Strictly Come Blogging

Louise. Lou. Loulabelle. Loulabelle44. Louby.
Proudly blogging about Strictly Come Dancing ALL YEAR ROUND since 2006. Always spoiler-free.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Support For Team Arlene

The outpouring of support for Arlene Phillips has been nothing short of extraordinary. Here are just some of the comments.

Former Strictly pro Camilla Dallerup in The Mirror: “It’s important to keep older people on programmes like Strictly because it was fantastic to have someone with so much experience. You can’t beat it. I have a lot of respect for Arlene and feel privileged I got to work with her. Everyone will miss her... Alesha has big shoes to fill.”

Presenter Judith Chalmers in The Mirror: “It’s a great shame because Arlene really knew her stuff. Are you going to tell me Alesha Dixon will have that authority? It’s age discrimination and is disgraceful, really... Arlene was entertaining. She could be sarcastic and attacking but that was part of the enjoyment of the programme."

Former Strictly participant Esther Rantzen in The Mirror: "It's odd that a world-renowned choreographer who happens to be an older woman gets axed... I realise they must shake up the show and the judge's panel is the easiest way of doing it. Len Goodman is my Mr Ballroom so you've got to have him. Arlene was the most skilled and admired choreographer among the judges. Bruno Tonioli is the adorable barking lunatic and Craig Revel Horwood is the demon king. If it was me I would have had Arlene and Alesha and then I would have either one of the men - either Bruno or Craig. And I would have picked Bruno to stay. I think it would have been nice to have two men and two women on the show and get rid of one of the male judges."

Former participant Claire King in The Mirror: "If it's an age issue, then why are Len and Bruce still there? If it's about dance then Bruce is an old hoofer and Arlene knows her stuff, so why is Tess Daly there? If they wanted to bring Alesha in, why didn't they have her on as well as Arlene? One thing I'm really pleased about is that at least Craig is still there. He's my favourite!"

Former participant Roger Black in The Mirror: "It's completely unnecessary. She was one of the big reasons behind the success of the show. She gave it credibility and carries a lot of weight in the dance world. And that's gone now... Arlene was a real star on the show. At first she used to flirt a lot with me. But then when I got further in the competition she started to get more serious. The last two weeks were more judgmental. It was then not about how I looked but more how I danced - and that was when I was in trouble!"

Singer Lulu in the California Chronicle: "It's part of the business, it always has been. It's part of the culture at the moment and does go to excess. Being overly obsessed with appearance or youth is crazy. Arlene's a good friend. I say to her, 'just you keep on trucking, girl'."

Presenter Selina Scott in the Daily Mail: "It is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of age. Period. In Arlene's case, replacing a person with someone half her age without excellent reason is prima facie evidence that the BBC has broken the law. Talented, articulate and hugely experienced, Arlene - whose contribution to Strictly Come Dancing has always been first class - has been handed a kind of poor consolation prize [The One Show] if she agrees to go quietly."

Dancer Cleo Rocos in The Mirror: "Arlene really knew her stuff. Having Alesha doing her job is like me going on Top Gear to talk about cars."


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