Shirley Ballas has reportedly been offered a big money deal to return to Strictly Come Dancing after she struggled with relentless trolling during last year’s series.
The professional dancer, 62, who appears as a judge on the show, previously revealed she’d ‘had conversations’ about leaving the ballroom contest after she was targeted by members of the viewing public who accused her of ageism and sexism while critiquing the contestants.
But is is now claimed she is set to sign a new contract within days after coming to a new agreement with bosses.
A source told the Mirror: ‘Shirley had the bosses in a real panic that she might decide to walk and focus on other projects, like her books and dance competition, The Ballas Cup.
‘They pulled out all the stops to offer her a raise. Thankfully, it looks like she will accept.
Back on? Shirley Ballas, 62, has reportedly been offered a big money deal to return to Strictly Come Dancing after she struggled with relentless trolling during last year’s series
On the way out: The professional dancer, who appears as a judge on the show, previously revealed she’d ‘had conversations’ about leaving the ballroom contest
‘The trolling is still very fresh in her mind but she is keen to focus on the positives – and she has hired someone to manage her social media so won’t see the most vicious remarks.’
MailOnline has contacted a representative for Shirley and the BBC for comment.
Shirley recently hinted that she may not return to Strictly Come Dancing this year following the torrent of vile online abuse she received during the last series.
In a candid interview, she indicated the previous series may have been her last as she’d hit an ‘all-time low’ after the abuse ‘snowballed out of control’.
The ballroom dancer, who joined Strictly as a judge in 2016, told how she was constantly left in tears after every show and struggled in silence, telling how it was ‘the most negativity’ she had ever faced.
She told the Mirror: ‘Last year I was struggling. It wasn’t just a little bit, it was a lot – the majority of it was in silence. I felt the abuse snowballed out of control and impacted me in such a negative way. I’m a pretty stoic person, and I tend to hold everything in.’
She explained that when the abuse began, it seemed ‘larger than anything else’, with the star telling how it left her ‘crying and emotional’, while she was ’embarrassed’ about how she felt and didn’t confide in anyone.
Shirley added: ‘And that was an all-time low since I joined the show – it was the most negativity I’d ever experienced. The BBC were brilliant, checking in on me and offering counselling and support.’
Troubles: Shirley was targeted by members of the viewing public who accused her of ageism and sexism while critiquing the contestants during the last series (L-R judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley and Anton Du Beke seen on the show in December 2022)
Hesitant: Shirley previously indicated the previous series may have been her last as she’d hit an ‘all-time low’ after the abuse ‘snowballed out of control’ (pictured in 2022)
When asked if she’d considered quitting Strictly, she replied: ‘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.’
She went on to say that she ‘absolutely loved’ her job and if it was just down to her judging with none of the trolling involved, it would be the most ‘rewarding’ job she could think of to do.
The Queen of Latin went on to say that after Strictly finished in 2022, she to a ‘break’ from TV for ‘re-focus’ on her own industry as well as to ‘protect her sanity’.
Shirley went on to reveal the shocking extent of the messages she received – of which one in five were hateful – saying that the thousands of comments she got whenever she sent someone home were ‘truly awful’.
She added that she was accused of not liking young people or old, men or women, noting that it ‘didn’t matter’ what she’d do, she could ‘never win’.
However, she proudly said that she stood by her decisions and never ‘regretted’ sending anyone home based on how they performed in the dance off, noting she could ‘sleep at night’ with her choices.
In December, Shirley revealed she was taking some time off over Christmas after facing an ‘immense amount of trolling’ throughout the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing.
The BBC show’s head judge said she was going to ‘get myself together for the new year’ by enjoying some time away for the ‘first time ever’.
The dancing icon decided not to do panto last year, explaining how a scary incident which saw a letter being hand delivered to the theatre last year has affected her decision.
She told S magazine: ‘It’s the first time I’ve taken any time off – ever! I’m taking two and a half weeks off, because of the immense amount of trolling I got throughout this series.
‘I decided I wouldn’t do panto this year. Last time I did it, I got a letter hand-delivered to the theatre that was very off-putting.’
‘I actually kept it. I don’t know why. So I’m going to take some time off and just get myself together for the new year.’
In November Shirley revealed how ‘cruel’ trolls had left her seeking medical help for ‘low mood and anxiety’.
Hint: When asked if she’d considered quitting Strictly, she replied: ‘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’ (pictured with Anton Du Beke, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood)
She explained that, for the first time in a career spanning over five decades, she has been to her doctor to find a way to manage the impact the taunts have had on her.
Shirley told OK! Magazine of the abuse she’s endured during the current series of Strictly: ‘It took its emotional toll, that’s why I’m not going to do panto.
‘[I’m] emotional and low and I’m not going to lie to you, it did affect me this year for sure… When it gets personal, that’s cruel.
‘It makes you [go]… ‘Do I look right? Am I too heavy? Am I this? Am I that? Cover up your bingo arms. Should I wear a dress with sleeves?’