Strictly's Shirley Ballas' blunt six-word statement on 'split' rumours after calling off wedding

Shirley and Danny have been together since 2019
-Credit: (Image: S Meddle/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Strictly Come Dancing's head judge Shirley Ballas has set the record straight to quash rumours that she and partner Danny Taylor have parted ways. Despite reports suggesting their engagement ended in 2023 and a separation followed this year, the 63-year-old professional dancer, who's currently prepping for the new series of the BBC dance competition, begged to differ, saying, "Danny and I are still together".

Not only did she confirm they were stronger than ever, but she also disclosed having "changed her mind" about marriage, following two divorces. "Danny and I are still together contrary to anything you might read. Who knows [if we'll get married]," she told The Mirror.

Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas and her partner Danny Taylor
Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas denied she had split from her partner Danny -Credit:WireImage

The current season isn't the only joyous occasion in Shirley's life; she recently became a grandmother when son Mark - who lives in Los Angeles - had a son, Banksi Wylde Ballas. Embracing this special role, she admitted longing for more time with him, even making efforts to connect every day despite the physical distance.

"I just want to spend more time with him. I see him every day on FaceTime, he's crawling now! The world is a much smaller place now, with FaceTime and you can fly over there with good planning. Mark can come over here, I can come over there."

Shirley Ballas becomes grandmother for first time as son Mark Ballas welcomes baby with unusual name
Shirley was delighted when her son Mark Ballas introduced his newborn son Banksi -Credit:markballas/Instagram

Previously, Shirley opened up on a podcast about her resolve to never walk down the aisle again. She shared a poignant memory, telling listeners, "I was in a long-term relationship and he finished with me two days before I went on the cruise. I just rememer being in the Waikiki bar with my mother and I was whining and crying and she gave me a huge slap across my face... and said, 'You will not ruin my holiday, get over yourself.

"I think I was the most miserable on the biggest event that I had prepared for my mother. Two marriages, an engagement, two long-term relationships later and I will not be getting married again. I've made the decision."

The romance between Shirley and Danny sparked after they both appeared in a Christmas pantomime in 2019. Recounting the blossoming of their love story, Shirley revealed: "We met on panto as friends. It didn't really take off until March... for him. I fell in love way before... I think for me it was first sight. He was going through a difficult time in his relationship. We did become friends and then probably in about February I said, 'I love you Danny' and he said, 'I know'. It took a while."