Ex Strictly judge Arlene Phillips on Anton Du Bekes permanent role

Arlene Phillips on ‘love-hate’ relationship with dance

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Arlene Phillips, 79, sat on the Strictly Come Dancing panel alongside Len Goodman and Craig Revel Horwood from 2004 until 2009 and still shares her firm support for the BBC dance show. As the dancer discussed her partnership with Wiltshire Farm Foods, Express.co.uk asked Arlene what she thought of Anton Du Beke’s permanent role on the judging panel.

Knows what he is talking about!

Arlene Phillips

Anton took a permanent role on the judging panel this year alongside Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas.

This comes after he covered for Bruno Tonioli last year when he took a break from the show due to travel limitations as he continued to judge on the US series Dancing With the Stars.

Arlene was replaced on the BBC dance show in 2009 by Alesha Dixon.

Express.co.uk asked Arlene what she thought about Anton’s permanent judging role on the show.

She revealed: “Oh I always thought Anton would make a good judge. He really knows what he is talking about.”

Arlene then touched on Bruno’s departure from the hit show after being on it since the beginning.

She said: “Bruno leaving was sad but I don’t think he was sad.

“I think all that travelling every week is a lot and I think there’s a time where it gets too much, especially travelling with that uncertainty in the pandemic.”

Arlene has previously opened up about her shock departure from the show.

She told The Mirror last year: “I gave myself 48 hours to kick, scream, cry and sob, and eat scones with cream and jam, then I made myself wake up and get on with it.

“I reflect and think, ‘Wow, I really didn’t ask the questions I needed to ask’. I was very fragile because I had a bereavement the day before [her manager died].

“I wanted to know in detail and I wanted to know the real reason at the point when they decided for me to go, yet they kept me hanging on for so long with the possibility that there would be five judges.”

Despite her axing from the show, Arlene has continued with her dance career, choreographing countless films, commercials, and West End and Broadway productions.

Arlene has currently partnered up with Wiltshire Farm Foods who are making dreams come true for those aged 55+ as they nominate themselves for something stipulating, with Arlene then picking the best ones.

The older generation are being encouraged to tick off items from their bucket list with this new opportunity, that some might have had there for decades.

Speaking about the campaign, Arlene said: “There is so much to do and see and it’s about time we all got out there to do it.

“It’s about how you feel inside, not what your age dictates. “After all, age is just a number! We’re seeing more and more mature adults going above and beyond to achieve the goals they want in life – from cage diving with sharks, to skydives, and other crazy activities!

“I’d love to see more people live out their lifelong dreams in their mature years and embrace the freedom that older age brings, and that’s why I’m working with Wiltshire Farm Foods to launch the Wishlist Fund. Life is for living, so live it”

The Wishlist Fund is viewed via www.wiltshirefarmfoods.com/wishlist-fund and is open for 2 weeks, closing 25th October 2022.

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