Shirley Ballas claims Strictly Come Dancing audience reactions to scores can be 'sexist'

'Strictly Come Dancing' head judge Shirley Ballas has hinted she thinks some of the audience reactions to the scores are sexist, are questioning why she and Motsi Mabuse are booed at times for giving lower scores, while Anton Du Beke receives applause.

Shirley Ballas has claimed some of the reactions to the scores on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ are sexist.

The 63-year-old head judge believes the live studio audience at the BBC One Latin and ballroom competition often have a gender bias as they tend to boo and jeer more at her and her fellow female panellist Motsi Mabuse, 42, when they award points, compared to when the men on the panel, Anton Du Beke, 57, and Craig Revel-Horwood, dish out the same scores.

She told the Radio Times magazine: “It’s always a little bit ... if I give a five you hear the boos, if Anton [Du Beke] gives a five he gets a clap.

“It tends to be me and Motsi too, if we give a lower score.

“Maybe what people don’t understand is that the show can’t run one second over and I get 20 seconds to say my piece.

“So let’s say my darling Anton runs over, I get five seconds, but if everyone has 20 seconds then I can give you some bullet points.”

Shirley also revealed she is “no longer allowed to have a phone” after being ambushed with death threats online.

She said while speaking at the Cheltenham Literary Festival: “I now have my lovely Harry looking after my social media and I’m not even allowed my phone until Harry has gone through everything.

“I love controversy. if someone does not agree with my 10, we can have a back and forward and that’s lovely but when it’s over the top messages: I want to slice you up, bury you in the yard, your face on a coffin and all that - for me that is strange, that is odd.

“We’re in week four now and it’s getting tougher as good people are now going out - it’ll always be somebody’s favourite - so I apologise in advance.”

Shirley previously said her horrific experiences online have left her housebound.

Speaking to Olivia Attwood on documentary ‘Olivia Attwood Vs The Trolls’, she said: “I take it on the chin. I’m still here - I had a choice, I could have left.

“I’ve seen the messages other celebrities get and it’s not just me, it’s across the board.”

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