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Interview with Shirley Ballas and Danny Taylor on Unbreakable



Why did you want to take part in Unbreakable?

Shirley: I took part as I wanted to see how well I knew my partner. All the nitty-gritty of a relationship. Seeing how well we could work together – and mostly I loved the idea of us doing something together.

Danny: Well, firstly I loved the idea of Shirley and I doing something like this together – it seemed like a great opportunity to do something together first and foremost. Having then watched the pilot and seeing what we’d be doing and what the challenges were, I really liked the idea as well. Being challenged and doing something very different and out of the ordinary. We really put ourselves to the test and I like a challenge I guess. You’re only here once, so why not?

I also wanted to do something out of my comfort zone and it felt like a great opportunity to learn more about each other and strengthen our already strong relationship.

The series includes physical, emotional and mental challenges. Which did you struggle with the most?

Shirley: I think Danny would agree that the emotional challenges were the hardest for us both – they were a struggle for me, but really showed me the importance of working through these things together and how best we could support each other through that – those challenges have really strengthened us as a couple.

Danny: I think it would most definitely be the emotional challenges, I sometimes have difficulty expressing how I feel. The physical challenges I kind of just get stuck in and get on with it, but the emotional challenges were harder because lots of things come into that, dealing with all of that and talking about it. So I would definitely say it was the emotional challenges that I struggled with the most.

What did you learn about one another?

Shirley: So much, and that was one of the best things to have come out of doing the show. I learnt that Danny is a lot smarter than I gave him credit for and that we work really well together as a team.

Danny: The one thing that we probably have learnt to do better, and are always working at, is to communicate better and to work as a team. Not just speaking and listening, but being patient, putting yourself in that other person’s shoes, empathising and remembering that you can give a negative comment and that can have just as much impact as a positive one. So thinking about how you say things and how it’s delivered.

We’ve also both learnt that the one thing that gets us through is laughter. Laughter is a great thing. Forgiveness is a really important thing too, and appreciation. A relationship is definitely a team effort where you are always looking to find a compromise through empathy and understanding for the other person.

Would you say that you’re an unbreakable couple?

Shirley: Yes, I would say so. We have definitely strengthened certain areas of our relationship, so it was an incredible opportunity for us both. I learnt that it constantly needs work from both sides and it’s important to remember that. Appreciation and communication are key.

Danny: I do, yes, and I hope that we continue to build foundations as strong as we are. I think going back to the different things that are important in the relationship and you continue to work on them. Most importantly communication, gratitude – appreciating each other. Adventure – thinking outside the box. Most importantly is laughter – it’s really, really important and not to take yourself too seriously. You need to cut yourself a bit of slack sometimes. Also to be quite grounded really.

I think ultimately in all of this as well, is the aspect of friendship and just getting each other, never lose sight of why you got together in the first place. Shirley put out her hand to me at a very difficult time, a very low point in my life and I hope that I can return that for Shirley.

I’ll always have her back. Always.