Shirley Ballas under fire over 'inappropriate' and 'damaging' weight comments to Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Shirley Ballas under fire over 'inappropriate' and 'damaging' weight comments to Krishnan Guru-Murthy

WATCH NOW: Shirley Ballas comments on Krishnan Guru-Murthy's appearance

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 21/10/2023

- 09:00

The Strictly Come Dancing judge heaped the praise on the Channel 4 newsreader last weekend

Shirley Ballas has been slammed by a number of Strictly Come Dancing fans following comments she made to Krishnan Guru-Murthy after his Week Four performance.

The Channel 4 newsreader and his pro partner Lauren Oakley had just performed their impressive Paso Doble for BBC viewers when Ballas' remarks arose.

After the audience got to their feet to applaud the routine and host Tess Daly remarked it was "a 10 from me", Ballas' critique began: "Well, I think you're rather special actually.

"I think when you started solo on stage there and you couldn't really see your partner out of the corner of your eye, your movements were sharp, they were crisp, they were to the point.

"What I would like to see moving forward is just a little bit more flow from movement to movement.

"But your posture and everything about your centre and your core - I feel like you're wasting away as well, you look absolutely magnificent," she continued, prompting laughter from Guru-Murthy who took the comments in his stride.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Lauren Oakley accompanied Tess Daly to hear the judges' comments


"He does, he's on the Strictly diet!" Daly weighed in as she heaped on the praise before Ballas concluded her point by highlighting the fact that Oakley didn't have to count Guru-Murthy's steps while they were performing in order to assist him.

Guru-Murthy beamed following the positive verdict from Ballas - which was echoed by her fellow judges - before he joined Claudia Winkleman away from the dancefloor to learn he'd earned a score of 28 for the performance.

Despite the positivity emanating from the ballroom, several Strictly viewers took issue with Ballas' language when describing Guru-Murthy's appearance.

Taking to Reddit to reply to a live discussion thread for Week Four, one fan voiced: "Can I just quickly rant about how much I hated Shirley’s comments to Krishnan yesterday - 'you look like you’re wasting away… you look magnificent!' Can we f***** not please."

Soon after, a number of fellow Redditors and Strictly fans shared their thoughts on her choice of words, with one person agreeing: "I thought the same thing! Wasting away does absolutely not equal magnificent."

A second added: "Yeah I didn’t love that. She genuinely doesn’t think before she speaks, because I’m not sure the phrase ‘wasting away’ has ever been used in a positive context??"

"Yeah, that was really inappropriate, he's one of my favourites, he deserves comments that are actually related to his performance," a third weighed in while a fourth fumed: "Good spot actually, quite an odd thing to say, and definitely potentially damaging to people with eating disorder struggles."

And a fifth concurred: "It was a very weird way to phrase it. I mean she shouldn’t really be commenting on contestants' body in that way, but if she had at least said something about how the outfit is flattering or that he’s got a good figure or in great shape, it would have been passable."

Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Krishnan Guru-Murthy took Ballas' remarks positively


GB News has contacted the BBC and Shirley Ballas representatives for comment regarding Ballas' remarks.

The comments to Guru-Murthy aren't the first time Ballas has come under fire from fans watching at home so far this series.

After delivering a score of 10 to Eddie Kadi and Karen Hauer following their Week Three Couple's Choice, Ballas hit back at a troll who claimed she'd been "drinking" in order to dish out the 10 paddle.

Ballas also sparked a sexism row among viewers due to her scoring of younger female contestants compared to male celebrities.

The head Strictly judge opened up earlier this year about the reaction she's received online over the years, admitting it's often left her fearful of leaving her own home.

A number of famous figures have rushed to Ballas' defence in light of the criticism she's faced after she made the revelation, including GB News' own Isabel Webster who issued a stern defence of Ballas' performance on the Strictly panel.

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