Arlene Phillips addresses returning to Strictly after hitting out at show over exit

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Arlene Phillips was an original judge on BBC show Strictly Come Dancing alongside Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood. The 78-year-old’s time on the panel came to an end in 2008 without, she claims, being warned.

There have since been rumours that she could make a return to the judging line-up.

Addressing the ongoing speculation, she said there had been no such talks.

She spilled: “I don’t think for a minute they would ask me, so I wouldn’t even think about it!

“It’s not even on my radar. I only think about things that are possible, not something that isn’t going to happen.”

On whether she still watches Strictly, Arlene said she’s currently too busy for the latest series.

“I will watch it at some point but right now I can’t get invested in it,” she added to OK! Magazine.

The choreographer was succeeded by Alesha Dixon, 42, after she won the show in 2007.

Her exit at the time sparked an ageism and sexism row, as her three male colleagues stayed on the show.

Over a decade later, the dancer has said she wished she “demanded” more answers from producers.

She said: “As a woman I should’ve thought about it. I should’ve demanded why the woman had gone, and three men remained.

“I should have asked them to analyse it. I should have had the strength to at least ask for reasons and if not getting the reasons, a damn well apology.

“But I didn’t have the strength, I didn’t have the will. I was pathetic,” she added on Natalie Anderson’s podcast The Capsule: In Conversation.

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Arlene went on to say she was “in a dark place” after learning she had been replaced.

The BBC has always denied that ageism played any role in her departure.

For now, the ex Strictly judge is preparing to enter the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! camp.

Due to the ongoing travel restrictions, the show will air from Wales’ Gwrych Castle instead of Australia for a second year.

The mother-of-two said her biggest fear is being in a box covered in creepy crawlies.

She added: “My family always laugh at me because they all camp and I’m definitely not a camper!

“My partner went camping when he was a kid and my girls have, and I’m like, ‘No, I’m not lying on that and I’m not going to live in a tent!’”

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! returns tonight at 9pm on ITV.

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