Shirley Ballas heard the voice of her late brother call out to her on Kilimanjaro

Shirley Ballas reveals she heard the voice of her late brother call out to her when she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro

  • If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org 

Shirley Ballas has revealed she heard the voice of her late brother – who took his own life 17 years ago – call out to her when she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. 

The Strictly Come Dancing judge, 60, was part of a celebrity team who took on the mountain for the Comic Relief charity last year. 

Shirley recalled how she heard the ‘comforting’ voice of David, who she lost in 2003, call out to her as she neared the summit. 

Close to her heart: Shirley Ballas has revealed she heard the voice of her late brother – who took his own life 17 years ago – call out to her on Mount Kilimanjaro

She told the Daily Star: ‘A few days in I suddenly started feeling very panicky, then I was having a nosebleed and starting to vomit. But what came into my mind was worse than anything physical.

‘I couldn’t control my emotions, and I can only assume it was the altitude. It plays tricks on your mind and makes for a very lonely, sad experience. 

‘But something else happened too, which I found immensely comforting. On one of our final days reaching the summit, I distinctly heard my brother talking to me.’ 

Challenge: The Strictly Come Dancing judge, 60, was part of a celebrity team who climbed the mountain for the Comic Relief charity last year

Challenge: The Strictly Come Dancing judge, 60, was part of a celebrity team who climbed the mountain for the Comic Relief charity last year 

Loss: Shirley recalled how she heard the 'comforting' voice of David (pictured), who she lost to suicide in 2013, call out to her as she neared the summit

Loss: Shirley recalled how she heard the ‘comforting’ voice of David (pictured), who she lost to suicide in 2013, call out to her as she neared the summit

The Strictly judge recalled that ‘all he said was “Shirley” but it sounded exactly like him’, she added that it reminded her of why she was doing the climb.  

During the trip NFL star Osi Umenyiora’s quick reflexes saved Shirley’s life on the dangerous climb after she slipped over on a narrow ledge.

Shirley told the publication she would have gone over the edge if he hadn’t caught her by her coat and pulled her up.  

Shirley’s brother David took his own life in December 2003, aged just 44, after a battle with depression.

Last year she recalled the heartbreak of losing him and said she believes her brother David would ‘still be here’ if he’d had somebody to go to as he battled the illness.  

On the Comic Relief show she said: ‘My brother took his own life. You know, he was a young man, 44.

Sad times: Last year she recalled the heartbreak of losing him and said she believes her brother David would 'still be here' if he'd had somebody to go to as he battled the illness

Sad times: Last year she recalled the heartbreak of losing him and said she believes her brother David would ‘still be here’ if he’d had somebody to go to as he battled the illness

‘His partner found him, no note, no letter, no goodbye. I can only imagine 16 years ago, if my brother would have had somewhere to go, someone to talk to, someone to share his feelings… I truly believe in my heart, today, he would still be here.’ 

She added: ‘He was like my brother, my father, my best friend and he was lonely, he felt low. He said like he’d got into a dark hole, he couldn’t get out of.

‘I’d call him on the phone and tell him, ”Come on Dave, you’re going to be fine,” because I was uneducated so that’s why in some ways I blame myself.’  

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.  

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