Arlene Phillips “threatens to go to ITV”

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips is said to be “high on ITV’s wish-list” after being given the boot from the BBC1 show.

The News Of The World reports that the 66-year-old is “shell-shocked” after being replaced on the next series of the show by former winner Alesha Dixon.

“It’s terrible,” she said. “I did a great job for them but now they don’t want me because I don’t have the right look.”

The BBC has said that Arlene will be joining The One Show as Strictly correspondent throughout its 14-week run.

However a source close to her told the paper, “Arlene has made no commitment to the BBC.”

“They’ve been desperate to sign her up to do a Strictly commentary spot on The One Show and Breakfast.

“But she’s considering her future and a lot of new TV offers – including ITV shows – that have been flooding in now people know she’s back on the market.

“She’s not going to be tied up with Strictly. And she’s not going to sign any exclusive deal with the BBC that will stop her working for other people.”

The insider added that Arlene had not committed to The One Show despite the BBC’s announcement in July.

“Arlene is high on ITV’s wish list,” the source revealed.

“They’ve just poached Andrew Lloyd Webber from the BBC and now they want to do the same with her. At the time she agreed in principle to do The One Show but she hasn’t agreed any other deal and right now everyone else wants her too. She’s going to have to consider a lot.”

The BBC has received more than 1,500 complaints from viewers over the decision to drop Arlene from Strictly.

As well as Alesha – who won the series in 2008 – the panel will be joined by ballet dancer Darcey Bussell.

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