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'Strictly Come Dancing': Shirley Ballas Promises To Be A Strict Judge As She Warns Contestants: 'Pull Your Socks Up'

She is bringing 40 years of dance experience to the panel.

01/09/2017 08:25 BST

The ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ celebs had better watch out, as it seems new judge Shirley Ballas is going to be a tough critic. 

The BBC ballroom show’s new Head Judge has revealed she will be “quite strict” when she takes up her seat on the panel, and has warned this year’s cast to “pull their socks up”. 

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Shirley Ballas is the newest 'Strictly Come Dancing' judge

Shirley is stepping in to replace long-standing judge Len Goodman, who stood down after last year’s series, but it seems she’ll be harsher than her predecessor. 

Speaking on a BBC iPlayer ‘Strictly’ special introducing the new stars, she said: ”I will be quite strict. To really impress me, the celebrity will have to have elements of technique, creativity and also the magic with your partner – chemistry.

“I’m bringing 40 years of dance experience along with all my coaching and judging so you better pull your socks up and be ready.”

Shirley also spoke about her new colleagues, revealing she’s going to be keeping Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli in check. 

”My Saturday nights are going to be quite busy,” she said. “I’m going to have Bruno off to my left jumping up every two minutes, and Craig, who likes to dish out those twos. And what can I say about Darcey except she’s already perfect.”

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Shirley is looking forward to working with her co-stars

It was announced Shirley was joining ‘Strictly’ back in May, being one of the top and most decorated professional dancers in the world.

She is three-time British Open To The World Latin American champion, 10-time United States Latin American champion, and multiple-times British National champion. By the age of 21, Shirley had won nearly every major title she competed in worldwide.

She retired from competitive dancing in 1996, and now works as an acclaimed and respected international coach to many top professional and amateur dancers.

Among those who will be looking to impress her include The Saturdays singer Mollie King and ‘Loose Women’ host Ruth Langsford, ‘EastEnders’ actor Davood Ghadami, Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins and former ‘X Factor’ stars Alexandra Burke and Aston Merrygold of JLS.

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ launches on Saturday 9 September at 7pm on BBC One. 

'Strictly Come Dancing' Launch 2017