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Shirley Ballas reveals what she really wants for Christmas and share their festive traditions

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What do you love most about the Strictly Christmas Special?

The dressing up, the Christmas spirit and the fact that the studios is decorated with the trees, all the Christmas trim! And then, of course, we have these six celebrities that are going to take part in it! I just love it.

And what are you hoping to see from this year’s Christmas celebrities?

I’m hoping that we some nice dancing, some lovely little footwork and some hip action. Normally when they only have to dance once everybody gets all nervous, but I’m hoping that they’ll realise it is a Christmas Special, it’s for fun!

How do you like to spend Christmas?

I’ll be spending Christmas this year with my mum and hopefully my son and his wife and some close friends. I’m not doing panto this year, I’ve chosen to have a year off and just enjoy the festivities.

What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

There’s a few but I watch The Sound of Music every single year. For me it’s iconic, it’s a real staple in our Christmas calendar.

What’s the best Christmas party you’ve ever been to?

When I was younger, my mum worked in the nightclubs as a barmaid and waitress, and in the afternoon on Christmas Day they’d have a big Christmas party with Santa Claus, a Christmas dinner and presents, and we were able to dance and sing on the microphone. Mum would take my brother and I and we just loved it. So those days when I was younger, I would probably say they were the best Christmas parties.

What is the best and worst Christmas present you’ve ever received?

The worst Christmas present was when somebody bought me some underwear and then I washed it and the whole elastic band broke! So really cheap underwear, one wash and it was just a rag you’d do your polishing with.

I think the best Christmas present was a Silver Cross pram my dad bought me when I was little girl. As I got older, any gifts that my mum buys me I treasure, she bought me a gold bangle and I wear it, and she wears one, we’ve both got the same one.

What’s your favourite Christmas?

White Christmas by Bing Crosby.

Do you have any Christmas traditions?

We always have a nice sit down meal every year. We get all the nice china out and decorate the table beautifully.

Do get glammed up or wear a Christmas jumper?

I like to do my hair and make-up but I might get nice Christmas pyjamas for everybody this year.

What are you asking for Father Christmas for this year?

I just want to have it with my family really, the biggest present for me would be my son actually arriving at my front door, that’s all the gift I’d need.

Do you think you’re on the naughty or the nice list?

My mum says I’m on the nice list!