended in 2022, she took a ‘break’ from television to ‘refocus’ on her own industry as well as to ‘protect her sanity’.
Shirley then revealed the shocking extent of the messages she received – one in five of which were hateful – saying the thousands of comments she received every time she sent someone home were ‘truly awful’ .
She added that she was accused of not liking young people or old people, men or women, noting that “it didn’t matter what she did” she could “never win”.
However, she proudly said she stands by her decisions and has never “regretted” sending someone home based on their performance in the dance, noting that she could “sleep the night away.” night” with his choices.
Back in December, Shirley revealed she was taking a Christmas break after facing an “tremendous amount of trolling” throughout the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing.
The BBC show’s chief judge said she was going to “pull herself together for the new year” enjoying some “first time” time.
The dancing icon decided against panto last year, explaining how a chilling incident that saw a hand-delivered letter to the theater last year affected her decision.
She told S magazine: ‘This is the first time I’ve taken time off – ever!’ I’m taking two and a half weeks off, due to the immense amount of trolling I’ve had throughout this series.
‘I’ve decided that I won’t do a panto this year. The last time I did, I got a hand-delivered letter to the theater that was very off-putting.
“Actually, I kept it. I don’t know why. So I’m going to take some time and prepare for the new year.
In November, Shirley revealed how ‘cruel’ trolls left her to seek medical help for ‘bad temper and anxiety’.
She explained that, for the first time in a career spanning more than five decades, she went to her doctor to find a way to deal with the impact the taunts had on her.
Shirley said OK! Magazine of the abuse she suffered during the current series of Strictly: “It had an emotional impact, that’s why I’m not going to panto”.
‘[I’m] emotional and low and I’m not going to lie to you, it’s definitely affected me this year… When it gets personal, it’s cruel.
‘It makes you [go]… ‘Do I look good? Am I too heavy? Am I that? Am I that? Cover your bingo arms. Should I wear a dress with sleeves?
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Shirley Ballas for comment.
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