BBC Strictlys Arlene Phillips could return 14 years after being axed, says AI

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    Arlene Phillips could be heading back to Strictly Come Dancing 14 years after her brutal axe, AI has claimed.

    The pro dancer, 80, was a firm favourite on the glitzy BBC One show. Arlene first joined programme in 2004 as part of the panel alongside Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli.

    However, she was dropped from the panel when she was 66 in 2009 and replaced by then 30-year-old Alesha Dixon. The shock move sparked allegations of ageism against the BBC who received more than 1,350 complaints.

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    Since then, Alesha has left the show and the likes of Shirley Ballas and former show dancer Anton Du Beke have become a judge. As for Arlene, she’s gone to star in several TV shows, and had a stint on I’m A Celebrity back in 2021.

    But now, 14 years after her shock axe, it’s been claimed Shirley could be returning to strictly-come-dancing>Strictly Come Dancing. Daily Star has quizzed one of the world’s most popular artificially intelligent “creative” tools Bard AI to see if Arlene could come back to the show as a judge.

    The program responded: “It is possible that Arlene Phillips could return to Strictly Come Dancing in the future. She has been a vocal supporter of the show since leaving in 2009, and she has said that she would be open to returning in some capacity.”

    Bard AI then listed “a few reasons” why Beeb bosses might bring her back to the glitzy show. It explained: “She is a highly experienced and respected dancer and choreographer and has been working in the industry for over 50 years. Her expertise would be a valuable asset to the show.”

    Another reason is: “The BBC has been working to address the issue of ageism on its shows. In recent years, the broadcaster has made a conscious effort to hire more older presenters and judges. Bringing Phillips back to Strictly would be a positive step in this direction.”

    However, Bard AI did note there are “some reasons” why a return to Strictly might not be on the cards for Arlene. The system said: “She has said that she was left feeling "hurt" and "betrayed" after she was axed from the show in 2009. She may also be concerned about the demands of the job, as Strictly is a very time-consuming show.”

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    When Arlene first heard that she had been given the boot from Strictly, the dance revealed she “kicked, screamed and sobbed.” During an interview with The Mirror in 2022, she revealed that she still doesn't know the reason behind the decision to drop her from the show.

    Speaking about when she found out, she said: "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."

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    • Bbc
    • Strictly Come Dancing
    • Arlene Phillips

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