I'm A Celebrity: How old is Arlene Phillips and is she a Dame?

by 24britishtvNov. 21, 2021, 10 p.m. 17
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Arlene Phillips is one of the celebrities we will be watching get to grips with Welsh castle life this year as I’m A Celebrity gets underway.

The former Strictly Come Dancing judge is one of 10 stars set to undertake gruelling trials and meagre rations in the show’s 2021 line-up, alongside stars including Richard Madeley, Olympian Matty Lee, Naughty Boy and Frankie Bridge.

Arlene has already made history as the oldest campmate to enter the show, taking the title from Stanley Johnson, who was 77 when he competed.

Just how old is Arlene? Here’s what you need to know…

How old is Arlene Phillips?

Arlene was born on May 22, 1943, making her 78 years old.

The star began her choreography and dance career in the 1950s, working at the Italia Conti Stage School and tPineapple Dance Studios before moving into stage and music video work.

Famously, she formed the dance troupe Hot Gossip in 1974, and worked as their director and choreographer.

Arlene’s age made headlines in 2009 when at the age of 66, she was replaced by Alesha Dixon, then 30, as a judge on Strictly after five series.

The BBC was accused of ageism, with even then Minister for Women and Equality Harriet saying that Arlene being dropped was motivated by age discrimination in the House of Commons.

However, the BBC always denied that her age had anything to do with the decision, and since then, Arlene has admitted she wishes she had given the channel a harder time.

She said: ‘As a woman I should’ve thought about it, I should’ve demanded why the woman had gone, and three men remain.

‘I should have asked them to analyse it. I should have had the strength to at least ask for reasons and if not getting the reasons, a damn well apology.’

Arlene was awarded a damehood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year for her services to dance and charity.

She told Sky News: ‘I actually heard about it from a letter that I received and the letter was handed to me by my PA, who asked if she could come and see me … I had no idea why.

‘I said, “Well, if you’re going to come over, you can stay for dinner.” Then, the news was broken and I saw it in writing and I was gobsmacked – I couldn’t believe it.’

She previously received an OBE in 2001 and a CBE in 2013.

MORE : Janette Manrara confirmed to host Strictly Come Dancing’s live arena tour in 2022 and teases return to the dancefloor

MORE : I’m A Celebrity 2021: Full line-up of celebs as stars from Richard Madeley to Frankie Bridge reveal fears and head into castle

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