Shirley Ballas’ father, George Andrew Rich – known as Andy – has passed away suddenly aged 83.
The Strictly Come Dancing judge, 60, revealed the sad news over Instagram on Sunday as she shared fond memories and a series of pictures of them together.
She paid tribute to her father’s wife of over 40 years, Liz, who she described as ‘the love of his life’ and admitted she was struggling to ‘find the right words’ in her grief.
Sad news: Shirley Ballas revealed on Sunday that her father, George Andrew Rich – known as Andy – has passed away ‘suddenly’ aged 83
Shirley wrote: ‘With sadness and a heavy heart my father George Andrew Rich fondly known as Andy, has passed away suddenly.
‘My heart goes out to his wife Liz the love of his life who was with him for over 40 years and to all who knew him.
‘It’s hard to find the right words at this moment, my father lost two sons in his lifetime and I hope you can all find each other in the after life.
‘So many things left unsaid, RIP Dad you will be missed but not forgotten.’
Family: The Strictly Come Dancing judge, 60, paid tribute as she shared fond memories of them together on Instagram, as she beamed in the snaps along with other family members
In the pictures she shared on her page, the Strictly star beamed with her late father and other family members.
Shirley was born in Wallasey in the north of England, to parents Audrey and George, and her father left home when she was two years old.
She reconnected with him following the death of her brother David, who took his own life aged 44, in 2003, after a battle with depression.
In a previous interview with the Radio Times, she revealed: ‘My dad wasn’t part of my life until David died, when we grew closer. Now I love him to bits.’
Tragedy: Shirley’s father left home when she was two but she reconnected with him following the death of her brother David, who took his own life aged 44, in 2003
Grieving: She paid tribute to her father’s wife of over 40 years, Liz, who she described as ‘the love of his life’ and admitted she was struggling to ‘find the right words’ in her grief
Shirley has had a tough few weeks as she recently got COVID-19, despite getting the vaccine back in February.
The dancer is now in her seventh week of her recovery and has revealed she’s been feeling so ‘exhausted’ since getting coronavirus that she now has to go to bed at 7pm.
Speaking on BBC’s Morning Live which she guest hosted last week, Shirley said: ‘Lots of people recovering from COVID, including myself, feel tired.
‘I’ve had it for weeks, I’m going into week six. I’m normally a sprightly person going morning until night.
‘I’m exhausted, I’m tired. And sometimes by seven o’clock, to be quite honest, I just have to go to bed.’
Tough: The Strictly judge is in recovery from COVID-19, but the virus has left her ‘tired’ and needing to go to sleep much earlier than she used to (pictured getting vaccine in February)
On the show Dr Vanessa Apea advised Shirley to speak to her GP if the tiredness ‘persists for longer, getting up to three months’, and told her to ‘be kind to herself’ during her recovery.
Shirley admitted she has been ‘worrying’ about ‘keeping moving’, but she now plans to take it easy.
She added: ‘I think a key there is ‘be kind to yourself’.
‘I’m always worrying about keeping moving, but I think that – be kind, take it easy.’
In February, Shirley had the first of her coronavirus jabs, and she encouraged people ‘young and old and everyone in between’ to take the vaccine.
Health: In February, Shirley had the first of her coronavirus jabs, and she encouraged people ‘young and old and everyone in between’ to take the vaccine
She said: ‘At last my turn has come to get my vaccine. I’m totally impressed with my clinic. Straight in, totally organised helpful in every way possible.
‘A little quick jab didn’t hurt at all. Friendly atmosphere with everyone on the same journey. I urge everyone young and old and everyone in between to take the vaccine. If we all do this together we can get back to some sort of normality We are all in this together.’
Last month Shirley admitted she turned to her counsellor for support after being inundated with messages from people struggling with their mental health during lockdown.
Honest: Speaking on BBC’s Morning Live which she guest hosted on Friday, Shirley said: ‘Lots of people recovering from COVID, including myself, feel tired’
The judge returned to therapy in 2020 after feeling ‘overwhelmed’ while writing her warts-and-all memoir, Behind The Sequins: My Life.
And she admits to using her sessions for advice on how to help others after receiving a flurry of desperate messages from followers across social media.
Appearing on Morning Live, she explained: ‘Some are kind of in a bad place, they can’t handle lockdown, they become suicidal and one thing after another.
‘So I thought that I would get some more counselling, to learn some more tools, put my own feelings aside and then try to help the other people who are direct messaging me, which I love by the way, and I feel I’ve steered many people in the right direction.’
Lockdown life: The judge returned to therapy in 2020 after feeling ‘overwhelmed’ while writing her warts-and-all memoir (pictured together with boyfriend Danny Taylor)