Shirley Ballas’s joy at being a grandma to newborn Banksi ‘I’m extremely fortunate and very excited’

Head Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has revealed she’s a grandma, or as she likes to call herself, Glamma Shirley.

Shirley's son, Mark, 37 and his wife BC Jean, 36, are feeling blessed after the birth of their son Banksi Wylde Ballas, especially after suffering a miscarriage last year.

While Shirley hopes to be a hands-on grandparent, that will prove tricky with Mark and BC being based in Los Angeles.

“One of the biggest thrills in my entire life, with all the ups and downs, and all the accolades, was the birth of my son,” says Shirley during an exclusive shoot with OK! at her home. “I have the opportunity with a grandbaby to be able to go over there. I’m extremely fortunate to be in a position now where I can do that, so I’m very excited."

“Hopefully, there will be more time on the phone because this, in my eyes, will be the most magical child ever. Whenever he burps, toots, smiles or giggles I’ll be proud!” Shirley continues.

“It’s important for me to be able to spend FaceTime with the baby. It’s a priority, but I really don’t think my family understands. I don’t think anybody sits back and thinks, ‘What if I never saw my child for six months?’”

With half her family living in the States, Shirley reveals she has been contemplating the move back – which won’t be too tough considering she lived there for 11 years.

“I don’t want to be a part-time grandmother,” she confesses. “I want to be there as much as I can be, as much as his mum and dad will allow me to be part of the baby’s life. I could spend six months there and six months here – and I can afford to. I don’t want to miss out on my grandbaby. That is instilled in my head.”

The last few months of Shirley’s year are always hectic with Strictly Come Dancing returning to screens in the Autumn. So next year, Shirley says she plans to prioritise looking after her own happiness and mental health, which will require a change of habit. “I want to try to spend a little bit more time for me,” she explains.

“The majority of the time I’m everywhere else for everybody else, so I’d like a little bit more me time. I want to be happy within myself, which is a little struggle for me."

“At the same time, I have my mum living with me at 86 so I want to make sure that she’s happy and that we’re both having a ball together – and then I want to spend time with my grandbaby!”

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