Belfast Telegraph

Shirley Ballas shares details about Strictly pairings and her toyboy lover

The judge said she has been pleased by the standard of dancing.

Shirley Ballas is expecting the new Strictly series to be unpredictable (PA)
Shirley Ballas is expecting the new Strictly series to be unpredictable (PA)

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Shirley Ballas has revealed the Strictly Come Dancing pairings will be the “most unpredictable” she has ever seen.

The judge, 58, said she was shocked at which celebrity contestant was matched with each professional at the launch event, which will be televised on Saturday.

She told ITV’s This Morning: “Let me tell you that is the most unpredictable set of pairings I have ever seen on any show, particularly this one, in 15 years.

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The celebrity cast of Strictly Come Dancing (Ian West/PA)

“Even I was sat there with Motsi (Mabuse, the new judge on the panel) and it was like ‘This one will go with that, no?’ And it went this way.

“So it’s unpredictable and I have got a funny feeling that is how the whole of this series is going to be.”

Ballas also said she had been pleasantly surprised by the dancing she had seen from the celebrity contestants, which includes Olympian James Cracknell, veteran broadcaster Anneka Rice, reality star Jamie Laing and YouTuber Saffron Barker.

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Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas (Ian West/PA)

She said: “I saw quite a few people that when they came on the launch show that had rhythm, that were moving, and jumping about and doing this, that and the other, which I love.

“I love great energy. People know me as a technician but I’m a bit of an over all, I like it over all, but I can only say that in all the years that I have ever done this or watched it, this is unpredictable when you pair these people up.”

The TV star also gushed about her boyfriend Daniel Taylor, who is more than a decade her junior and whom she met while performing in pantomime describing him as “kind, caring and understanding”.

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Shirley Ballas and Daniel Taylor (Isabel Infantes/PA)

She added: “I just watched the way he treated other people and I thought I was kind of special and I fast realised I wasn’t.

“He treats everybody like that, everybody that is in his life, it doesn’t matter who it is, whether it’s homeless people, he does a lot for charity, we are just on the same wavelength and he’s from Liverpool so it’s just perfect, a perfect relationship.”

She added: When you get to my age it’s very difficult to find somebody you’re compatible with and in every facet of every part of our life we are compatible and that is just amazing to me.”

Asked if wedding bells are in the air, she said: “Now we are going a bit far but watch this space.”

The pair will reprise their roles in the Jack And The Beanstalk pantomime later this year in Darlington, in which Taylor plays the villain Fleshcreep and she plays the good fairy.

She revealed: “He is stored in my phone as Fleshcreep, my son said he will forever be known as Fleshcreep.”

PA

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