Who is Shirley Ballas’ boyfriend Danny Taylor? Inside their love story and how they met

Who is Shirley Ballas’ boyfriend Danny Taylor? Inside their love story and how they met


Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has became a firm favourite amongst fans of the hit BBC One dance show over the years.

The star, 61, joined the famous judging panel back in 2017 and has retained her spot as head judge ever since.

Famed for her impeccable dance skills and knowledge, Shirley has became a staple to our TV screens and a much-loved aspect of Strictly.

The judge's boyfriend, Danny Taylor, is also a trained dancer and the couple appear as loved-up as ever, with Shirley recently opening up about her hopes of getting engaged.

We've grown to know the Strictly judge well during her time on the BBC show, but what do we know about her boyfriend Danny?

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Who is Danny Taylor?

Danny, 48, is an actor who is best known for his theatre roles, most notably starring in several West End productions.

He is a trained professional dancer, like Shirley, and specialises in ballroom, tap, and waltz.

While he is considered to be one of the UK's most successful theatre actors, he's also had several TV roles in the past too, including shows such as Brookside and The Bill.

Away from acting and dancing, he also released his own album, The Party Is Over, in 2015.

Danny previously dated actress Sharon Byatt, and the former couple share a son together.

The actor met Strictly star Shirley when they were both starring in a Christmas production of Jack and The Beanstalk in 2018. The couple sparked romance rumours after posting several cosy snaps to Instagram during their panto stint, as well as Shirley calling Danny a "very funny handsome man" on Twitter.

In January 2019, it was confirmed that the pair were officially dating, after they'd been spotted enjoying a day out together.

Shirley previously spoke of meeting her new beau on Loose Women, saying: "We met on panto as friends. It didn’t really take off until March… for him. I fell in love way before… I think for me it was first sight.

“He was going through a difficult time in his relationship. We did become friends and then probably in about February I said, ‘I love you Danny’ and he said, ‘I know’. It took a while.”

The couple have remained loved-up ever since, and smitten Shirley even declared he was "the one" in September 2019.

It has also been reported that the 61 year old star is hoping for a proposal from her boyfriend, after revealing in a recent interview with Prima magazine that she hopes to marry again.

Shirley gushed over Danny in the interview, saying: “My relationship with Danny has changed my life,” she said.

“He’s very different to anyone I’ve been with before. First of all, he’s 6ft 1in, he’s the tallest man I’ve ever dated, and I love his jet black hair.

“He’s also very kind and very caring – he’s always there for me. I hope he’ll propose one day, but he’s never married and I think he’s a bit nervous about it, so we’ll see. Come on, Danny!”

Shirley was previously married to professional dancer Sammy Stopford, who she wed when she was 18. The pair's marriage lasted five years before they called it quits.

Shirley went on to tie the knot again in 1985, to former ballroom dancer Corky Ballas. The pair competed in various dance competitions together, and welcomed a son, Mark, in 1986, before divorcing in 2007.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday 18 December on BBC One.

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