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Strictly Come Dancing’s Shirley Ballas hits back at claims she wants son Mark to replace Darcey Bussell

Shirley attended the British LGBT Awards on Friday  (Pictures: REX/Getty)

Strictly Come Dancing star Shirley Ballas has refuted claims she made calls for her son Mark to replace Darcey Bussell on the BBC judging panel.

The former ballerina recently announced she would be quitting the show after an amazing seven series, with Shirley revealing she has ‘a hole in the heart’ following her friend’s exit.

And now the 58-year-old has cleared up reports that she has backed her son to join herself, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel-Horwood as judges.

Speaking of recent reports at the British LBGT awards on Friday, the head judge told Metro.co.uk: ‘I never said that. As usual, things get twisted. I never said that at all.’

However, Mark is a perfect fit considering his experience as a professional ballroom dancer on the ABC program Dancing With The Stars for more than a decade, after starting in 2007.

When asked if she had an alternative suggestion, the TV personality avoided offering up an actual name.

‘I think the BBC would do an amazing job with whomever they pick as long as they feel they are qualified and they fit the rest of the panel,’ she said. ‘I am sure it would be absolutely spectacular.’

Shirley refused to offer up a suggestion (Picture: Getty Images)

Shirley attended the LGBT Awards on 17 May in London’s Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square.

The event is held to celebrate the effort of those advancing the rights of the LGBT+ community.

The star-studded ceremony, hosted by Kelly Osbourne, annually recognises people and organisations who help further LGBT+ acceptance.

Shirley and her son Mark are both professional dancers (Picture: Rex Features)

Sex and the City actress-turned-political-campaigner Cynthia Nixon was awarded Celebrity of the Year after using her platform to be vocal about marriage equality and LGBT+ visibility.

She accepted her award via a video link, while Paul O’Grady, who rose to fame with drag character, Lily Savage, was awarded with the Trailblazer accolade.

Speaking of the event Marjorie Strachan, of British LGBT Awards founding partner, NatWest, said: ‘The awards are about more than recognising the nominees and winners, they are about creating a change in attitudes towards diversity and inclusion in every part of the UK.

‘This is something that we are committed to, and proud to celebrate.’

Winners list for 2019 British LGBT Awards

Lifetime Achievement
Winner: Stephen Fry

Winner: Paul O’Grady

Sports Personality
Winner: Nicola Adams OBE

Music Artist
Winner: Hayley Kiyoko

LGBT+ Celebrity
Winner: Cynthia Nixon

LGBT+ Celebrity Ally
Winner: Ellie Goulding

Media Moment
Winner: Courtney Act

LGBT+ Online Influencer
Winner: Calle y Poché

Change Makers
Winner: Little Mix

LGBT+ Broadcaster or Journalist
Joint Winners: Liv Little and Anna Richardson

Winner: Munroe Bergdorf

Brand or Marketing Campaign
Spotify: Pride Stories

LGBT+ Charity or Community Initiative
Winner: LGBT Youth Scotland

LGBT+ Future Leader
Winner: Jemma Kameen, Sainsbury’s

LGBT+ Network Group
Winner: 4Pride

Outstanding Contribution to LGBT+ Life
Winner: Peter Tatchell

Inspirational Leader
Geffrye Parsons, Macquarie Group

Corporate Ally
Winner: Jim Herbert, Aon

Diversity Hero
Winner: David Pearson, KPMG

Inclusive Employer or Company
Winner: Vodafone Group

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