Entertainment

Strictly's Shirley Ballas to go under the knife amid cancer fears

The TV judge said the BBC is supporting her decision to undergo the surgery in the middle of the current series of Strictly.

Shirley Ballas will go under the knife to have her breast implants removed at the end of next month, but she insists she will not miss a moment of Strictly Come Dancing.

The dancer and TV judge, 59, will have the breast augmentation she had in 2002 reversed, after being told by a healthcare professional during a mammogram that they may not always be able to check for cancer behind the implants.

Ballas, whose mother and aunt have cancer and who learned of the history of the disease in her family while filming Who Do You Think You Are?, told The Sun that she may have the scar tissue around the implants removed too, but that it comes with an additional risk.

She said: “I’m scheduled for the operation on Tuesday, October 29.

“My doctor says I have recuperation of a week, but I want to do Strictly on the Saturday night.

“It’s not like I have to dance and do the cha cha cha or the samba.”

Ballas, who joined the programme’s judging panel in 2017, said the BBC has been “very, very supportive” and that they want her to be comfortable in what she is doing for her health.

She said: “There are rumours that the scar ­tissues cause chronic fatigue, which I have suffered with even over the last year.”

However, Ballas said that if the scar tissue is removed, the whole breast “will collapse” as it is a structural element.

Strictly Come Dancing 2019
Shirley Ballas with her fellow judges on Strictly Come Dancing (Kieron McCarron/BBC)

If so, she will need to undergo a larger surgery “and perhaps a reconstruction”.

Ballas initially had the breast augmentation to boost her confidence issues, having spent years in the dance industry.

She now says that she wishes she had not gone under the knife, but was dealing with “low self-esteem”.

Ballas sits on the judging panel on Strictly alongside Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel-Horwood and new judge Motsi Mabuse.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday on BBC One.

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