Shirley Ballas shares how she remembers her brother on Christmas Day

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Shirley Ballas at the Strictly Come Dancing Launch at BBC Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Shirley Ballas talked about remembering her brother at Christmas. (Getty Images)

Shirley Ballas has shared the poignant way in which her family remembers her late brother David on Christmas Day each year.

The Strictly Come Dancing head judge talked about how she planned on celebrating Christmas and said she was looking forward to watching the Strictly Christmas special.

Ballas, 61, said of her Christmas Day plans: "We like to watch The Sound Of Music every year, I know all the lines and all the songs! We have a little rest in the morning and then mum and I get up and have a coffee and catch up.

"For dinner it will be my mum, myself, Danny (her fiance) and my little dog Charlie - we always set a place for my brother.

Read more: Dan Walker hits back at Piers Morgan for mocking Strictly exit

Shirley Ballas is looking forward to the 'Strictly' Christmas special. (BBC)
Shirley Ballas is looking forward to the 'Strictly' Christmas special. (BBC)

"After dinner we have a drink and play some games, but if my son was here we’d normally have a sing-song."

Ballas lost David 18 years ago when he took his life, and in recent years she has made use of her Strictly fame to promote the importance of mental health issues.

On Sunday, she shared an emotional tribute to David on Instagram to mark the anniversary of his death.

Read more: AJ Odudu cries over Strictly lift disaster

It read: "Darling David I miss you very very much, you were my anchor my guider my brother, my go to when things got tough and as for those bear hugs I can only dream about them now. There is not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and all the times I got to spend with you. Family to you was everything. A fierce and protective brother, son and father."

She added: "My mind has been all over the place this week remembering all those good and bad times and of course what could have been. A life lost that in my opinion could have been saved if we had of been more educated and understood more about communicating feelings of how we felt.

"Forgive me for being so uneducated. Mental Health is key, kindness and understanding is so important in today’s society. I’ll keep you in a little pocket very close to my heart, so I can feel close to you always."

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special will air on Christmas Day on BBC One.

Watch: Who's judging this year's Strictly?