Shirley Ballas Home Truths - her favourite Matalan pjs and where she's spending Christmas day

The Strictly Come Dancing judge reveals her festive Home Truths, from her decorating style to what she hopes to find in her stocking this year

Shirely Ballas
(Image credit: Getty Images / Jeff Spicer / Stringer)

The Strictly head judge lives in southeast London with her mother, Audrey, and her Lhasa Apso dog, Charlie.

What is your favourite time at Christmas?

Lunch on Christmas Day when I eat with my family. I love to set the table nicely, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in the middle, a red linen cloth with a white lace tablecloth over the top, and candles. Each person receives a big cracker!

Shirely Ballas

(Image credit: Blake Ezra)

What's your home must-have?

Alder Hey Hospital pyjamas, from Matalan. They bring out their range every year and I absolutely love them. Both my boyfriend Danny [actor Danny Taylor] and I love to snuggle up to watch a movie in them. Even my dog Charlie gets a set!

What part of festive planning to you love the best?

When to spend time with family. I’m so busy the rest of the year, it’s wonderful to plan downtime with loved ones. After Christmas, I might go out to LA to see my son Mark, his wife and their new baby.

What smell says 'Christmas' to you?

My mum’s roast beef cooking in the oven. I prefer beef to turkey!

When do you decorations go up?

November, usually. I like to get my decorations up nice and early so I can get organised for Christmas.

Shirley Ballas

(Image credit: Getty Images / Mike Marsland)

Do you have a favourite Christmas decoration?

I have some baubles and little Santas that I bought when Mark was born.

Are you minimalist or do you go all out?

For years after my brother David died in December 2003 I didn’t put up any decorations. It’s only in recent years that it’s felt like the clouds are lifting but I’m still quite minimalist: a simple tree, and fireplace, stairs and front door decorations.

Do you have Christmas traditions?

I am a big film watcher at Christmas. My go-to movies are The Sound of Music and Oliver!.

Will you be doing anything different this Christmas?

We’re going to The Savoy in London for lunch. It’s one of my favourite places and I thought it would save us doing the washing-up!

Do you host friends and family?

Friends come over for a drink during the festive season, with all family on the Day.

In the hot seat

Christmas decorations – traditional or modern? Traditional.

Tree – real or artificial? Artificial.

Colour-themed or a mixture? A mixture.

Presents – do you treat yourself? No – I love to give gifts to others at Christmas.

Stockings – yes or no? Yes! A bottle of brandy, socks and fluffy slippers and, of course, a Terry’s Chocolate Orange!

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