Arlene Phillips has apparently been given the boot from Strictly Come Dancing – and former winner Alesha Dixon is being lined up to take her place.
The Sun reports that the 66-year-old choreographer has been axed by BBC bosses, who want Alesha, 30, to inject some youthful glamour into the BBC One show’s ageing panel.
Producers want to sex up Strictly to compete with ITV1’s The X Factor, which is a hit with younger viewers.
If Alesha does come on board, she will be Strictly’s youngest judge: Craig Revel Horwood is 44, Bruno Tonioli is 53, Len Goodman is 65 and host Bruce Forsyth is 81.
A show source said last night: “It’s nothing personal against Arlene — she’s been brilliant.
“But the bosses want to bring in younger viewers – the 16 to 34-year-olds that X Factor mops up.”
The source added that former Mis-Teeq singer Alesha is seen as the ‘perfect replacement’.
Alesha – dubbed the British Beyonce by Bruce Forsyth – won a huge fanbase after winning the 2007 series, beating former EastEnders actor Matt Di Angelo, 22.
The source went on: “Nothing has been signed, but bosses really want Alesha as she has everything they’re looking for.
“She also knows a thing or two about dancing. Strictly can feel a bit old fashioned.”
BBC bosses also plan to bring over more American dancers and sign up some top celebs, who will hopefully create much raunchier routines.