Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas has revealed that she’s found new love, and has encouraged others over 50 to do the same.
Appearing on Lorraine, the veteran dancer was speaking about her new segment made for This Morning, called Matchmaker Mountain, which will air every Tuesday in January.
In it, she will help three men and three women over 50 in their search for a new partner, while on an expedition to Morocco, in which the potential lovebirds are housed in a secluded mountain retreat.
The ‘Queen of Latin’ married fellow dance champion Corky Ballas in 1985, but they split in 2007.
“Yes, I’ve met somebody nice. I had the best Christmas ever being in panto, and my son (Dancing With The Stars pro Mark Ballas) flew over, it was the best Christmas ever in my entire life,” she said.
The subject of French novelist Yann Moix came up too, after the writer hit headlines for controversially said that women over 50 are ‘too old’ to love.
“I prefer younger women’s bodies, that’s all. End of. The body of a 25-year-old woman is extraordinary. The body of a woman of 50 is not extraordinary at all,” he told Marie Claire.
Ballas called him ‘ageist, sexist and uneducated’, adding: “Women over 50 have often had children, your body’s like a temple, it’s through people like him that women lack self confidence.
“I’m comfortable in Strictly, comfortable on TV, and I had such the best time on Matchmaker Mountain, watching their confidence grow over time.
“They taught me a lot we bonded straight away, it was fantastic listening to their stories, a spectacular experience, and just wanted to encourage any woman not to listen to men like him.
“Get out of that routine, there are special people out there, and the show opened my eyes.”