BBC Strictly Come Dancing star still hasn't 'forgiven' BBC for brutal axe

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-Credit: (Image: BBC)

A former Strictly Come Dancing judge has come to terms with being dropped by the BBC but holds onto some hard feelings, stating she will never 'forgive' the decision.

Arlene Phillips, who served as a judge on the hit dance show from its inception in 2004 until 2008, was replaced by the much younger Alesha Dixon, which at the time led to accusations of ageism. Reflecting on her departure, Phillips remarked: "Accepted but not forgiven.

"Yes, I have moved on. I suppose it is something to rejoice, and I can always remind myself, I was there at the pilot, when nobody ever thought this show was going to be a show. And to be the first female judge, there's a lot of accolades I could give myself."

While discussing the current series, Phillips did not comment directly on Giovanni Pernice's absence or the alleged controversy surrounding his training methods, but she did share her views on the evolution of dance instruction, contrasting today's approaches with the harsher methods of her past: "Dance is tough. Dance is very tough, and learning is tough. But in terms of teaching, we have progressed from the teaching that I suffered when I was young. Teachers with canes."

She added, recalling the strict discipline of her own dance education: "Your ballet teacher had a cane and they weren't afraid of using it, or shouting or screaming, or whatever it may be, the way you learnt to dance was, You have to devote your life to this. And teachers were the rulers of your life because they were the ones that held the key to making you a dancer."

"Over time we have found ways. I was really strict throughout the Hot Gossip days, demanding, but for a long time now, I've taken the approach that everybody has a way of learning, and you try to discover that the way they will learn fastest, and you find a way that they can learn by and work with the way that they learn.", reports the Mirror.

Arlene is currently involved with Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express as the "creative dramaturg". The musical, which has captivated 20 million people globally, has made its comeback to London at the custom-built Starlight Auditorium at Troubadour Wembley Park, with Jeevan Braich starring as Rusty in this train-centric world.

Arlene remarked on Lloyd Webber's dedication, saying: "This show is so of its time. It always was....musically it was driving so many musical genres and again there's more new ideas and it has always been a show that Andrew has never backed off from. He has always found new ways and new ideas to bring into this musical."