Strictly star Arlene Phillips reveals future on Dancing on Ice panel ahead of show’s return next month

STRICTLY star Arlene Phillips has confirmed that she will not be returning to the Dancing on Ice panel for the next series.

West End legend Arlene, 79, told The Sun that she had not been approached by ITV bosses to take part in the upcoming season.

Arlene Phillips confirmed she won't be returning to Dancing on Ice next series

Arlene Phillips confirmed she won’t be returning to Dancing on Ice next seriesCredit: Rex
The choreographer made a special appearance last season

The choreographer made a special appearance last seasonCredit: Rex
Arlene has teamed up with Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day Campaign

Arlene has teamed up with Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day CampaignCredit: Save the Children

However, the choreographer explained that five permanent judges would be too chaotic and said feedback should be kept short and snappy.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun about returning to the skating show, Arlene said: “No not this year, I think having five judges is actually quite a long process and I personally think you need to keep all of the comments snappy – keep those shows moving along.

“Sometimes I find the physical entertainment and watching the artists is really exciting and then I feel like the judges’ comments should be two sentences, just two sentences, next thank you.

“I don’t think they were going to have five judges this year, it was just a one off, in a way a post-pandemic return.”

Although Arlene won’t be popping up on the skating programme, she will be tuning in.

Arlene, who has teamed up with Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day Campaign, continued: “I can’t wait to watch Dancing on Ice, I love the show and I love watching people speed along on the ice and just grow in their ability.”

Last year, Arlene joined existing judges Ashley Banjo, 34, Jayne Torvill, 65, Christopher Dean, 64, and Oti Mabuse, 32.

She was given the chop from Strictly in 2008 amid suggestions she was too old at 64. At the time she was sharing the panel with Bruno TonioliCraig Revel Horwood and Len Goodman.

The outrage was intensified when the BBC revealed her replacement was former MisTeeq pop star Alesha Dixon, a former Strictly winner who was just 30 at the time and had a fraction of the dance experience.

Arlene was also one of the contestants on I’m A Celebrity last autumn, but was the first star to be voted off the ITV programme in December.

She spent 13 days in the camp at Gwrych Castle, North Wales, where she suffered in the chilly elements but afterwards insisted she had no regrets.

Arlene said: “I’d watched it for so long and it’s about overcoming fear.”

She was named last year as one of the potential names for the judging panel after John Barrowman, 54, was sacked from the show after two series following allegations he exposed himself on other TV shows.

But the full-time judging role went to Oti.

A spokeswoman for ITV said: “We’re looking forward to having Dame Arlene on the show – a very special, special guest for Dancing on Ice.”

Arlene Phillips is supporting Save the Children’s Annual Christmas Jumper Day taking place on Thursday 8th December 2022.

The TV favourite said: “Save the Children does so much to help children all over the world, if we don’t have the support like these charities, we would have a lot more children suffering than we do now.

“This Christmas Jumper campaign is not just about wearing a jumper but it’s about searching for vintage, charity shop jumpers and passing jumpers around.

“I started about 12 years ago, I’m totally committed to charity, I grew up with poverty, we got spending money from aunts and uncles and some of it would go into the charity box.

“I’ve grown up with the opportunity to help others and I feel very lucky that I reached a point where my voice can help someone to escape poverty by really shouting out about charities.”

Since launching a decade ago, Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day has raised over £30 million to help transform the lives of children around the world.

Now, the campaign is set to reach twice as many children as before, thanks to the Government’s Aid Match funding which will double every donation up to £2 million. To sign up, visit link here.

Arlene said five permanent judges would be too many

Arlene said five permanent judges would be too manyCredit: Getty
Save the Children’s Annual Christmas Jumper Day takes place on Thursday 8th December 2022

Save the Children’s Annual Christmas Jumper Day takes place on Thursday 8th December 2022Credit: Save the Children