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…

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Shirley Ballas: Strictly star admits she ‘stopped eating’ when working with Darcey Bussell | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV
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