Strictly Come Dancing: Shirley Ballas ‘returning as head judge for second series’

Strictly Come Dancing Head Judge Shirley Ballas will reportedly be back for a second series this year.

It is claimed the 57-year-old professional dancer was backed by the BBC following her public fall out with former colleague Brendan Cole.

According to new reports, she will be joined on the judging panel by Bruno Tonioli, 62, Craig Revel Horwood, 53 and Darcey Bussell, 48.

A TV insider said: “Shirley and the BBC wanted to do another series, so everyone’s chuffed they’ve come to an agreement.

“The whole panel is coming back!”

They went on to tell The Sun: “Viewers seemed to like the chemistry between them. It’s all verbally agreed.

“Formal contracts should be signed in the coming days.”

Shirley, who is dubbed The Queen of Latin, replaced Len Goodman as Head Judge last year.

She made headlines when she clashed with professional dancer Brendan Cole, 31, over her criticism of his dance partner Charlotte Hawkins, 42.

Critiquing Charlotte’s Tango to Danger Zone from Top Gun, Shirley said: “It’s definitely a little bit better than last week.”

“A little bit?” a visibly annoyed Brendan fired back.

Continuing, Shirley calmly added: “Definitely just a little bit, Brendan, unfortunately.

“She [Charlotte] needs to stand on her own feet and we’ve established that there’s no rise and fall in Tango.

“So we’ve got to make a concrete decision not to use rise and fall. So no rise and fall.”

But Brendan refused to let it go and he lashed out: “There was no rise and fall in that whatsoever.”

“Well, there is, Brendan. You should play it back and see,” Shirley told him as she maintained her cool.

The professional dancer again retorted: “I will my dear, I will. There was no rise and fall.”

Brendan was dropped from Strictly Come Dancing in February after serving 13 years on the popular show.

At the time, he admitted to being “a little bit in shock” that he had not been signed up for another season.

Express has contacted a representative for Shirley Ballas and the BBC for comment.

Strictly Come Dancing returns later this years to BBC One.

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