Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has called for "respect" after receiving hurtful comments on social media.

The head judge, 62, posted on Twitter following the BBC One show's Movie Week special, which saw the exit of Radio 2's Richie Anderson and his partner Giovanni Pernice.

Many fans were baffled by Shirley's comments following Sunday night's dance off, when she said she would have saved Richie over X Factor star Fleur East, despite her receiving all three of her fellow judge's votes to stay in the competition.

Others were also concerned about her "strict" comments towards comedian Ellie Taylor, with her heavily critiquing her footwork compared to other contestants.

However, a number which including abuse were among those received by Shirley.

She wrote: "I have received many apologies over the weekend regarding hurtful messages I’ve received on social media.

"All apologies are accepted and from now on let’s all respect each other and enjoy the show."

The star concluded "Love to you all," with a red heart emoji."

Her actor boyfriend Danny Taylor tweeted in reply: "My girl once again standing up to the bullies. Bullying of any kind shape or has no place in society. With you all the way lovely xx."

Fans were also quick to show their support, with one writing: "For goodness sake it's an entertainment programme people…. stop bullying others on this platform whatever happened to #bekind.

"I'm sorry to hear all the messages sent to you Shirley maybe I didn't agree with your judgement but we all have different opinions and I respect yours."

Another replied: "I say let the haters hate! You are paid to give your professional opinion based on your experience of many years people should never be hurtful or disrespectful because they don't agree with your choices there are ways and means to convey your opinion & hate isn't one of them."

"It’s an entertainment show so anyone being hurtful or negative really needs to look at what is going on in their lives," wrote a third.

Saturday night's Movie Week special saw Kiss FM DJ Tyler West and partner Dianne Buswell storm to the top of the leaderboard with a cheeky Charleston.

The duo also won the first 10s of the series, with one of them coming from head judge Shirley.

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