Shirley Ballas admits ‘ups and downs’ with Craig Revel Horwood

Shirley Ballas discusses balancing Strictly and teaching dance

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Shirley Ballas, 62, has given a candid insight into the relationship she has with each of her Strictly judges, even remaining close to former judge Bruno Tonioli, 66. Despite receiving unwavering support from them all, Shirley admitted that she and Craig Revel Horwood, 57, have had their trials and tribulations in the past. The pair’s drama stemmed from “painful” comments Craig made about Shirley’s breast implants back in 2018.

Speaking to the Mirror, Shirley shared: “Craig and I have had a couple of ups and downs in the past.

“He had a little joke about my boobs years ago and it made front page news, but he apologised and sent me flowers.

“From that day to this, he always checks in. He’s just great to be around.”

The spat, which the pair have since gotten over, started after Craig made jokes about Shirley’s breasts while on a book tour.

Promoting this autobiographical book My Fab-U-Lous Life in 2018, Craig said of Shirley’s audition to replace Len Goodman: “What happened is that she came to the audition and literally had her thing open to her navel.

“I am not joking.

“Her boobs were like La BaZooKa things hanging out. It was not very, erm, Strictly.

“So they came in and sewed all that up. Then they had to push them down… and they’re fake.”

Following the comments, Shirley said that the jibe about her breast implants had “brought up a lot of things from her past”.

Writing in her book Behind The Sequins, which was released in October 2020, she revealed: “It was awful and very, very painful. It brought up a lot of things from my past that I thought I’d dealt with.

“Once again, I was propelled back to my toughest days with [ex-husband] Corky, when he would make comments about my appearance: my crooked teeth, my nose, my a**e that was too big.

“All those insults just came flying back as I read what Craig had said, apparently in jest.

“I told him exactly how I felt.”

Telling Craig that she felt a sense of betrayal, she went on to say that he should “feel like a protector to me and I should to you.”

Following the spat, Craig reportedly sent Shirley a “grovelling apology” which included flowers to make up for his comments.

Having made up, Craig and Shirley’s friendship has gone from strength to strength but Shirley still lives with the memories of her ex-husband Corky Ballas teasing her about her appearance.

She previously told MailOnline: “For years Corky was what I call a jokester. He’d tease me with things like, ‘You got breasts like two currants on a breadboard’ or ‘You’ve got a sunken chest like a pirate’s something or other.’ He didn’t like my teeth until I got braces at 25.”

It was comments like this that spurred Shirley to have breast enlargement surgery, taking her bust from a 32B to a 34DD.

Now in a more positive place with her body, Shirley went on to say that she often gets style advice and motivation from co-judge Motsi Mabuse, 41.

Calling Motsi’s wigs “inspiring,” Shirley went on to explain that she now has the confidence to try wigs for herself, especially as her hair is getting thin. She said: “Every week now we find a different look for me.”

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