Shirley Ballas reveals she 'didn’t know her own name' during horrible COVID-19 experience
Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has revealed she was hit hard by COVID-19 earlier this year, spending several weeks confined to her bed.
"Although I didn’t have to go to hospital, I was in bed for two weeks and I didn’t know my own name," she told The Sun.
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The 60-year-old said that both she and her partner were struck down by the illness three months ago and that she is undergoing tests to work out whether she is suffering from the effects of "Long COVID".
She is keen to get the tests completed before filming begins for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Watch: Shirley Ballas talks about Prince George learning ballet
"I couldn’t get my act together, and that is not like me," Ballas confessed. "I’m usually up at seven in the morning, going here and there. So it was quite an experience and it has left that tiring effect."
Ballas said she has recently been given her second vaccine dose, having battled the disease between her first and second jabs.
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She added: "I would say that first jab definitely helped, for sure, so I’d encourage people to get their vaccine.
"I want to get everything sorted before the [Strictly Come Dancing] series kicks off, but I’m optimistic that everything will be fine.”
Ballas teased that there will be "tweaks and turns" to the Strictly format once again this year, following last year's COVID-hit series.
She said it would be "absolutely thrilling" if they were able to welcome a live audience this time around.
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"Just when you think this show can’t get any better, it will. I’ve heard about some of the cast and they are fantastic. They’re going to be great," said Ballas.
“It’s going to be outstanding. We’ve got 13 weeks and we’re hoping to go to Blackpool."
No celebrities have been announced for the 19th series of Strictly Come Dancing, so we don't yet have any idea who will be the recipient of the glitterball when it's handed over by reigning champion Bill Bailey.
The professional line-up has already been revealed, though Janette Manrara has stepped away from the dancefloor to help front spin-off show It Takes Two.
Manrara will replace Zoe Ball and join Rylan Clark-Neal on the daily talk show.
Watch: Janette Manrara to host Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two