Shirley Ballas “will be fine” for Strictly 2020 after breaking her ankle

The show must go on!

Shirley Ballas at the NTAs

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has said she will still judge this year’s competition, despite sustaining a broken ankle over the weekend.

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The 59-year-old ballroom dancer joined Strictly Come Dancing as head judge in 2017 after Len Goodman’s exit, becoming a firm favourite on the line-up in the years since.

Ballas explained her injury from a hospital corridor in a video posted to her Instagram page, telling fans not to worry about her appearance on this year’s beleaguered series.

“I just finished at A&E and I have a clean break on my right ankle,” she begins. “They’re not using Plaster of Paris anymore, they use a boot, so I’m learning to walk on these crutches.

Ballas added: “I’m going to be absolutely fine for Strictly, I’m sure everything is going to be absolutely great, the NHS was amazing. So yes, clean break, six weeks [to heal].”

Among the celebrity well-wishers in the comments of the video were Strictly co-presenter Claudia Winkleman, BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker and Pussycat Dolls singer Ashley Roberts.

This year’s edition of Strictly Come Dancing has been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, which may require celebrity contestants and professional dance partners to isolate for the duration of the contest.

A recent report claimed that the series may premiere on Saturday 24th October, significantly later than its usual September start date, but this is yet to be confirmed by the BBC.

A BBC spokesperson told RadioTimes.com: “To ensure we deliver the high standards audiences know and love, and in light of the ongoing considerations around COVID-19, this year’s series of Strictly will have a slightly shorter run than usual.

“The safety of our cast and crew is of the utmost importance to us and further updates will be made in due course.”

While a delayed series is the last thing that fans want, it should give Ballas plenty of time to recover from her injury, meaning she won’t have to sport the unwieldy boot during filming.

The future is more uncertain for fellow judge Bruno Tonioli, who may not be able to appear on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing due to his commitment to the US version, Dancing with the Stars.

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