Strictly’s Shirley Ballas on BBC equal pay and that ‘curse’
STRICTLY’S new head judge Shirley Ballas has resisted the BBC’s battle of the sexes pay dispute insisting she would have taken the job for nothing.
‘I didn’t even ask the fee,’ the former world champion admitted in an exclusive interview with Guilty Pleasures. ‘Probably if they said, “Would you do it for free?” I would have done it for free.’
Now seated among Bruno Tonioli, 61, Craig Revel Horwood, 52, and Darcey Bussell, 48 — she went on: ‘Everybody is worth their own value. My mum always used to say, “You can only wear one pair of shoes at a time”. What more do you need in life?’ Shirley, who celebrated her 57th birthday at Albert’s Club in Kensington on Wednesday — 12 days early — plans to take Strictly in her own direction following the exit of head judge Len Goodman last year.
‘I feel I still have Len’s little slippers next to me on the chair,’ she said. ‘I won’t be trying to slip on Len’s slippers because I have my own. I will respect and highly regard what he brought to the show, but I’ll be bringing my own views.’
After travelling the globe for years as a dancer, twice-married Shirley shed light on the ‘Strictly curse’ that has blighted married celebs on the show. ‘Often people find romance when they have to travel together or in the workplace — we just happen to be in a public arena,’ she said. ‘If you are week-in week-out with somebody it happens. If people have chemistry… of course! Nothing surprises me.’
Author: Andrei Harmsworth