Could Strictly's Shirley Ballas leave after ONE SERIES? Head judge 'refuses to commit' to another year... after 'losing family' to appear on the show

When she was given one of the most sought-after jobs in showbiz, it was safely assumed she would stay for years.

But Strictly Come Dancing’s new head judge Shirley Ballas has refused to commit to staying on the hit show beyond this series, insisting one year in the role would not be ‘too short’.

The 57-year-old ex-professional dancer, who has been heavily criticised by fans for her use of technical terms and controversial decisions, hinted she could walk away at the end of this year.

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On the way out? Strictly Come Dancing’s new head judge Shirley Ballas has refused to commit to staying on the hit show beyond this series, insisting one year in the role would not be ‘too short’

On the way out? Strictly Come Dancing’s new head judge Shirley Ballas has refused to commit to staying on the hit show beyond this series, insisting one year in the role would not be ‘too short’

Appearing at a BBC Christmas party this week, Mrs Ballas – who replaced Len Goodman on the show – was extremely non-committal about her future on the show and said ‘let’s get this series out of the way’.

Whilst she said she had ‘enjoyed’ the show this year, she expressed her sadness at ex-husband Corky Ballas giving an explosive newspaper interview about her and said she ‘missed’ her sons, who live in the US.

She added: ‘I was not expecting that [interview]. I have lost family over this, so I have to figure out what is more important.’

When it was put to her that doing just one series would be too short, she disagreed and said ‘I did it for the experience’, suggesting she would not be concerned about leaving.

No longer??The 57-year-old ex-professional dancer, who has been heavily criticised by fans for her use of technical terms and controversial decisions, hinted she could walk away at the end of this year

No longer??The 57-year-old ex-professional dancer, who has been heavily criticised by fans for her use of technical terms and controversial decisions, hinted she could walk away at the end of this year

Back then: Appearing at a BBC Christmas party this week, Mrs Ballas – who replaced Len Goodman (pictured) on the show – was extremely non-committal about her future on the show and said ‘let’s get this series out of the way’

Back then: Appearing at a BBC Christmas party this week, Mrs Ballas – who replaced Len Goodman (pictured) on the show – was extremely non-committal about her future on the show and said ‘let’s get this series out of the way’

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Shirley and Strictly for comment. ?

And the only work she could confirm she would be doing in 2018 was working in ‘my industry’, clarifying she meant ‘coaching professional dancers’, including Strictly professional AJ Pritchard.

It is understood the BBC is keen to sign Mrs Ballas up for future series, as she appears to have settled into the role and the series has once again trounced The X Factor in the ratings battles.

The Corporation would face embarrassment if she were to quit, having chosen her above Strictly stalwarts like Anton du Beke and Brendan Cole.

Twinkle toes:?The Corporation would face embarrassment if she were to quit, having chosen her above Strictly stalwarts like Anton du Beke and Brendan Cole (left-right)

Shortest ever!?It would also be the shortest stint for a judge in the show’s history, with former judges Alesha Dixon, Arlene Phillips and Goodman staying on the panel for three, five and 12 series respectively

Shortest ever!?It would also be the shortest stint for a judge in the show’s history, with former judges Alesha Dixon, Arlene Phillips and Goodman staying on the panel for three, five and 12 series respectively

It would also be the shortest stint for a judge in the show’s history, with former judges Alesha Dixon, Arlene Phillips and Goodman staying on the panel for three, five and 12 series respectively.

Yesterday morning, Goodman, 73, said that he thought Mrs Ballas was doing a ‘wonderful job’ as his replacement.

He told ITV’s Lorraine: ‘I’ve known her for all her dancing life. I’ve judged her hundreds of times. Of course I know Shirley. It’s always difficult to step in and I’m sure there’s thousands of people saying, “Thank God Goodman’s gone and we’ve got lovely Shirley”. But I think she’s doing a wonderful job.’

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