The Strictly Come Dancing cast of 2018 reunited on Monday night to film the first episode of this year's show, but Head Judge Shirley Ballas' return to the show was met with mixed reactions.

Fans of Strictly Come Dancing seemed disappointed to see Head Judge Shirley – who replaced Len Goodman last year – has been invited back for a second series.

Shirley, along with her fellow judges, Darcey Bussell, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli attended a photo-call with the new celebrities – which include Katie Piper, Faye Tozer and Kate Silverton – much to some peoples’ dismay.

“Oh no… Not the Shirley woman again… Oh dear,” one user tweeted.

Another said: “I hate to see Shirley is still in.”

But the 57-year-old took it on the chin and hit back in THE best way by replying to each and every critic – proving she’s not letting the hate get her down.

“Kris so sorry you feel that way. But please enjoy the show,” she replied to one person.

To another she said, “Hate is such a strong word @catooje023 hope you enjoy the show try to spread kindness and love.”

A third Twitter user went as far as to say, “Bang goes any hope I had of Shirley not returning as a judge.”

Shirley simply replied: “Lol sorry Rob.”


Fans were devastated to see Len Goodman leave the show in 2016 after 12 years, meaning Shirley had pretty big boots to fill.

And, sadly she proved unpopular with viewers last year – who branded her “cutting” and “rude” for her harsh critic of the celebrities.

“Really do not like Shirley. Disingenious and patronising. Ber bye for next year doll,” one viewer said at the time.

Another tweeted, “Can we vote for Shirley Ballas to leave tomorrow instead? She’s just a little headache.”

But, Shirley defended herself.

“I think it’s unfair to say that I’m mean. I think I’m constructive,” she said of her judging.

“I’ve done everything in my life with a good heart. I’m there to do my job and do it to the best of my ability.”

Well said, Shirley!