Strictly’s James Jordan and Shirley Ballas in heated row over Ukraine crisis

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James Jordan hit out at Strictly Come Dancing’s Russian dancers over the Ukraine crisis and former head judge on the show, Shirley Ballas, has hit back at him

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Protestors gather outside Russian embassy in London

James Jordan and Shirley Ballas became embroiled in a bitter exchange of words on social media over comments made about the Ukraine crisis.

The 43-year-old former Strictly Come Dancing professional hit out at Shirley, 61, who was head judge on the BBC dance competition, after she took offence to the comments James made about Russian dancers from the show.

James, who is known for his controversial outbursts on Twitter, called out some of his Russian dance colleagues for not condemning the attack on Ukraine and claimed that they continued to “promote themselves” on social media instead.

Fuming about his perceived lack of action, James wrote: “I don’t see many of the Russian dancers I know and have even shared the Strictly dance floor with them openly speaking out about the war against Ukraine.

“But are still promoting themselves on social media – very disappointed. They know who they are – not one post about it.” (sic)

James then doubled-down on his comments by adding: “If they are too scared to speak out against wrong then stay the f*** off social media for a while and stop with the self-promotion during this horrific time.

“Have some respect. Or… maybe they are not speaking out because they are brainwashed too.”

Shirley was incensed by his comments and took the former pro dancer to task, saying that many Russian dancers she knows had come out in support of Ukraine.

She hit back at James, tweeting: “Dear James, not sure who you follow and who follows you.

“Many dancers I know have retweeted in support of Ukraine and have felt shame at their own government.

“Lots of help for their fellow dancers Lots have spoken out and retweeted.” (sic)

Shirley continued: “It’s heartbreaking but in our Russian-Ukraine dance community the support has been overwhelming.

“Sadness, tears, massive help and support.

“I don’t know anyone who has not reached out from the very top dancers to the beginners. Xxx hugs.” (sic)

James was not going to take this lightly and he wound back the clock 24 hours to try and prove that Shirley had been hypocritical with her response to him.

He shared a screenshot of comments that Shirley made on Saturday in which she asked dancers to “show respect” to Ukraine and not promote their other ventures for the time being.

James asked the judge: “Why post this yesterday then? A similar sentiment to me.”

Despite him trying to justify his comments, James divided opinion with his thoughts with some saying he was being “ignorant” and “thoughtless”.

One upset fan replied: “What an ignorant, thoughtless comment. They probably have family in Russia that could suffer the consequences of anything they say. Think before you type.”

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