Arlene Phillips ‘kicked, screamed, cried and ate scones’ after ‘strictly’ sacking


Arlene Phillips spoke about being fired from Strictly. (Getty Images)

Dame Arlene Phillips has opened up on the heartbreak of losing her Come dance strictly role of judge, admitting that she spent two days “kicking, screaming, crying and eating scones”.

The 78-year-old choreographer was part of the original line-up of judges for the BBC One show alongside Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood.

Read more: Craig Revel Horwood welcomes Anton Du Beke Strictly jury

But in 2009, she was dropped from the show in favor of singer Alesha Dixon, who had previously appeared on the show, sparking allegations of ageism.

Now Phillips said The mirror of when she was fired: “I gave myself 48 hours of kicking and screaming and crying and sobbing and eating scones with cream and jam, then I woke up and I keep on going.”

Bruno Tonioli, Arlene Phillips, Len Goodman and Craig Revel Horwood on the judges' desk for Strictly Come Dancing.

Arlene Phillips was part of the original Come dance strictly jury. (BBC)

Phillips explained that she had been in a tough spot before as her manager at the time had just passed away, but still doesn’t have an answer as to why she was let go.

She said: “I’m thinking and thinking, ‘Wow, I really didn’t ask the questions I needed to ask. I was very fragile because I had had a bereavement the day before.

Read more: The most scandalous of Bruno Tonioli Strictly moments as he retires from the show

“I wanted to know in detail and I wanted to know the real reason when they decided I was going, but they kept me hooked for so long with the possibility of there being five judges.”

Revel Horwood is now the only member of the original judging lineup still on the show as a Strictly is gearing up to launch its 20th series later this year.

Anton Du Beke and Bruno Tonioli

Anton Du Beke will return but Bruno Tonioli is not back in this series. (BBC/AP)

Former Chief Justice Goodman has resigned to focus on his commitments with the American version Dancing with the stars and was replaced by Shirley Ballas in 2017, despite it being announced earlier this week that Tonioli would not be returning for the next series.

Italian judge Tonioli is also working on Dancing with the stars with Goodman and due to COVID travel restrictions, had only been able to appear via video link for the results show in 2020, while former professional dancer Anton Du Beke replaced him in 2021.

However, Du Beke’s role appears to have been made permanent as he was named to this year’s judging line-up alongside Ballas, Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse.

Watch: Bruno Tonioli leaves Come dance strictly due to the “travel situation”