Strictly's Shirley Ballas stepping back from social media after trolling takes its toll

The dancer will hand over her socials to somebody else to look after


Shirley Ballas is handing her social media to someone else to take care of. (BBC)
Shirley Ballas is handing her social media to someone else to take care of. (BBC)

Shirley Ballas has revealed she is handing over her social media to someone else during Strictly this year because she can’t take all the trolling.

The dancer, 62, has been head judge on the BBC ballroom show since 2017 and has been open about facing criticism online.

Speaking on the How To Be 60 podcast, she shared that she had talked to her son about whether she wanted to continue on the programme.

Read more: Strictly's Shirley Ballas had non-surgical facelift as she felt self-conscious

And she revealed they had come up with a list of rules for her if she was staying on the show.

“The social media last year was second to none, it was pretty tough,” said the star.

Ride Foundation Inaugural Gala - Dance For Africa  Featuring: Mark Ballas, Shirley Ballas Where: Hollywood, California, United States When: 23 Jul 2017 Credit: FayesVision/
Shirley Ballas talked over Strictly with her son. (FayesVision/

“I remember being in work one day and reposting something that somebody had posted just because I was so furious with all the horrible messages I was getting.

“I reposted it and then this gentleman got trolled. He got in touch with my team. In the end him and I ended up speaking on the phone because I didn't want him to suffer if you like.

“And he said to me, 'I'm so sorry, I wrote that, but you sent somebody home that we really loved and I just got on there and I ranted'.

"I said, 'Well you were just maybe one rant too many for me'.”

Dance Coach Dame Shirley Ballas poses for photographers on arrival at the 2019 BAFTA Television Awards in London, Sunday, May 12, 2019.(Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)
Shirley Ballas has opened up about trolled. (Invision/AP)

Ballas went on: “This year I will have somebody else doing my social media and I won't be privy to all that because it did really affect me last year."

The star said that she had talked things over with her son Mark.

“We had a whole sit down about the whole thing - ‘Do you want to do Strictly again, you know, what were the downfalls, pitfalls for you mum?’” she said.

“He was absolutely fantastic, and he said, ‘You know, look, everybody gets it mum, it doesn't matter who you are, what level you are, if you go on social media somebody is going to be trolling, sitting on their computer, it makes their day to make you miserable’.

“He said, ‘So if you want to take Strictly back, these are the rules that I would follow if I was you’.”

Ballas said the pair and Mark’s wife talked it over at length and that afterwards she felt “much better”.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2022,25-12-2022,Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas & Anton Du Beke,BBC,Guy Levy
Shirley Ballas on Strictly's Christmas special. (BBC)

She explained that after the Strictly tour she took a break and turned down a lot of things while she cleared her head and thought about what she wanted to do.

Read more: Strictly's Tony Adams apologises for heckling Shirley Ballas

She went on: “'Do I want to continue, don't I want to continue?' And my son helped me with that. I feel in a much, much better place.”

Watch: Strictly's Shirley Ballas feels rejuvenated after non-surgical facelift