SHIRLEY Ballas was rocked by a death threat in a letter while she was doing panto.
The vile note featured a picture of Shirley, 60, digging her own grave.
It also said that all Britain hated her. But the tough Strictly judge said her hard upbringing, bullying as a child, and professional knocks helped her cope.
She said: “More recently, a death threat was delivered by hand to where I was appearing in pantomime.
“This one showed a figure of me digging my own grave, with the message, ‘Do you realise how much you are hated?
"The country hates you. How did they ever give a job to someone like you, you old witch’.”
But Wallasey-born Shirley said she took the threat in her stride, adding: “What these people don’t realise is I come from a tough housing estate, and I’ve spent many years being bullied in my industry.
"So I’ve developed an exterior shell as hard as a hob-nailed boot.”
Shirley has also been a target for social media trolls.
But she refuses to hit back at them over fears they may be mentally unstable like her tragic brother David, who hanged himself 17 years ago aged 44 in Liverpool.
She added in her new memoir, Behind The Sequins: “If I can do good for someone by reacting like this, then I feel I’m doing my bit to protect and honour his legacy.
"It’s my way of trying to create something positive out of the biggest sorrow of my life.”
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