Shirley Ballas reveals her heartbreaking festive wish as she films the Strictly Christmas Special


YOU can tell it’s nearly Christmas when the Strictly gang get glammed up to film their annual festive special.

Sure enough, Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood, Anton Du Beke and Motsi Mabuse put on their gladrags this week to tape the glitzy bash, which this year features the likes of Larry Lamb and Girls Aloud’s Nicola Roberts in a one-off contest.

Shirley Ballas has revealed her heartbreaking festive wish while filming the Strictly Christmas Special

Shirley wants to see her son Mark, who is a dancer on the US version of Strictly, after the pandemic kept them apart for three years

And brandishing their fir tree-shaped paddles inspired the judges to open up about their own holiday season.

Shirley had just one Christmas wish — to see her son Mark, who is a dancer on the US version of Strictly.

Asked what she’d like from Santa, she said: “The biggest present for me would be my son actually arriving at my front door.

“That’s all the gift I’d need.”

The pandemic kept head judge Shirley and Mark apart for three years until they briefly reunited earlier this year, and she added: “I’ll be spending Christmas with my mum and hopefully my son and his wife and close friends.

“I’m not doing panto this year — I’ve chosen to have a year off and just enjoy the festivities.”

Family also comes first for dad-of-twins Anton, who said: “Christmas is even more special now with the children.

“But I’d say my best Christmas present ever was my wife saying yes when I asked her to marry me on Christmas Day!”

Motsi revealed her best and worst presents.

She said: “The worst was a fitness package, but my best-ever present has to be my engagement ring.”

Craig added: “My worst gift was a tea towel from Australia worth $1.99 and I had to pay 20 quid at the Post Office to get it out of customs.”

Panto work will be keeping Craig and Anton busy.

Anton, who is no longer tied up in rehearsals as a Strictly professional, said: “In the last couple of years pantomimes have been a new addition to my Christmas.

“It’s been lovely to be able to do them because it feels like a strong tradition and I like anything that’s traditionally Christmas like that.

“But on the downside, you are away from home a lot, so you miss so much of it.”

Don’t worry, Anton, one day it’ll all be behind you!

  •  The Strictly special will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Christmas Day.

Craig said his worst Christmas gift was a tea towel from Australia that was worth $1.99

Anton, said: ‘Christmas is even more special now with the children’

Motsi said her best-ever Christmas present was her engagement ring