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Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has THIS warning for bookies’ favourite Maisie Smith

Shirley Ballas BBC/Guy Levy
WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 17/10/2020 - Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing - TX: 17/10/2020 - Episode: Launch show (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Shirley Ballas - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy (Image credit: BBC/Guy Levy)

Strictly Come Dancing kicks off with the live shows this weekend...

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas has warned Maisie Smith not to get ahead of herself in the competition.

Fans will know that Maisie was tipped to lift the glitterball trophy before she even stepped foot on the dance floor for Strictly Come Dancing 2020.

Maisie and Gorka Strictly Come Dancing

Shirley has warned Maisie that there is a lot of hard work to be done before the final in December (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC/Guy Levy)

Her popularity was all down to the fact she won the Children In Need Strictly Special in 2019.

But judge Shirley has hinted that Maisie shouldn't let her previous win on the show go to her head.

She's also stated there is a lot of hard work to be done before the final in December.

More: Tess Daly - things you didn't know about the Strictly Come dancing presenter 

Shirley told The Sun: "I know she won the special, but if I was Maisie I wouldn't take anything for granted.

"Doing one dance is not like doing ten weeks.

"You have got to be there and you've got to be full on and you've for to go the whole nine yards."

Strictly Come Dancing 2020

The Strictly stars are all getting ready to hit the dance floor on Saturday night (Picture: BBC)

In it to win it

Shirley also revealed that Maisie isn't the only celebrity with her eye on the prize...

"You could see the competitive spirit, you could feel it.

"These people all look like they were at the starting block, ready to move forward."

The head judge added that celebrities like Bill Bailey shouldn't be underestimated.

Shirley admitted that Bill might not be the novelty act that everyone is expecting him to be...

Oti Mabuse, Bill Bailey

Shirley thinks that Bill could be the surprise act of of this year's Strictly (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC/Guy Levy)

Bill's got moves 

"I turned to Craig and said, 'He's going to be our Ed Balls and the series is going to be a lot of fun'.

"But then he danced. He was rotating his hips, he was giving it some stick.

"I thought, 'Oh my Lord, he's is not only funny, he is going to really give this a go'. I wasn't expecting that.

"I'd assumed that Bill would be stiff and uncomfortable. Some people look like they're stuck in concrete, but he looked like he could go."

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7.25 on BBC One. 

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.