Shirley Ballas nearly turned down the chance to appear on 'The Masked Singer.'
The 'Strictly Come Dancing' judge - who is mother to Broadway star Mark, 37, with ex-husband Corky Ballas - was unmasked as Rat on Saturday (13.01.24) evening's episode of the game show in which celebrities conceal their identities in extravagant costumes whilst performing pop songs but admitted she only agreed to do the show after her mother Audrey begged her to take on the opportunity.
Speaking on ITV's 'Lorraine', she said: "I had the best time. Well, originally, I wasn't going to do but but then my mum said to me 'Please do it, it will be fun'.
"So I actually did it for her. And when I told my son as we know, he's a Broadway singer, he was a bit doubtful but then he said 'Go for it, mum! Have the time of your life'."
The dance champion had to keep schtum upon signing up to appear on the series and admitted that she struggled to stay quiet but noted that she was keen to tackle something "out of her comfort zone" and compared her "journey" to that of the usual 'Strictly' contestant.
"I'm not very good at secrets but because you had to sign an NDA...of course, my mum knew and my son. It was pretty difficult because I wanted to tell my close friend Karen and some of my other mates but I couldn't say anything. It reminded me a little bit of 'Strictly', when they start on that journey. So I wanted to take on something that was totally out of my comfort zone. Although I'm not a singer what I've learned from the fabulous singing teacher Mark, plus my son Mark, is that I can carry a note."
The 63-year-old TV star had to go head-to-head with Dippy Egg in a sing-off and the mystery celebrity made it through to the next stage of the show, where they will compete with Owl, Air Fryer, Bubble Tea, Eiffel Tower, Piranha, Maypole, Cricket and Bigfoot to stay in the competition.
Shirley's exit came after 'Pointless' host Alexander Armstrong was unmasked as Chicken Caesar in week two, whilst 'I'll Never Fall In Love Again' singer Dionne Warwick was unmasked as Weather in the first episode of the new series.