Shirley Ballas, 62, has been in the eye of the hurricane for weeks after a sexism row erupted among Strictly Come Dancing fans. The head judge has been receiving abuse on social media from viewers who accused her of favouring the men in the competition.
And the allegations have been weighing down on the TV star, who admitted to crying secretly behind the scenes.
But thankfully, her fellow judge and friend of 33 years Anton Du Beke showed her compassion amid the growing backlash after finding her crying.
Speaking of the encounter, Shirley revealed: “Do you know what he did? I haven’t had a good couple of weeks and I was having this secret tear and from the side he could see it.
“He took his little handkerchief out of his top pocket and told me to take it.
“My mother has washed it and pressed it and we’ll take it back to him.”
Detailing her ordeal, Shirley continued: “I’ve been trained from a very young age that you just get on with it, no matter how you’re feeling, but lately I’ve had a few cracks in that smile.
“I’m not always managing and I’m questioning myself,” the TV star added in a recent interview with Mirror.co.uk.
Shirley also spoke out on the abuse she had been a target of online during a recent discussion with the Loose Women panellists.
During the chat, Shirley got emotional while speaking about some of the comments she has seen.
Panellist Kelle Bryan commented that as Shirley loves her job, it must have been a hard week receiving all the backlash last weekend.
The judge, who joined the show in 2017, said that she appreciates the audience who have been watching Strictly for 20 years but added as they’re watching on TV they can only see half of what she does.
She commented: “I can see everything that’s going on.
“I love that they have an opinion. It’s just when it goes overboard it starts to become nasty.”
Jane addressed the nasty comments, she mentioned that as Shirley’s from the dancing industry she must be quite robust.
Shirley replied: “It is a tough industry and has been a tough industry all my life. So Saturdays, oh I’m getting emotional already.
“Saturdays are always a bit like going to Disneyland, it’s the ultimate job, it’s what you really enjoy and I do read everything. I know people say don’t read it but I think it’s quite important to me.