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Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas hints at unexpected twist in new show

Shirley Ballas, Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas has suggested that the show could see some big changes. (Image credit: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has hinted that Strictly Come Dancing 2022 will feature things we won't be expecting as the executive producer is “always looking outside the box.”

Head Judge Shirley spoke to The Mirror (opens in new tab) about the upcoming series earlier this week at the TRIC Awards, where she teased that the executive producer is constantly exploring all options for contestants and could see an unexpected twist.

She said: "Everything is possible. [Executive producer] Sarah James is always looking outside the box, and if it fits... I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of things you won’t be expecting."

Sarah was behind Strictly Come Dancing’s first same-sex pairing in 2020 which saw boxer Nicola Adams dance with professional dancer Katya Jones.

The following year, the second same-sex couple on the show, The Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, came runner-up in the competition.

Strictly John Johannes Rumba

John and Johannes came second last year. (Image credit: BBC)

It was a history-making year as EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis was the competition’s first deaf contestant to compete and win the show. 

Strictly Come Dancing 2022 will be returning this Autumn to inject some highly anticipated glitz and glamour into our weekend evenings. 

This year will also be an exciting time for the TV juggernaut as the series will be celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will be resuming their presenting duties for the nation's favourite dancing competition, while Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke and Head Judge Shirley Ballas will be returning to the judging panel this year. 

TV tonight The Strictly judges.

The Strictly Come Dancing judges will be making their comeback.  (Image credit: BBC)

Although we still have a few months to go until the much-loved show is back, there's already been a buzz on what celebrities could be taking to the Strictly ballroom to win the coveted Glitterball trophy.

Currently, the line-up rumors include Steph’s Packed Lunch presenter Steph McGovern, celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo, two royal contestants, Emmerdale star Paige Sandhu and football legend Bruce Grobbelaar.

Strictly Come Dancing 2022 returns this Autumn on BBC One. Previous episodes are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Grace Morris
Grace Morris

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.


You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.