Strictly Chief Justice Shirley Ballas appeared on Good Morning Britain just minutes before learning that her predecessor Len Goodman had died.
Ms Ballas had been invited to the show on Monday morning to talk about her return to the dance series later this year.
The news of Goodman’s death from bone cancer at age 78 came as a shock to his legions of fans, who had no idea he was sick.
Goodman was chief judge of the BBC’s much-loved dance show for 12 years from 2004 to 2016, after which Ms Ballas, 62, took over a year later.
Appearing on GMB on Monday, Ms Ballas addressed rumors she may not be returning to Strictly Come Dancing amid a pay dispute with the BBC and a series of online troll attacks last year.
Heartbreaking: Strictly Chief Justice Shirley Ballas discussed returning to the show live on Good Morning Britain on Monday minutes before finding out Len Goodman had died aged 78
A huge loss: Goodman died after a short battle with bone cancer – his fans didn’t even know he was even sick
But she insisted she was going to make a comeback despite online troll attacks last year, saying: ‘You have to make choices and decisions. Took me a minute after trolling last year.
“People were writing things. But this year, I have a man who manages my social networks as well as my son. I am optimistic and hopeful. But this year, it will be filtered before it reaches me.
It comes after Ms Ballas hinted she may not return to Strictly Come Dancing this year following the torrent of despicable online abuse she received during the last series.
The Chief Justice has been subjected to harsh online criticism, which has questioned her judgments on the show and accused her of ageism and sexism.
She told the Mirror: “Last year I was struggling. It wasn’t just a little, it was a lot – the majority was in silence. I felt the violence spiral out of control and had a such a negative impact on me. I’m quite a stoic person and tend to hold everything back.
During Monday’s GMB, Ms Ballas also discussed her debut novel, Murder On The Dancefloor, saying: ‘When I wrote my autobiography there were things I couldn’t include.’
’90 percent [of this book] is a fiction that I have seen or been part of.
‘My mum read it and rewrote the ending, because she wanted it to be more powerful. It’s fiction but 90% of it is true.’
During the interview, Ms Ballas insisted she had not argued with BBC bosses over pay.
She said: ‘There was no discussion with the BBC over salary. We are in a cost of living crisis. This is absolutely not true. There is no pay raise, there is no discussion.
“We are vigilant about the nurses [on strike] and the cost of living crisis. I don’t know where these leaks are coming from.
Moving forward: The TV appearance came days after Strictly Come judges reportedly backed down amid their pay line with BBC bosses
Agreement: The judges would have accepted an offer between 3 and 5%
Dance icon: Goodman served as the show’s chief judge for 12 years, from 2005 to 2016
Last week it was revealed that the judges of Strictly Come Dancing have reportedly backed down in the middle of their pay row with BBC bosses.
Ms Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Anton Du Beke were allegedly seeking an 11% pay rise ahead of the new season of the BBC dance competition.
But according to The Sun, they accepted an offer of between 3 and 5 per cent, despite Ms Ballas telling GMB there was no pay rise.
Ms Ballas would already earn £500,000, Miss Mabuse and Revel Horwood would earn £200,000, while Du Beke would take home £180,000.
“There has been a real stalemate between the judges and the Beeb on this issue, with neither side ready to budge for weeks,” The Sun reported.
“Thankfully they have reached that resolution and are now breathing a sigh of relief and can look forward to the new series.
“The show simply felt that to address a cost of living crisis, and at a time when licensing fees were frozen, they couldn’t justify an 11% increase.”
The insider added that those involved with the show are starting to feel like the payline is becoming a distraction from the 21st series coming this fall.
Smiles: Appearing on GMB, Shirley had said she would always return to the show, despite talks of a showdown with BBC bosses over a pay rise
“You have to make choices and decisions. It took me a minute after trolling last year,’ she said
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