Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas, 59, joined the BBC show as Len Goodman’s replacement in 2017.
While the dancing professional was all smiles for the camera, the mother-of-one admitted she was conscious of her appearance while sat next to Dame Darcey Bussell, 50.
She told the Daily Mail: “When I first went on Strictly I had a little phase at the beginning, you know, when I was sat next to this really beautiful lady, Darcey Bussell – this ballerina, this Snow White beauty – that I stopped eating until I looked at myself and realised I looked so gaunt.”
Shirley made the admission as she reflected on the bullying she faced when growing up on a housing estate.
She said: “There was a lot of bullying that happened on the estate. I had crooked teeth, which people would remind me of and my hair was thin.”
Recalling one encounter with a bully, she added: “One girl would rib me constantly. She’d say, ‘Why are you doing that [dancing]? You can’t dance. You’ll never amount to anything.’
“One day she waited for me…