Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has opened up about the touching tribute she pays to her late brother every single Christmas Day.
The 61-year-old TV judge lost her brother David eighteen years ago when he tragically took his own life, and has spoken in detail about his legacy and how much she misses him.
Now, Shirley has revealed how important it is for her to keep his memory alive – especially over the festive season.
Shirley, who recently wowed fans with a glam makeover, explained: “For dinner it will be my mum, myself, [my partner] Danny and my little dog Charlie – we always set a place for my brother.”
Shirley also shared the other traditions that her and family have adopted over the years and how they spend the special time together.
She explained: “We like to watch The Sound Of Music every year, I know all the lines and all the songs!”
“We have a little rest in the morning and then mum and I get up and have a coffee and catch up.”
She continued: “After dinner we have a drink and play some games, but if my son was here we’d normally have a sing-song.”
Shirley went on to explain that since she’s been part of the Strictly family as head judge, they have also enjoyed tuning into the BBC One’s Christmas special, just like the rest of the nation.
Reflecting on how it’s become a staple in the Christmas TV schedule, Shirley said: “I think people love to sit down with a glass of wine on Christmas Day, after eating too much Christmas pudding, and watch the magic that Strictly is.”
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The Latin dance champ continued: “They know that this is the final bit of Strictly they’re going to get before it starts again the following year.
Shirley’s comments about her brother come after she paid a similarly emotional tribute to him to mark the recent anniversary of his death.
Posting a photo of him on her Instagram account, Shirley told her followers: “Darling David I miss you very very much, you were my anchor, my guider my brother, my go too when things got tough and as for those bear hugs I can only dream about them now.”
“There is not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and all the times I got to spend with you. Family to you was everything. A fierce and protective brother, son and father.”
She added: “I’ll keep you in a little pocket very close to my heart, so I can feel close to you always.”
To read more about Strictly's head judge Shirley Ballas, sign up to our daily OK! newsletter. The Strictly Christmas Special airs on Christmas Day on BBC One and BBC iPlayer
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