CelebrityDan WoottonGamesTV & Showbiz

Strictly’s Shirley Ballas says Comic Relief Kilimanjaro climb left her bleeding, vomiting and talking to her dead brother

Strictly's Shirley Ballas says Comic Relief Kilimanjaro climb left her bleeding, vomiting and talking to her dead brother

STRUGGLING with extreme altitude sickness at over 12,000ft  as she climbed to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the doubts that  have plagued Shirley Ballas for years got here flooding back.

Then, as she went  into another panic attack, Strictly Come Dancing’s head decide began to hear a voice talking to her. Loud and clear.

 Strictly legend Shirley Ballas talks to Dan Wootton about her hazardous climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief

DYMOND

Strictly legend Shirley Ballas talks to Dan Wootton about her hazardous climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief

It was her beloved brother David, who took his own life 15 years in the past aged just 44 — the person who impressed her to make the life-threatening trek to increase funds for Comic Relief.

Talking about her powerful supernatural expertise for the first time, the 58-year-reveals: “I used to be having panic attacks. My nostril started to bleed. I was vomiting. And then my mind and senses lost control.

“You possibly can’t management the ­feelings. I used to be crying over David, I used to be blaming myself.

“I was going back by way of all of the years in my life, I was considering I’m not worthy.

 On one occasion during the climb, former politician and Strictly contestant Ed Balls nearly sent her tumbling down the mountainside

Chris Jackson / Getty for Comic Relief

On one event in the course of the climb, former politician and Strictly contestant Ed Balls almost sent her tumbling down the mountainside

“Every negative emotion I ever had in my life, whether it be the husbands who were not great to me, or David, or my father, were all coming on that mountain. And I can only put it down to the altitude. It plays tricks on your mind.”

However Shirley was impressed to get to the top with eight fellow celebrities due to David.

She recollects: “Someday once we have been climbing actually fairly far up, due to the altitude I felt I might hear my brother talking to me.

“I was overwhelmed with  how tired I was. You start to become disorientated. I felt I could hear my brother going, ‘Shirley’. It was really strange. But I had to remember I was doing this for David  and anybody who’s got mental health issues.”

Having climbed the summit after a torturous 16-hour night-time climb, Shirley spent a while walking on her own with a information when she acquired a sign that David was pleased with her achievement.

 Dani Dyer and Shirley cook breakfast for the climbing team

Getty – Contributor

Dani Dyer and Shirley prepare dinner breakfast for the climbing workforce

She says: “When David was alive I had a butterfly tattooed on my back because once I acquired divorced from (ex-husband of 23 years) Corky, my brother stated it represents freedom.

“Once we came down the hill and I parted from everyone else, the most important orange butterfly flew round me, landed on me and left.

“I know it sounds weird, Dan, but it was a moment.”

While physically fit and despite being the oldest celeb on the climb, Shirley was not emotionally prepared for the gruelling week-long trek to the top of Africa’s highest peak.

 Extracts from Shirley's diary

Extracts from Shirley’s diary

There have been even two near-death experiences on the ­journey, where she was saved by fellow superstar climber Osi Umenyiora, 37, the sports pundit and ex-NFL participant.

Shirley recollects: “We had to climb the mountain, which is shaped like a nipple, and you possibly can die.

“The ledges were the size of my foot. I slipped and Osi, who is 6ft 4in and an NFL player, had me by the back of my neck, pulling me up to save me. You couldn’t describe it to people because you wouldn’t believe it. You had to be there.”

There was another occasion when former politician and Strictly contestant Ed Balls almost took her out.

She explains: “I was in front, Osi was behind and Ed was behind him. And it was fairly a drop of three ft to get to the subsequent ledge.

“Ed slipped and fell and rolled partly down the hill and he hit Osi so he didn’t hit me.

Keith Lemon takes a glance spherical Shirley Ballas’ lavish LA house on By means of The Keyhole
 All the members of the group reached the summit because, Shirley believes, they supported each other

Chris Jackson / Getty for Comic Relief

All of the members of the group reached the summit because, Shirley believes, they supported one another

“If that had been me in front and Ed had fallen, I’d have gone down that mountain.”

Shirley realised what she was in for after landing in Tanzania and starting a five-hour trek by way of dense forest to the mountain because it started to bucket down with rain.

She says: “I’m paranoid about mosquitoes. I didn’t need to get malaria so I was already taking malaria drugs. We received to this first base camp. Oh my God, this was my first ­meltdown on the primary day.

“The bottom was simply thick with mud, it was just slush, they announce that there’s tree rats in all the timber surrounding the camp.

“So it’s cold, it’s wet, there’s tree rats, we’ve got security guards with AK-40s or some sort of machine gun protecting the camp. So my mind is now working overtime.”

In the event you’re consuming 4 litres of water and you’re 58 years of age, you could have to pee. I didn’t care on the finish of the day who noticed my bum

Shirley Ballas

Shirley was sleeping alone in a small tent however there was ­definitely no room for the showbiz comforts she is used to on Strictly, despite the fact that cameras adopted their journey for a primetime BBC1 particular next week. She says: “This wasn’t about glamour. None of us had make-up on. After I washed my hair on the first day, that was it for me. I simply put it in a knot and it by no means acquired washed until I received residence.

“On Twitter one woman stated, ‘I’ve seen corpses that look better than Shirley.’

I noticed the image she was talking about that Comic Relief had posted and I assumed, ‘Well yeah, she’s obtained some extent.’

“But I don’t assume it’s a really nice factor to say once I’m making an attempt to go out there to make something good on the earth.

“This is a cause that’s close to my heart and will help people that are severely depressed.”

The other celebs making the strenuous climb ten years since it was first executed for Comic Relief have been Pointless host Alexander Armstrong, 49, Little Combine members Jade Thirlwall, 26, and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, 27, BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker, 41, Love Island’s Dani Dyer, 22, and telly host Anita Rani, 41.

 Talking of the climb, Shirley confesses: 'I was having panic attacks. My nose started to bleed. I was vomiting. And then my mind and senses lost control'

Handout – Getty

Talking of the climb, Shirley confesses: ‘I was having panic assaults. My nose began to bleed. I was vomiting. After which my mind and senses misplaced management’

The staff, who were not associates earlier than the mission, bonded shortly, even turning into conscious of one another’s rest room habits.

“If you want to go to the bathroom, even though you’ve got this thin piece of material on little porta-potties, you can still hear people and noise. You’ve all got to get used to it,” Shirley sighs.

“Whenever you start strolling for 16 hours, there isn’t a potty so you could have to go behind a rock. And that is the place these 4 gents that have been travelling with us — I call them my Kili husbands — have been so gracious.

“They might find us a spot then turn their heads if one of many women needed to pee or one thing like that.

“And in the end you just didn’t care. If you’re drinking four litres of water and you’re 58 years of age, you have to pee. I didn’t care at the end of the day who saw my bum.”

Chris Jackson / Getty for Comic Relief

Shirley also suffered from insomnia on the trek as a result of she wasn’t prepared for the modest sleeping arrangements, explaining: “It was tents the entire approach. I assumed there’d be little lodges someplace or shacks.

“I showed the women how to wash because growing up on a housing estate, water was too costly so I’d have two inches of water every single day that I’d use to wash in.

“But I didn’t sleep. The doctor wouldn’t give me anything — no pills, nothing.”

Much of the trek to the summit was carried out in freezing circumstances within the “pitch black” midnight.

“All you’ll be able to see is that this individual’s footwear in front of you. They miss their footing, you miss your footing, it’s like a knock-on effect.

 Cheryl Tweedy and Fearne Cotton collapsed while trying to reach the peak in 2009

AFP

Cheryl Tweedy and Fearne Cotton collapsed while making an attempt to reach the height in 2009

“You have to be so careful when you’re walking up,” Shirley explains. Regardless of the huge age difference, the youthful females on the journey — together with Little Mixers Leigh-Anne and Jade — weren’t divas. Shirley says: “I name them my Kili daughters. You already know, there wasn’t one diva.

“You understand if you go into a room there’s all the time anyone that thinks they’re better than any person else.

“The girls don’t have the wisdom as to what to say like the older people, but they would just come and give you a cuddle.”

All of the members of the group reached the summit because, Shirley believes, they supported one another. She says: “Not one spot of hassle all week. Even the one who was the slowest, which was Jade, we put her on the front.

“The whole trip Osi and I were landing at the camp an hour and a half before most of the other people. But on that last night to land together we had to work as a team, so we put her forward.”

 Dani Dyer and Shirley bond with a mountain selfie

Chris Jackson / Getty for Comic Relief

Dani Dyer and Shirley bond with a mountain selfie

Shirley additionally shaped a singular bond with Labour politician turned wannabe dancer Balls, saying: “My cuddles with Ed at the end of the evening were priceless. He took me on his knee and gave me a cuddle.”

Shirley, who continues to be affected by migraines since her return, hopes the group will increase £2.5million for charity, some of which can be donated to mental well being charities she supports.

All of them donated their time free of charge, she insists.

She is about to fly to the US to sell her residence there as she prepares for a full-time move to the UK, the place she is going to re-join her fellow judges on Strictly later this yr.

“Once I get back then I’m home for good then. We’re all definitely going back to Strictly too. I’m willing for a shilling,” she smiles.

Shirley might be hoping her dramatic Kili climb raises a bit greater than that.

 Shirley in her natural environment

Handout

Shirley in her natural setting

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