Why Shirley wants to see same-sex dancing couples on Strictly

Why Shirley wants to see same-sex dancing couples on Strictly
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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."

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

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."