MATCHMAKER MOUNTAIN 13 9
FIND LOVE WITH SHIRLEY TUESDAYS DURING JAN ON THIS MORNING, 10.30AM, ITV T 5 MINUTES WITH... Strictly Come Dancing’s head judge Shirley Ballas, 58, who’s swapping the dance floor for the mountains of Morocco for a new dating show
Strictly’s head judge Shirley Ballas attempts to find love for a group of over-50s on this entertaining new slot for January on ITV’S This Morning. Shirley will take the singletons – three men and three women, who got in touch through watching TM – to the mountains of Morocco, where she hopes they’ll fall for each other… She’ll also share some of her own dating tips.
Did ell us about Matchmaker Mountain…
Aside from Strictly, this is absolutely the best thing that I’ve ever done. I think viewers are going to be enthralled by the fact that people over 50 are looking for love. I was a little bit sceptical at first because I’ve been single a long time, but actually it renewed my faith that there are lots of men and women out there like myself – and there was no need to be nervous.
You send the contestants on dates?
I will remain friends with the three amazing men and women forever! We just all gelled and clicked. The three dates they went on were all different… Some rode a camel, some went on a cooking class, and others had a spa day. There were lots of surprises, heartache, love, pain, sharing… Every possible emotion is in this show!
anyone find love?
Maybe I’m the one who did – you’ll have to watch and find out!
Aside from dancing, what are your other passions in life?
My passion has always been about dancing, and I’ve loved every minute of that. But I also have a huge passion for my family. Happiness for me is seeing my son [American dancer, musician and actor Mark Ballas] on Broadway and sharing time with him, his wife and my mum. I also really enjoy presenting. My idols are Eamonn [Holmes] and Ruth [Langsford]! I’m in awe of them; I literally follow everything they do!
Who would you like to swap places with for 24 hours?
Ruth Langsford! I first met Ruth on Strictly. It was when I first started doing it and I was still a little terrified and nervous. I will never forget Eamonn introducing himself and saying, “I’m a presenter, I just want you to know you’re doing an amazing job.” I cried – and he gave me a big hug.