Arlene Phillips on Loose Women

Former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips admits she hasn’t ‘forgiven’ sad show axing

Arlene was a judge until 2008

Former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips has opened up about never forgiving producers for axing her from the show.

The 81-year-old choreographer first became a judge on the show during its first series in 2004 and remained until 2008. She was replaced by former Mis-Teeq star Alesha Dixon, who won the glitterball trophy in 2007.

Arlene Phillips on Loose Women
Arlene was axed from Strictly after 2008 (Credit: YouTube)

Arlene Phillips has ‘accepted but not forgiven’ sacking

When Arlene was replaced by Alesha, who was 30 at the time, there were a lot of allegations associated with ageism. Alesha at the time also faced backlash.

Over 15 years since being axed, Arlene told the Mirror that she had “Accepted but not forgiven” the show.

“Yes, I have moved on. I suppose it is something to rejoice, and I can always remind myself, I was there at the pilot, when nobody ever thought this show was going to be a show,” she continued.

Arlene also takes huge pride that she was Strictly’s “first female judge,” while adding, “There’s a lot of accolades I could give myself.”

Arlene Phillips smiling
Arlene avoids question about Giovanni Pernice investigation (Credit:

‘Dance is very tough’

When asked about the ongoing investigation with Giovanni Pernice and the celeb partners who have accused him of “threatening and abusive” behaviour, Arlene said she couldn’t comment.

However, she added: “Dance is tough. Dance is very tough, and learning is tough. But in terms of teaching, we have progressed from the teaching that I suffered when I was young. Teachers with canes.”

“Your ballet teacher had a cane and they weren’t afraid of using it, or shouting or screaming, or whatever it may be, the way you learnt to dance was, You have to devote your life to this. And teachers were the rulers of your life because they were the ones that held the key to making you a dancer.”

Read more: Dame Arlene Phillips fans congratulate her as she has the last laugh after brutal Strictly axe

Dame Arlene Phillips Remembers Len Goodman & Celebrates Life at 80 | Loose Women

So what do you think of this story? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix  and let us know.

Fabio Magnocavallo
Freelance Writer