RT @expressceleb: ‘It was an issue for me’ #Strictly judge Shirley Ballas ...

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Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas, 59, has been dating her pantomime co-star Daniel Taylor, 47, since February. They have since posed for a series of loved-up snaps and have gushed about each other in interviews.

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Despite the pair seeming to be in love, Shirley admitted the pair were worried about their relationship working at first due to their 12-year age-gap.

In a candid interview, the mother-of-one began by admitting comments about her being older than her beau used to bother her.

She said: “It makes me cross when he is described as a toy boy.

“He is a 47-year-old grown man who can make his own choices. He is not 18.

READ MORE: Kelvin Fletcher and Emma Barton in major Strictly Come Dancing 2019

Shirley Ballas: Strictly judge spoke out about her relationship with Danny TaylorShirley Ballas: Strictly judge spoke out about her relationship with Danny Taylor (Image: WENN•GETTY)

Shirley Ballas: Strictly judge has been dating Danny Taylor since FebruaryShirley Ballas: Strictly judge has been dating Danny Taylor since February (Image: GETTY)

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“You can have a man who is 25 years older than his girlfriend and no one says anything.”

She added to Saga magazine: “When I first got together with Danny it was an issue for me, and we sat for many hours talking about it.

“I don’t want to go into a relationship that can’t go anywhere. I don’t want his son, aged eight, to get to know someone who is here today and gone tomorrow.”

The pair first set eyes on each other when they both starred in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk last year.

Shirley Ballas: Strictly judge said the duo's age gap was 'an issue' at firstShirley Ballas: Strictly judge said the duo's age gap was 'an issue' at first (Image: GETTY)

Shirley Ballas: Strictly judge said she is ready to marry her beau DannyShirley Ballas: Strictly judge said she is ready to marry her beau Danny (Image: INSTAGRAM•SHIRLEYBALLAS)

The professional dancer has previously said they were good friends but got

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