15/05/2017 11:59 BST

‘Strictly Come Dancing’: Shirley Ballas’s Appointment Gets Arlene Phillips’ Seal Of Approval

'She is fierce, she is tough, she is hard and she’s sharp.'

Arlene Phillips has given her verdict on the appointment of Shirley Ballas to the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ judging panel.

Arlene, who previously sat alongside Len Goodman and co on the show, had made no secret of the fact she wanted to return, but that hasn’t stopped her from giving Shirley her seal of approval.

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Arlene on 'GMB'

Thanks to the decades they have spent in the entertainment industry, Arlene knows Shirley well and speaking on ‘Good Morning Britain’, she only had good things to say.

Arlene told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: “It’s a woman, She is fierce, she is tough, she is hard and she’s sharp.

“She knows how to move the body and tell others how to move the body.”

However, when the hosts tried to pry some juicy stories out of Arlene, she diplomatically dodged the question.

“Well yeah there are stories,” she said. “I’m really, really fond of her son Mark who I’ve done some work with, he’s fabulous.”

Shirley Ballas 

After months of speculation over who would replace Len on the show, Shirley’s appointment was announced last week.

Shirley is 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.

Her son, Mark Ballas, is also one of the professional dancers on the US version of ‘Strictly’, ‘Dancing With The Stars’.

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