Dancing Show Judge ‘May Quit Hit Show’ After Abuse By Online Trolls Forced Her To Seek Medical Help

The lead judge on the UK’s most popular entertainment show, Strictly Come Dancing, has hinted she may quit her role after receiving huge amounts of online abuse during the 2022 season.

Shirley Ballas, who has been a judge on the show since 2017, has revealed she received unprecedented criticism during last year’s run, with trolls slamming her decisions and accusing her of ageism and sexism in her choices of which contestants to send home. 

Now Ballas, a former world Latin dancing champion whose son Mark used to appear on Dancing with the Stars, tells the UK’s Daily Mirror newspaper that the 2022 season could be her last, after the abuse “snowballed out of control” and that, for the first time in five decades of her professional dancing career, she was forced to seek medical help to manage her anxiety.

The judge said that, of all the social media messages she received after announcing her decisions on the show, “one in five were hateful” – accusing her of prejudice against certain contestants. 

BBC bosses will no doubt be keen to secure once again the services of Ballas – one of the highest paid entertainers in the UK – but she remains unsure if she will return:

“It was a difficult series, I’ll leave it at that… Will I go back to Strictly? I always take one step at a time.”

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