Strictly Come Dancing’s Shirley Ballas brushes off Judy Finnigan put-down

Former This Morning and Richard & Judy host says Strictly's new judge is still not quite a seven

Shirley Ballas

New Strictly judge Shirley Ballas has not been everyone’s cup of tea since taking over from Len Goodman – but at least she has been able to brush off criticism with good grace.

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Today she responded in style to remarks made by former This Morning and Richard & Judy presenter Judy Finnigan who said Shirley’s work so far wasn’t yet quite a seven – and that she missed Len Goodman.

“Although [husband] Richard [Madeley] keeps telling me to ‘let it go’ and give Shirl a chance to bed in, all I can say is: ‘I miss you, Len!” Oh yes I do’,” Finnigan told Woman magazine.

“I miss your elderly teeth, your curmudgeonly wit and your dismissal of flashy dances that seem over-choreographed, oh, those put-downs of that whippersnapper Brendan Cole – they were sublime.

“So as a woman, Shirl, I wish you every success. But so far, I’m afraid that for me, you’re not quite a ‘seven’.”

Oh dear.

But at least Ballas didn’t rise to the bait, posting on Twitter:

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Ballas returns to action again tonight as the 13 remaining couples battle it out for the Glitterball trophy, followed by Sunday’s results show and dance-off.