Wednesday 21 February 2018

Arlene Phillips would consider filling shoes of 'tired' Strictly judge Len

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips has said she would consider returning to the show to replace head judge Len Goodman
Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips has said she would consider returning to the show to replace head judge Len Goodman

Arlene Phillips has said she would consider a return to Strictly Come Dancing to replace "grumpy" outgoing judge Len Goodman.

The choreographer, who was a member of the original judging panel between 2004 and 2009, said she was not surprised Goodman was leaving after he appeared "tired" and "irritated" on the BBC show.

She told the Press Association: "I think Len for a while has been hopping there and back to America. I'm not surprised. I think he's had enough.

"Actually on the last couple of series sometimes, I know everyone calls him grumpy, but oh my goodness! He really has let the fact that he is tired or irritated show. That's what everyone loves about him."

Asked who should replace Goodman, Phillips replied: "Me, of course. Who else?

"The BBC will do what they want. Anton (Du Beke) has been suggested. He'd be a lot of fun.

"It's not as easy judging. It's not just about knowledge of Ballroom and Latin. There's so much involved, with the professionals, with the celebrities, with the entertainment. I think you have to be able to deliver both really well."

Phillips, 73, who was speaking at the 10th anniversary of Cirque Du Soleil's The Beatles Love show in Las Vegas, said Dermot O'Leary's return as a presenter on the X Factor had made her consider a comeback on rival show Strictly.

"It's the first time I ever thought about it," she said. "I just went 'You know people can go back'. We'll see."

The BBC has said it is too early to comment on speculation about who will replace Goodman for the 2017 series.

The 72-year-old has led the judging panel since the programme started 12 years ago, as well as appearing as a judge on the American version of the show, Dancing With The Stars.

Goodman will be joined on his final Strictly series this autumn by fellow judges Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood, as well as presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman.

Judge Darcey Bussell has backed Anton Du Beke to fill Goodman's soon-to-be vacant seat.

She said the job should go to a professional dancer, rather than a former contestant.

According to the Daily Mirror, former Royal Ballet principal dancer Bussell told a forum in London: "I think Anton would love it. He has done a lot on television already.

"And he is a great technician with everything he has to give as well."

Du Beke will turn 50 next week. He and Brendan Cole, 40, are the only two remaining original Strictly Come Dancing professionals, having starred in the show since it launched in 2004.

Bussell, 47, said following in Goodman's footsteps will be "very difficult" because he has a "great personality".

But she added: "There are many professional ballroom and Latin dancers who could fill that space."

Press Association

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