Strictly Come Dancing bosses are in secret talks to bring Arlene Phillips back to the show in a new role, according to the Sunday Mirror.

The paper reports that producers plan to offer Phillips the job of choreographing dances in at least one of the final shows later in the series.

And this would mean she would be back in the studio, in the front row of the live studio audience.

There’s a massive buzz about the idea of bringing her back,” a source said. “We’ve always seen Arlene as part of the Strictly family and, knowing how popular she is among the show’s fans, we have been looking at ways to bring her back in.”

There is also speculation that Phillips will be used as an extra judge alongside ballerina Darcey Bussell for the show’s grand final in December.

The news comes amid reports that this Friday’s show had around one million fewer viewers than last Friday’s series opener, following a backlash against new judge Alesha Dixon.

Phillips has so far made no comment on Dixon’s judging abilities, which have been panned by thousands of viewers, but said, “It’s very hard for Alesha. The judges had worked together for six series and she is new.”

Phillips is currently appearing on The One Show as a Strictly correspondent, and has been snapped up as a judge for the BBC’s forthcoming So You Think You Can Dance, a remake of the US hit show.