But back when she was auditioning for the top job, Shirley had a truly mortifying incident unfold.
She’s now spilled the details – and it’s safe to say we don’t envy the position she found herself in.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Shirley was asked if she’d ever had a cringe-worthy showbiz encounter but instead of singling out someone else, she turned the attention back onto one she was at the centre of.
‘I had one on my interview for Strictly,’ she revealed.
‘I’d flown in from the United States and I had bad sciatica. I was in terrible pain.
‘I had to go straight to the BBC studios, and I had those big girl knickers on.’
She continued: ‘They decided to give me ice, so they got an ice pack, put it round my hip, bandaged it up, and I got my knickers on and my lovely long dress.’
But disaster soon struck.
‘Then the water started to leak – it leaked all the way over my pants… I didn’t have a spare pair, so I sat and did my interview knickerless!’
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is where the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back to your feet, is irritated or compressed. It usually gets better in four to six weeks but can last longer.
In the interview she also revealed how her knickers were at the centre of another embarrassing moment after her fellow Strictly judge Anton Du Beke pulled them out to show an audience.
‘I’d just bought these big girl panties. They were massive – they go right underneath your boobs,’ she recalled.
‘He stole a pair and put them in the top pocket of his tuxedo – never told me.
‘Then we went out on stage, I’m looking all glamorous, and he’s saying to the public, “Doesn’t she look lovely?” They’re clapping and he goes, “I just want you to know she wears these kind of knickers” and he pulled them out, these great drawers. That’s Anton! He can be a bit of a naughty boy.’
Despite her initial awkward moment when hoping to be cast on Strictly, Shirley later made her debut in September 2017.
She’s also been busy in recent months, with the release of her novel Murder on the Dance Floor, as well as an upcoming appearance on Doctor Who, which she said would be a ‘pleasant surprise when people watch it’.
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7.35pm on BBC One.
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