Former Strictly Star Dan Walker Weighs In Amid Online Abuse Aimed At Shirley Ballas

The Channel 5 News anchor was no stranger to online hate during his time in the Strictly ballroom.
Dan Walker and Shirley Ballas
Dan Walker and Shirley Ballas
Mike Marsland/Getty

Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Dan Walker has jumped to the defence of Head Judge Shirley Ballas amid a wave of online abuse that’s been directed at her about her critiques.

After Monday night’s results show, which saw Will Mellor losing out on a place in the Strictly final after a dance-off with Fleur East, Dan spotted some of the hate being sent to Shirley and decided to call it out.

Pointing out that he was “speaking as someone who she booted out”, the former BBC Breakfast star wrote: “Can people please lay off @ShirleyBallas ? It’s ok to disagree but some of the bile & hatred on here is horrible.

“She’s been dancing her whole life, has won a gallon of titles and loves and cares for what she does.”

“Just be nice!” he added.

Dan’s comments were echoed by former Strictly pro James Jordan, with Shirley responding to the Channel 5 News anchor on Tuesday morning.

“Thank you for all the positive messages I received,” she tweeted. “[It’s] overwhelming. I read them all hard to reply to them all.

“Handful of haters as usual, sad people, I feel for them.”

Addressing Dan directly, she added: “Love you to the moon and back. Have a great week.”

Dan took part in Strictly last year, and was no stranger to internet trolling during his time on the show.

Shirley has been open about the online abuse she’s suffered from disgruntled Strictly viewers in recent history.

“I love that they have an opinion but then it goes overboard and it’s not nice,” the Queen of Latin told the Loose Women panel last month.

She continued: “I do read everything – I know people say don’t read it but I think it’s quite important. I like to think I’ve helped so many people who have had mental health issues over the years.

“Some of the language is so explicit I couldn’t even retweet it, it’s unfathomable.”


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