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Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas reveals ‘mortifying’ health test results

Shirley Ballas, Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly fans spotted what appeared to be a lump under Shirley Ballas’s arm (Image credit: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas has revealed she has frightening hormone levels which were detected when she was checking for lumps in her armpit.

The glamorous 61-year-old dance star turned Strictly Come Dancing head judge revealed on Instagram that several eagle-eyed fans spotted a lump under her arm on TV. When she went to get that checked her doctor thought her hormone levels were not right.

Shirley said: “So I went and had a lot of blood work down and the testosterone has come back ultra-high, the adrenal glands need a scan, my ovaries need a scan and my oestrogen levels are extremely low… All in all, a little concerning for my doctor.”

Shirley has had a number of cancer scares in recent years, including an ultrasound scan and mammogram in 2018 after a breast cancer scare which, thankfully, was negative, while years before that she had a colonoscopy in the US when cancerous cells were found in her bowel. Again, negative.

But her latest scare is alarming as her doctor told her that her testosterone score was the highest she had ever seen in a woman, she told The Sun on Sunday.

“But, of course, your health is always a concern. My NHS doctor is very good, so the fact that she is concerned makes me concerned — and she was mortified by my results.

“She said I have the highest testosterone levels she’s ever seen in a woman, and testosterone can wreak havoc on the female organs. 

"So she’s requested an urgent scan of all of my organs at King’s College, London.

“She won’t speculate on what the cause is. She just says, ‘We need to deal with this. Let’s deal with the hormones and then see what else is there’. So I’ll have the scans and then I’ll be able to let everyone know what’s going on.”

Shirley has suffered insomnia and general tiredness recently, although there were no signs of her health worries or low energy levels during the Strictly Come Dancing Halloween special on Saturday night.

She scored Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice a 10 for their tango to Shivers by Ed Sheeran, as did all the other judges, meaning the EastEnders star was the first to hit a perfect 40 this series. In fact, Claudia Winkelman revealed the couple set a record for the earliest ever perfect score on Strictly.

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 


An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.