Shirley Ballas has come clean about her first audition for Strictly Come Dancing and revealed it didn't exactly go to plan.

The 60-year-old took over from Len Goodman when he departed the hit BBC show in 2016, and has sat on the panel ever since – but it almost didn't happen.

Writing in her new autobiography, Behind The Sequins, Shirley admitted that she was suffering from a bad back when she first tried to impress Strictly bosses.

Understandably, the mum-of-one struggled to focus because she was in agony with sciatica and was left flustered when an ice pack she was using on her back burst just moments before the cameras started rolling on the BBC set.

Shirley Ballas has revealed she almost didn't get the Strictly Come Dancing job

"I was sitting in my jeans and by the time [the stylist] finished doing all my hair and makeup, I stood up to discover the ice pack had melted. I had a big wet patch on my jeans," she said.

"I found the first audition overwhelming. It was in a freezing room in the middle of winter, with lots of people doing a host of different jobs that I didn’t understand at the time.

Shirley said that her first audition for the BBC show didn't go very well

"It was hard to get to grips with how the system behind the desk operated and work out which of the cameras I should look into," she continued.

"Plus, the whole time I had this bad back I was trying not to focus on, so it was safe to say I probably wasn’t the most relaxed."

However, Shirley was stunned when the BBC called her back for a second audition – which thankfully went much better.

Shirley has been head judge on the Strictly Come Dancing panel since 2017

In her new book, the pretty brunette also goes into detail about her marriage to ex-husband Corky and says she hasn't spoken to him since he accused her of cheating on him with multiple people during their marriage – and branded her mum a “termite”.

Writing in her book, Shirley said: "I was so shocked by what he had to say I could barely speak. It was a sharp reminder of what my married life had been like.

"Of all his cruel barbs, the single aspect of the whole feature that hurt me the most was how cruel he was about my mother.

“He blamed her for wrecking our marriage and actually called her ‘a termite’.

“He told the paper, ‘Audrey was silent and deadly, and like a termite eating the house of our marriage – you don’t know the threat is there, then suddenly all the wood has disappeared’.”

Luckily, Shirley is now in a happy relationship with Danny Taylor, who is 12 years younger than her.