Shirley Ballas emotional after completing 700ft wing walk for suicide prevention

Shirley Ballas appeared to be overcome with emotion as she completed a wing walk in a bid to raise awareness and funds for a suicide prevention charity.

The Strictly Come Dancing judge, 62, reached new heights on Thursday as she soared to 700ft in the air while strapped to the top of a propeller plane which took off from Headcorn airfield in Ashord, Kent.

After completing the challenge, she was embraced by her partner Daniel Taylor as she appeared to wipe away tears from her eyes.

Shirley Ballas wing walk

Shirley Ballas is embraced by Daniel Taylor after completing her wing walk at 700ft in the Skyathlon challenge (Yui Mok/PA)

Following the wing walk, Ballas told the PA news agency: “That was difficult and tough. I had to mentally be in a strong place to even climb up on the plane, never mind be strapped to it. But I’m so glad I did it.”

Ballas has now completed two out of three parts of her Skyathlon challenge after she flew through the sky on the world’s fastest zipline across Penrhyn Quarry in North Wales on Tuesday.

Her final task will see her jump out of a plane 13,000ft above ground as she skydives across Peterborough on Saturday.

Shirley Ballas wing walk

Shirley Ballas is raising funds for the charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), after losing her brother to suicide (Yui Mok/PA)

Asked how she feels about jumping out of the plane, she added: “This whole week has been quite terrifying for me, but I will do it because I have promised to do it for everybody and all of their loved ones, but the thought of jumping out of an aeroplane at 13,000ft, with a 2,000ft freefall … all I keep thinking about is will the parachute open?

“So, I’m a bit nervous about that, actually I’m very nervous!”

The professional dancer has taken on the trio of challenges in support of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

Shirley Ballas wing walk

The Strictly Come Dancing judge reached new heights on Thursday as she soared to 700ft in the air while strapped to the top of a propeller plane (Yui Mok/PA)

She previously said she became an ambassador for the charity as she “wanted to do more” for her brother who took his own life around 20 years ago.

Ballas is a ballroom dancer, teacher and adjudicator, and is known for being the head judge on the BBC dance competition show Strictly, which is a platform she uses to further the discussion around mental health.

She hopes that her Skyathlon challenge will raise around £200,000 for Calm, which runs lifesaving services, including a 24-hour helpline and webchat.