The dancer has said her co-star is ‘hysterical’.

Dame Darcey Bussell has denied a rivalry between herself and fellow Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas.

The retired ballerina also said it only ever appears to be women who face such rumours, and that “maybe we ask for it”.

Shirley, who took over from previous head judge Len Goodman on the series last year and was recently on Who Do You Think You Are?, was reported to have repeatedly locked horns with Dame Darcey during the show’s run last year.

Strictly Come Dancing
The Strictly Come Dancing judges (Guy Levy/BBC)

Dame Darcey told the Telegraph: “Of course I get on with Shirley. She’s hysterical, she’s got a great sense of humour, and I totally respect her amazing amount of knowledge.

“She’s great to be with.”

Asked why male co-stars never appear to face the same reports, she replied: “Funny that.”

She added, reportedly furrowing her brow: “I don’t know why that is. Maybe we ask for it?

“I’m not sure. If we were in two suits, I wonder if they would treat us differently.”

The duo are set to return to the Strictly judging panel, alongside Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood, when the new series begins later this year.