Who is Shirley Ballas' boyfriend Danny Taylor? Inside age-gap romance and how they met

Who is Shirley Ballas' boyfriend Danny Taylor? Inside age-gap romance and how they met

Updated: 1 month, 3 days, 9 hours, 32 minutes, 13 seconds ago

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Former professional ballroom dancer Shirley Ballas will join the cast of BBC One's Unbreakable tonight and put her relationship with boyfriend Danny Taylor to the test.

The Strictly judge will join the likes of Loose Woman Denise Welch, businesswoman Teddy Edwardes, Welsh veteran Simon Weston and TV presenter Stephen Bailey alongside their partners to see which couple are the strongest.

They will face a range of mental, physical and emotional challenges to see if their relationships can survive and prove they really are unbreakable.

But who is Shirley Ballas' partner Danny Taylor? Here's everything you need to know.

Who is Danny Taylor?

Shirley Ballas and Danny Taylor

(Image: SOPA Images/ Getty)

Danny Taylor is an actor who is mainly known for his roles in theatre productions. During his acting career, he starred in the likes of The Bill and Brookside.

The 46-year-old shares a passion for dance, much like his partner Shirley, and is a trained ballroom, waltz and tap dancer.

He is also musically inclined and released album The Party Is Over in 2015.

He shares a son with ex Sharon Byratt, an actress who starred in sitcom Bread as Irenee.

How did Danny Taylor and Shirley Ballas meet?

Shirley Ballas and Danny Taylor

(Image: ITV)

Shirley and Danny met during theatre rehearsals for Jack And The Beanstalk, which they starred in together over Christmas 2018.

She announced on Lorraine that she had met "somebody nice" soon after the pair met and she also hinted that she was dating again when she tweeted that her panto co-star was a "very funny handsome man".

The 62-year-old told ITV's Loose Women: "We met on panto as friends. It didn’t really take off until March… for him. I fell in love way before... I think for me it was first sight," she said.

“He was going through a difficult time in his relationship. We did become friends and then probably in about February I said, ‘I love you Danny’ and he said, ‘I know’. It took a while.”

Has Shirley Ballas been married before?

Shirley Ballas

(Image: Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Shirley has been twice-married and twice-divorced.

Her first marriage was to Sammy Stepford, her former dance partner who she went on to win major world titles with.

Shirley was 18 when the pair tied the knot but the couple then parted ways after a short time together.

Following her split from Sammy, Shirley met dancer Corky Ballas, who she later married and had son Mark with in 1986.

Shirley and Corky competed together and won their first professional Latin title in 1984 and went on to win it a further eight years in a row.

They moved to Houston, Texas to compete in US competitions but in 1990, they moved back to the UK and went on to win the Open British Professional Latin title in 1995 and '96.

However, 17 years after their UK move, the pair split.

Shirley quit professional ballroom dancing in 1996 to pursue a career as competition coach and judge.

Her son Mark is now a professional dancer in his own right and competes on Dancing With The Stars.

Shirley will star on BBC One's Unbreakable tonight at 8pm.

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