Speaking to the press after collecting the gong, Arlene said: “We were never expecting it so it’s the most exciting thing that could have happened.
The pro-celebrity dance contest beat off stiff competition from Dancing On Ice, and Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor, both the brainchild of the music mogul.
Arlene revealed that Simon had admitted to her that he did not want either of his shows to lose out to Strictly.
She said: “He was convinced he was going to win and I said ‘well, don’t worry because we won’t’. And then we did. Good.”
Singer Alesha Dixon, who won Strictly in 2007, added: ‘It was worth winning just to see Simon’s face, it was a picture.”
Simon should have been on top form at the National Television Awards after being honoured with the Special Recognition Award – but he later admitted that Strictly’s win had seriously ‘ruined his night’.
He said: “It’s bad enough losing – but to that lot it’s a nightmare.”
Or CLICK below to watch Arlene Phillips talking about Strictly’s win