Strictly’s Shirley Ballas was left with bald patches after bullying nightmare

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has told how school bullies yanked out her hair and gave her a black eye.

The 60-year-old star said she was targeted for being poor after she started setting up dance groups in the yard.

She said: "Let’s face it, I was a show-off, and they weren’t having it.

"That’s why when people are mean to me on social media I’m resilient to it.

"By the time I was 10, I’d heard it all – language, bullying, nasty comments, the lot."

Shirley, from Wallasey, Merseyside, said it got worse as she got older.

She said a girl once "beat the holy living s**t out of me, leaving me with bruises and great patches where she’d pulled the hair out".

The ballroom dancer is dating Daniel Taylor, 47, but the couple will be spending Christmas apart this year, as she cares for her mother Audrey, 83, who is battling cancer.

Speaking to Hello! In their first joint photo shoot, Shirley and Danny spoke about a possible engagement.

He said: "Who knows where the path is going to go next? But I'm not going anywhere.

"I think marriage is an amazing institution and I really like the idea of committing to someone for the rest of your life, through sickness and in health."

Shirley added: "We don't have a problem that people are speculating about when we'll get engaged, but watch this space."

The mother of one revealed earlier this year she was considering adopting a child, telling the Loose Women panel she feels it's important to explore the options of bringing a child into her home.

The Strictly head judge first went public with her relationship with Daniel in March 2019, after the couple first met doing panto in November 2018.

Shirley will be back on our screens this weekend to offer some words of wisdom to the five remaining couples on Strictly Come Dancing.

Former marine and TV presenter JJ Chalmers became the sixth contestant to leave Strictly last weekend as he faced Made In Chelsea reality star Jamie Laing in the dreaded dance-off.

Shirley and fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood decided to chose to save Jamie and Karen, and Motsi Mabuse chose to save JJ and Amy.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One on Saturday night at 7pm

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