Why both Shirley Ballas AND Paul O'Grady want to see same-sex Strictly couples

Why both Shirley Ballas AND Paul O'Grady want to see same-sex Strictly couples
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Why Shirley wants to see same-sex dancing couples on Strictly, and why Paul O'Grady agrees! 

Shirley has admitted she'd love Strictly Come Dancing bosses to explore the opportunity of having same-sex couples take part in the show.

She explained: "In Italy at the moment they're just about to have the final of the Italian version of 'Strictly' and I was just informed that a same-sex couple, two men, made the final. So I will be following that. I think it's spectacular, I think things are changing, and I couldn't think of anything more exciting - and yes, I'm for it."

Now, Paul O'Grady has backed Shirley's idea, and slammed the BBC for being too "scared" to have same-sex couples on 'Strictly Come Dancing'. Paul thinks the broadcaster are concerned about a backlash if they moved away from traditional male-female pairings on the celebrity dancing contest.

He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "They're scared because they're public funding and they're scared of public reaction going, 'I don't want to watch this kind of filth on a Saturday night".

"We're not looking at an alien orgy."

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Paul will preside over a same-sex episode of 'Blind Date' over the weekend and he thinks it is "ridiculous" that shows such as 'Strictly' haven't modernised in the same way.

He added: "We've brought it into modern times...We've got same-sex couples.

"They should have them on Strictly, it's ridiculous. The only dance two men should never do is the tango. It's two fellas vying for position of top dog. It's masculine and aggressive, the proper Argentinian tango.

"'Strictly's been going for years. It needs something to liven it up for a bit longer.

Do you agree with Paul? Would you like to see same-sex couples competing on Strictly? Let us know over on our Facebook page and Twitter page. 

Shirley opens up about why she feels guilty over the death of her brother

Shirley Ballas has admitted how difficult it was for her after her brother sadly passed away in 2003. Her brother David took his own life in 2003 at the age of 44, speaking with Speaking to the Daily Star newspaper, she has now opened up on the morning when she was told the terrible news.

Shirley’s brother battled depression, and she has explained that she had tried to encourage him and their mother Audrey to travel to London to see her son Mark perform in St Paul’s Cathedral.

She said: "The day David died, Mark was going to sing in St Paul’s Cathedral. I called my mum and said, ‘Why don’t you and David come down?’.”

David claimed he was “too unwell” to visit, and Shirley now blames herself for his passing after she convinced their mother to make the trip “just for the night” without him.

She added: "Maybe if she’d stayed there it wouldn’t have happened.”

The ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ judge and her mother then found out the tragic news when police arrived at Shirley’s home the following morning.

Shirley said: "At 6am the next morning there was a knock on the door. My heart sank when I saw the two police officers because Mark had stayed out. When they said my mother’s name I stood aside. Then they said, ‘I’m sorry to inform you your son has passed away’.”

Shirley’s feelings of guilt come after she recently insisted that she “deserved” to be cheated on by her second husband Corky Ballas.

She said: "During my time with Corky there was infidelity there and I just put it down to, 'I probably deserved it,' and it was karma. 

"I think when you get married so young, every seven years it changes and your outlook changes and probably I should've waited to get married until I was much older. 

"It's not about him, because we have a beautiful son together and I forgive him for anything that's written about me. 

"But I just thought perhaps it was karma."

 

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Shirley Ballas talks "friction" between her and Brendan Cole

The Strictly Come Dancing judge has received a lot of criticism for how she was with dancing star Brendan Cole after THAT argument about his choreography, leading many fans to blame her for his axing. Now, Shirley has said she's adamant she didn't mean anything by her comments and was giving him advice to improve the following week.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, she said: "Actually it was constructive criticism, in order for them to get better the following week. Unfortunately, a certain member took it the wrong way.

"First of all, there was no friction between Brendan and I.

"I've known Brendan a very, very long time and how Brendan likes to conduct himself is his business, but for me there was no friction. I was there to do a job, I did it."

The 57-year-old dance teacher - who was hired as Len Goodman's head judge replacement last year - was also accused of picking on Brendan's partner Charlotte Hawkins, but she's adamant that she thought Charlotte was "talented."

She explained: "I thought she was extremely talented. I tried to express that perhaps the choreography was a little difficult at the beginning, but unfortunately he took it the wrong way. I thought she was a lovely lady and extremely talented."

Shirley Ballas gets a pay rise 

When Len Goodman gave up his role of head judge on Strictly, his replacement, Shirley Ballas received a mixed response from viewers, leaving her unsure as to whether or not she would return as head judge for the next series. 

After it was revealed that she would be, it has been announced she is being given a £70,000 pay rise to match the £250,000 her predecessor Len received. A source told the Daily Mirror she wanted to be paid the same as Len. “She couldn't see why she should get less than the person she replaced - especially after more than proving herself in her first year. It's a great victory for equal pay."

The 57-year-old judge will now be paid the same as Bruno Tonioli (after his Strictly salary has been met with his salary for Dancing with the Stars US), whilst Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel-Horwood both earn £180,000 for the show. 

Earlier this month, Shirley discussed how she found her first series of Strictly. "I've had the most spectacular time. There have been some things to get used to like Twitter and the press. But generally I've thoroughly enjoyed every minute of being on the show. As of yet, nothing has been decided. So we will wait and see...

"I'm quite a perfectionist. When I first came on and I had to judge the first show, it was terrifying. I take my job extremely seriously. You are totally under scrutiny. I go from week to week. I'm married to what I do. I think I did pretty good. I would probably give myself 'seven'. In anything you do there is room for improvement."