Shirley Ballas will NOT quit Strictly: Head judge, 62, remains defiant after fans accused her of being sexist for backing male contestant Richie Anderson over songstress Fleur East
Under-fire Shirley Ballas has defiantly insisted she will not quit her job as Strictly’s head judge after fans accused her of being sexist.
Twitter trolls called for her to be sacked after she backed male contestant Richie Anderson over female star Fleur East following the show’s Sunday dance-off.
Miss East, 34, was saved by the three other judges but Mrs Ballas said she would have voted for Radio 2 star Anderson, who performed dressed as a meerkat.
She has also come under attack for flirty comments about male contestants after she described Will Mellor as ‘easy on the eye’.
Under-fire Shirley Ballas (pictured) has defiantly insisted she will not quit her job as Strictly’s head judge after fans accused her of being sexist.
In 2019 she told Emmerdale’s Kelvin Fletcher: ‘You sent my temperature through the roof.’
But friends of the ballroom champion insisted today she will not allow trolls to force her out of a job she loves.
They also pointed out that last Saturday Mrs Ballas’s average score for the seven women was 7.2 out of ten while for men it was 6.7 which included her giving the show’s youngest star Molly Rainford, 21, a nine out of ten.
One told the Daily Mail: ‘There is no way that Shirley is going to let the trolls win this, she has absolutely no plans to leave Strictly.
Twitter trolls called for her to be sacked after she backed male contestant Richie Anderson over female star Fleur East following the show’s Sunday dance-off (Left to right: Generics,Anton du Beke; Shirley Ballas; Motsi Mabuse; Craig Revel Horwood)
‘While these people are entitled to their opinion, she isn’t sexist and takes great pride in being the head judge and feels that the contestants deserve her to be fair, which she is.
‘And as for those comments to handsome men, Shirley is on an entertainment show. She is there to make sure the viewers enjoy what they are watching, it really is as simple as that.’ The star, who replaced Len Goodman on the Strictly panel in 2017, revealed today that some of the trolls had got in touch to say sorry after their messages to her.
She tweeted: ‘I have received many apologies over the weekend regarding hurtful messages I’ve received on social media. All apologies are accepted and from now on let’s all respect each other and enjoy the show. Love to you all.’
Miss East, 34, was saved by the three other judges but Mrs Ballas said she would have voted for Radio 2 star Anderson, who performed dressed as a meerkat. (
The BBC refused to comment on whether Mrs Ballas had been spoken to by any of the show’s bosses in relation to the accusations she is sexist. But it is understood the BBC are fully behind her.
Mrs Ballas was accused by Strictly fans of being unable to ‘celebrate the young, female celebrities’ and ‘felt threatened by’ and was ‘overly critical’ of attractive women dancers.
One viewer wrote: ‘Sexist Shirley would rather save men darting around in animal costumes than the technically skilled and beautiful dancer Fleur?’
Mrs Ballas has repeatedly spoken out about how she has been the victim of trolling since joining Strictly (Pictured: Richie Anderson was revealed as the second celebrity to depart the Strictly dance floor)
Mrs Ballas has repeatedly spoken out about how she has been the victim of trolling since joining Strictly.
In 2020 after sending Good Morning Britain’s Ranvir Singh home, she said: ‘When it starts getting into talking about putting you in a coffin, or saying horrible things about you, or saying the lowest of the low words you can use for a female…
‘I guess I’m a little sensitive to that because all my life I’d heard that so I just don’t think that’s necessary.’
Last week she revealed the harrowing bullying that takes place in the ballroom industry.
She told The Mail on Sunday’s You magazine: ‘In our industry there are men at the top who are bullies, who like to control everything that goes on. They don’t like successful women, or women who have a voice or women who try to speak for other people.’
A spokesman for Mrs Ballas was reached for comment.
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