My Celebrity Life

Arlene Phillips ‘invited back to Strictly Come Dancing’ following axe 13 years ago

Arlene Phillips is getting back in the spotlight (Picture: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing legend Arlene Phillips might make her return under the glitter ball this year.

According to reports, the BBC will be looking to capitalise on her rumoured appearance on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here which will start next month.

‘They want her back as a one-off stunt after she’s been with Ant and Dec,’ a TV insider told the Mirror.

‘To have Dame Arlene make a special appearance on Strictly would suggest there’s no bad blood anymore. It would look good after they got rid of her all those years ago.’

Arlene was dumped from the BBC dance competition back in 2009 after serving as a judge for four years.

Former Strictly winner Alesha Dixon was chosen as her replacement, a decision which sparked controversy and accusations of ageism.

At the time, Arlene – who was 66 while Alesha was 30 – admitted that she handled the situation ‘poorly’.

‘You then never forget those moments of turmoil,’ she said.

‘One minute you’re the focus of everyone’s attention, the next you are nowhere and pushed out of the way. It’s very hard to deal with.’

Her potential return this year wouldn’t be her first time back with the show. In 2018 she choreographed a group number for the professional dancers to perform.

‘I did this because this is where my heart lies,’ she explained.

‘I didn’t do this about resolving anything with Strictly. Was it hard for me to say yes? I’ve got to tell you, it was really hard.’

Now 78 years old, Arlene explained last year that she tried to find out more about the reason she was sacked, even sending in a Freedom of Information request.

And while most of it is redacted, ‘looking at the chaotic way that led up to it was shocking,’ she said.

‘They could have given me the chance to resign or build a story around it.’

As well as Strictly and I’m A Celeb, Arlene is also being poised as John Barrowman’s replacement on Dancing on Ice.

The news of his axing came this week and with only a few months until the start of the new series, the show will need to find a replacement soon.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 6.45pm on BBC One.

Credit: Original article published here.

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