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Liverpool panto debut for Strictly's Shirley Ballas

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas will be waltzing in to the Liverpool Empire to make her panto debut this Christmas.

The Wallasey-born dance champ will play Mother Nature in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Lime Street Theatre.

She will star alongside panto veteran John Evans as Simple Simon, with further casting yet to be announced.

She said today: "How exciting! I'm going to have to make sure I'm really well rehearsed. I've requested to get the scripts way ahead of time because I'm a perfectionist and I like to make sure I know what I'm doing."

Ballas made her Strictly debut last season, joining Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli on the judging panel of the BBC Saturday night ratings winner.

Although raised in Wirral, the ‘Queen of Latin’ now lives in America.

Michael Harrison, managing director of Qdos Entertainment’s pantomime division, said today: “I’m thrilled we’ve managed to tempt Shirley out from behind the Strictly judging desk to show Liverpool audiences just why she’s considered one of the world’s finest dancers.

“Along with John’s hilarious routines they’ll be leading the company of a fantastic show that will entertain Empire audiences for another fantastic festive season.”

Jack and the Beanstalk is at the Liverpool Empire from December 14 to January 6. Tickets from the website HERE

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