Shirley Ballas has "struggled" with online "trolls" since becoming the new head judge on 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

Shirley Ballas on Loose Women via Twitter (c)

Shirley Ballas on Loose Women via Twitter (c)

The 57-year-old professional dancers had big shoes to fill when she took over from the legendary Len Goodman on the BBC Latin and ballroom dance competition at the start of the series earlier this year.

And Shirley has now revealed she has been the subject of online bullying and criticism because of her technical-themed feedback, which she admits is starting to get to her.

Speaking during an appearance on 'Loose Women' on Thursday (09.11.17), Shirley said: "I've never done any TV before, so to get this kind of a role and be behind the camera every week ... I love my job, I love the critiquing of the dances, I love the journey of every celebrity that's on there.

"My son is in TV and he's done a lot of that, and he gave me a lot of preparation, a lot of advice. We FaceTime every day and he said 'You know, the press can be really quite difficult.' The trolling, which I've struggled with, the bullying on that. The actual show is great, but the other side has been an experience."

Shirley insists the comments have even taken aim at her family, and some things are too severe for the star to repeat on television.

She added: "I couldn't even repeat some of the things that people have called me, and said about me, or criticised my family or whatever."

It isn't all bad for the beauty though, as she admits there are "nice people" on social media who stick up for her each week, as well as a couple of former bullies who have now seen the error of their ways.

She said: "There are some nice people on Twitter as well, so I feel like I've got like this little Twitter army behind me. There's a lovely lady called Jenny and she rallies them all up and there's just some really lovely people.

"One or two who have been mean have actually come round now to say 'Well maybe I made a mistake.'"

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