In an exclusive interview and shoot with HELLO! magazine, Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas has revealed the hit show will return later this year – and it will honour those who have helped fight Covid-19. Speaking to HELLO! from her south-east London home – where she has been isolating with her boyfriend of nearly 18 months, Daniel Taylor – she says: "Of course everything changes day-to-day but I have spoken to Strictly's executive producer, and I am 99 per cent sure that we will be on screens in one form or another.
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"We all realise that when the colder months come, we need some glitz and glamour – it's like going to Hollywood or Vegas and it's something that the whole family can enjoy. It's imperative that the show goes ahead so you can bet your trolley they are doing their best to get it on."
Shirley also has some thoughts about who she would like to see on the next series, which reports suggest could include social distancing measures. "I have always wanted anyone from the royal family. But it doesn't have to necessarily be someone that's in the limelight because what I enjoy the most is getting to know someone's journey. And I know we are going to have some fantastic NHS stories, there is going to be a reflection on the coronavirus and what people have done for communities and I think it's going to be a real tearjerker."
"I am 99 per cent sure that we will be on screens in one form or another," said Shirley
Lockdown has, she says, given her a newfound appreciation for the simple things and made her re-evaluate her lifestyle. "I will never take another ballroom for granted again. I will never take any work or shopping for granted. "And I now realise I don't have to work 24/7. I love to work but just as important is the time that you spend with your family. You have to put your partner and family at the top of the list and there must be downtime – time for gardening, cooking time, book reading time."
And she says it has cemented her love for actor Danny. "Danny and I have a very lovely relationship, but we were only used to spending a couple of nights together," she says. "It's been three months now and it's been educational! The plus side of it is that I am grateful for time to be able to share with my partner. At 60, I want it to work, I want a long-term relationship but you need to spend time with that person to find out if it's going to work."
Pick up the new issue of HELLO! out on Monday for the exclusive interview.
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