Strictly Come Dancing 2017: Shirley Ballas confirmed as Len Goodman’s replacement

by Emily H

Strictly Come Dancing has officially announced who will be taking over Len Goodman’s chair at the judging table.

Ahead of the upcoming 15th series of the BBC show, the network just announced that renowned dancer Shirley Ballas will be heading to the ballroom and joining Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell on the judging panel.

Shirley tweeted out the big news on May 8, telling her followers, “I am so excited and over the moon to announce that I will be joining the judging panel on @BBCstrictly!” while the BBC also confirmed the news in a statement.

“I am so excited and over the moon to have been given this wonderful opportunity,” Ballas said of joining the show. “I can’t wait to get in to the ballroom and be part of the incredible and respected judging panel. Strictly is so loved by the British public, I have always been a massive fan. I just can’t wait!”

BBC

And it sounds like she’s going to fit right in with the judges, as they had nothing but swet things to say after the news broke.

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“I look forward to meeting Shirley and welcoming her to our Strictly team. Her years of experience in Ballroom and Latin dancing are impressive and I’m sure she will be a great addition to our judging panel,” Darcey Bussell said of the new addition, while Craig Revel Horwood called her addition “fantastic news.”

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2013

“I know Shirley well,” Bruno Tonioli added. “She is an incredible Latin dancer and trainer and I am sure she will be a great addition to the Strictly team.”

For those unfamiliar with Shirley, she’s a champion latin and ballroom dancer and is also mum to Dancing with the Stars pro Mark Ballas. Shirley also has a close relationship with both Derek and Julianne Hough as she was their guardian when the siblings came over to the UK to attend a dance school in London.

Ballas retired from competitive dancing in 1996 and is now a dance coach.

Watch Shirley Ballas doing her thing on the dancefloor below;

What do you think of Shirley Ballas taking over from Len Goodman on Strictly Come Dancing? Tell us in the comments section below.