BBC Strictly Come Dancing's Shirley Ballas inadvertently prompts same response as she addresses judging return

Strictly Come Dancing's Shirley Ballas
-Credit: (Image: Shirley Ballas Instagram)

Shirley Ballas found herself triggering the same response from fans as she addressed her return to Strictly Come Dancing for the first time. The BBC released the first details about the upcoming series, confirming the hosts, judges and professional dancers for the 2024 run.

The broadcaster said Strictly fans can expect "another spectacular series of glitz, glamour and unforgettable performances with the brand new series promising to be extra special as Strictly turns 20!"

In its first big announcement of the year on Monday (June 10), it was confirmed that Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will return as hosts and the judges' desks will see the return of head judge Shirley alongside Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel-Horwood and Anton Du Beke.

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Meanwhile, the dancers who will return include Amy Dowden, who had missed competing on Strictly last year after she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, and 2023 winner Vito Coppola.

Completing Strictly's 18-strong pro line-up are Dianne Buswell, Nadiya Bychkova, Graziano Di Prima, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Gorka Marquez, Luba Mushtuk, Jowita Przystal, Johannes Radebe, Kai Widdrington, Nancy Xu, Carlos Gu, Lauren Oakley and Michelle Tsiakkas.

Reacting to the announcement, Shirley took to Instagram with a string of pictures and videos taken during the 2023 series behind the scenes as she said: "Feeling very grateful to be returning for my 8th series as Head Judge on @bbcstrictly. I cannot wait to be back behind the desk with my fellow judges @motsimabuse @craigrevel @mrantondubeke..."

She continued: "8 series later and I still get all excited when Strictly season comes around. I’m blessed each year when I’m asked back. It’s a real honour to be part of a show that brings joy to so many families across those dark nights.

Shirley will be back on the judging panel -Credit:PA
Shirley will be back on the judging panel -Credit:PA

"Are you all looking forward to the new series? Who would you like to see put on their dancing shoes? Ahhh it’ll sure be very exciting and full of surprises as we celebrate 20 years of the best show on TV. Hold onto your hats."

And as fans shared their delight, Shirley inadvertently prompted the same reaction to her questions after it was confirmed that Giovanni Pernice wouldn't be returning as a professional dancer this year.

@giovanni_pernice_the_showman was among those who said: "Who would we like to see put on their dancing shoes …there’s only one answer to that Shirley it’s Gio of course." @debbie.plummer76 echoed: "After watching every series I’m sad to say I’m not looking forward to this series and it pains me to say that. As for who I would like to see put on their dancing shoes - simple - Gio."

Others, meanwhile, focused on the series ahead. @lees_tracy said: "I cannot wait for the new series of my beloved Strictly. So exciting." @julie_m_knowles commented: "It wouldn’t be the same without you Shirley. Really looking forward to it." @stuartbailey66 added: "Looking forward to another season on the greatest show on a saturday night... Hope the class of 24 are ready."