Dianne Buswell leaps to Shirley Ballas’ defence over name backlash

Strictly: Dianne says Shirley 'personally apologised' to her

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The Australian dancer was quick to defend judge Shirley Ballas on Strictly Come Dancing spin-off show, It Takes Two on Wednesday after a slip-up from the head judge was addressed. Presenter Janette Manrara pointed out that Dianne had publicly talked about the way Shirley had mistakenly referred to her as Diana on Saturday night, and the 33-year-old was quick to repeat how she “wasn’t bothered at all” by the blunder on the BBC show.

When giving feedback on Dianne and Tyler West’s routine, the judge remarked on Saturday’s live show: “I was very impressed, Diana, when you moved away and then he had to pick you up.”

It didn’t take long for viewers to catch the incorrect name, and many took to social media to slam Shirley for the mistake.

As she and Tyler joined Janette on Wednesday, the host seemed keen to bring the subject up.

“Dianne, you came out and spoke about how Shirley accidentally called you Diana.

“But you weren’t bothered by it, were you?” Janette asked, to which Dianne shook her head.

“No, not at all!” she replied. “I wasn’t, and do you know what? She actually apologised to me personally as well and said it was an honest mistake.

“And this happens, you know, my pop actually calls me Diana – well, he did call me Diana all the time!

“So I’m like… I quite like it. But you know, we’re all human, aren’t we?

“We’re doing the best we can and you know, sometimes people make mistakes.”

Referring to the angry response from fans, she added: “And I don’t want anyone to come at her just for that.”

“Yeah, she was excited, when you get excited you just get lost a little bit,” Janette replied.

“Yeah, exactly,” Dianne agreed. The 33-year-old took to social media earlier this week to address the issue that had left her “upset”.

On her Instagram page, she commented: “Firstly thank you guys for all the support on our dance last night.

“It was a tough week but I am forever in awe of the hard work and dedication Tyler brings every single week.”

She went on to add: “Another point I want to address is I have seen a lot of hateful comments aimed at Shirley for simply adding an ‘a’ to the end of my name which doesn’t offend me – but what does make me upset is someone being bullied online.

“We are all human and doing the best we can. Let’s all please be kind to one another and not put each other down.”

Her post came after many disgruntled viewers mocked Shirley over the error and labelled her “disrespectful”.

Many pointed out that Dianne had been on the series for “years” and that co-stars should know her name by now.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7pm on BBC One, while It Takes Two continues on Thursday at 6.30pm on BBC Two.

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