Strictly’s Shirley Ballas reveals sweet ‘nanny’ name she wants as son Mark prepares to welcome first baby

Virgin Radio

4 Jul 2023, 12:58

Credit: Rex / Getty

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas has opened up about becoming a nan ahead of the arrival of her first grandchild. 

Shirley’s dancer son Mark Ballas, star of US Strictly series Dancing with the Stars, recently announced he was expecting his first baby with wife, BC Jean. 

While chatting exclusively with, we gave Shirley a huge congrats on the impending arrival, but we also asked the nan-to-be what name she’s angling for. 

“It’s Nanny Sparkle!” the TV star enthusiastically shared. "That's the name I'm going with. I'm going to teach that child ‘sparkle, sparkle!” Then I'm going to hang shiny things, so the baby can play with it and say ‘sparkle!’

On how Mark and BC are doing ahead of becoming first-time-parents, Shirley added: “Mark is great. We'll see him in about three weeks for a couple of days. Then at the end of August, Derek [Hough - DWTS co-star] is getting married, Mark is the Best Man. 

“My mum and I are travelling for a two-week holiday to see them all. Then we’re going to see BC and see how the baby's doing and things like that. So we're very excited.”

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on Strictly Come Dancing ahead of the 2023 series, which looks set to kick off in August with the reveal of the first celebrities taking part. 

Teasing to about the impending season, the queen of the ballroom said: “The ball is well rolled, let's put it like that. So I think the majority of the celebrities are already signed up now.

"Jason Gilkinson [choreographer] is already putting all the numbers together. Everybody's just winding up on their own tours and all of the digital jobs that they've got and we're all getting ready now to come back. So I'm feeling very, very good about the series."

She continued: "All I can say is that the viewers always write in and ask for one or two things, and I think they're going to get that."

Can the BBC compete with the success of previous series? Shirley explained confidently: "Just when you think it couldn't get any better, it absolutely does. And remember, if there's somebody that you don't know in week one, I can assure you by week three, you'll have fallen in love."

The news comes as Shirley is set to take on her most daring challenge yet with her Skyathalon for mental health charity CALM. Learn all about her 'terrifying' tasks here.