Shirley Ballas admits post-surgery agony of 'Strictly' return


Brave Shirley Ballas has admitted that she was in pain during her weekend Strictly appearance just days after undergoing surgery.

The BBC show’s head judge had her breast implants removed last Tuesday after a number of cases of cancer in her family prompted her to rethink them, but was determined not to miss a minute of the series and was back behind the judging desk by Saturday evening.

Read more: Shirley Ballas is back in the ballroom just four days post surgery

However, talking about her recovery on Lorraine on Monday, Ballas admitted that showing up for work had been much more painful than she let on.

She said: “It was painful on the show.

"I chose to take minimal painkillers because I wanted to be 'there' for the show."

Ballas impressed viewers with her glamorous appearance in a sleek tux on Saturday evening despite being just four days on from the op.

She isn’t the only star of this series of Strictly to have had the surgery, as contestant Michelle Visage also spoke to Lorraine recently about the health benefits of having her breast implants removed not long before taking part in the show.

Ballas said: “I spoke to Michelle about it at one of the show after parties and she said that she feels like a new woman, so from woman to woman, she just wanted to share that experience of how much healthier she felt. That was really lovely.”

Read more: Strictly is helping Michelle Visage recover from breast implant nightmare

The TV judge has come in for a lot of criticism for her support of BBC sports reporter Mike Bushell in the dance off three weeks running, and like the contestant has been the target of online abuse.

But she said: “There are people who perhaps just don’t understand every week somebody has to go home.

“If you put somebody in the bottom two, I have to send somebody home.”

She also suffered fan complaints over her harsh comments on Emma Barton and Anton du Beke’s Rumba at the weekend, but only mentioned the pro dancer when talking about the couple who were last on the leaderboard being saved from the bottom two by the public vote.

Ballas said: “What was remarkable this week was that Anton was at the bottom of the leaderboard, but the country saved him, I thought that was absolutely marvellous to show the power of the vote.”