Ex-Strictly judge Arlene Phillips reveals her favourite word, fears and celebrity crush
26th July 2020

FORMER Strictly judge Arlene Phillips, 77, has choreographed movies and was awarded a CBE in 2013.

She reveals her favourite word, fear and celebrity crush.

What is your favourite word?

Damn! In a loud voice.

What scares you the most? 

Being in a box underground covered in worms and cockroaches, like they do on I’m A Celebrity!

What is your worst habit?

Tidying up when people don’t want me to. 

Who is the love of your life?

Right now, my beautiful 18-month-old granddaughter, Lila.

Who would you invite to a dinner party?

Gene Kelly, Tamara Rojo [English National Ballet’s artistic director], Ed Watson [ballet dancer] and Cyd Charisse [American dancer]. And Sam Smith. 

Who makes you laugh the most?

La Voix. He’s one of these amazing super-duper drag queens, and is hilarious. 

What makes you angry?


What good will come out of lockdown? 

I’ve been with my partner [Angus Ion, 59] for 35 years, and this is the longest time I’ve ever spent alone with him. It’s great! 

All-time favourite movie?

West Side Story.

Favourite TV show as a child?

Six-Five Special. That was the song and dance entertainment of the time. 

What is your earliest memory?

I was about three when my dad came home with a beautiful tin filled with chocolates. I hadn’t had chocolate before, and I’ll always remember it.

What possession would you rescue from a burning building?

My notebook. It holds the key to my life. 

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?

I would start my life again and live it a different way. I never felt pretty. Why did I feel that I was so hopeless? I would go back and embrace who I was. 

What song would you have played at your funeral?

Elton John’s I’m Still Standing. 

What is top of your bucket list?

To spend more time with my two beautiful daughters [Abi, 29, and Alana, 41], whenever I want to, without any fear of Covid. 

Who is your celebrity crush?

David Tennant. I think he is just amazing.

How often do you have sex?

Lots right now – I’ve got so much time! 

What is the worst pain you’ve experienced?

I was working as a dancer on the This Is Tom Jones TV show in the early ’70s, and I jumped off a table badly during the final rehearsal. The pain in my back was searing. I had to do the real show an hour later. I couldn’t dance for two months after that.

What are your best and worst qualities?

Being loving, giving and supportive, but also being quite dominant.

Most famous person on your phone?

Andrew Lloyd Webber.

What’s been your greatest achievement?

The career that I’ve built coming from a poverty-stricken childhood in Manchester. There was no way I could have seen this coming. It’s been a battle and a struggle, but I did it. 

● Arlene supports the Cats Protection Hands-Free Homing online adoption scheme (Cats.org.uk).

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