Tuesday 25 April 2017

Ex-Strictly judge at centre of ageism row to star in show about getting older

Arlene Phillips, now 73, was replaced on Strictly Come Dancing by Alesha Dixon in 2009, leading to accusations of ageism towards the BBC
Arlene Phillips, now 73, was replaced on Strictly Come Dancing by Alesha Dixon in 2009, leading to accusations of ageism towards the BBC

Arlene Phillips, the choreographer who sparked an ageism row when she was axed from Strictly Come Dancing, has signed up to appear in a BBC show about getting older.

Former BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull, 60, comedy star Maureen Lipman, 70, TV chef Ainsley Harriott, 59, and broadcaster Angela Rippon, 72, are also taking part in the new series.

Each episode of the BBC1 show, broadcast in the mornings across one week, will see a celebrity explore one issue of getting older from their own perspective.

The BBC was accused of ageism after Phillips, 73, was famously dropped from Strictly and replaced by younger star Alesha Dixon in 2009.

In Holding Back The Years, celebrities will choose a topic, such as relationships, health, well-being, pensions or changing appearance, that interests them.

"Through meeting inspirational characters, unearthing long-lost archive clips and visiting places that do amazing work helping the elderly, the series seeks to take an uplifting look at a subject often ignored," the BBC said.

Other new BBC1 daytime titles include quiz show The Boss, hosted by Scottish comedian Susan Calman.

The BBC is also turning the lens on road workers in The A1 Highwaymen, getting builders to pitch for jobs in Getting The Builders In and bringing broken objects "back to life" in BBC2 show The Repair Shop.

Press Association

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