BBC Strictly Come Dancing’s Shirley Ballas says online trolls left her at ‘all time low’ following recent series
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Shirley Ballas has spoken out about how online trolls left her at an “all time low” after appearing as a judge on BBC Strictly Come Dancing. The star has said she received “fierce backlash” from angry viewers and the abuse “snowballed out of control”.
Shirley has said it was “the most negativity” she has ever experienced, and she even had to go to the doctors for help as a result. Speaking to The Mirror she said: “I felt the abuse snowballed out of control and impacted me in such a negative way. I’m a pretty stoic person, and I tend to hold everything in.
“I was crying, I was emotional, but I was embarrassed about being so emotional. I didn’t want to talk to anybody about it."
Shirley added: “And that was an all-time low since I joined the show – it was the most negativity I’d ever experienced. The BBC were brilliant, checking in on me and offering counselling and support.”
“Will I go back to Strictly? I always take one step at a time," she continued. “I absolutely love the job. If it was just that, and there was nothing else surrounding it, I can’t think of a more rewarding job to do.” Shirley took a break at the end of last year after the trolling became too much.
At the time, she told S magazine: “It’s the first time I’ve taken any time off – ever! I’m taking two and a half weeks off, because of the immense amount of trolling I got throughout this series. I decided I wouldn’t do panto this year. Last time I did it, I got a letter hand-delivered to the theatre that was very off-putting.
“I actually kept it. I don’t know why. So I’m going to take some time off and just get myself together for the new year.” Speaking to OK! Magazine at the time, the decorated former ballroom pro shared: “I’ve enjoyed the series but I’m not going to stand here and lie to you – it took its emotional toll.
“The names I’ve been called! I couldn’t even repeat them to you.” She added that the backlash left her seeking help from a doctor for her mental health, sharing: “[I’m] emotional and low and I’m not going to lie to you, it did affect me this year for sure. I have [been to the doctor.”