Dame Arlene Phillips might be finest identified for being one of many authentic judges on Strictly Come Dancing, however what many will not realise is she’s been an internationally famend choreographer, theatre director, expertise scout, and dancer for over 40 years. Arlene’s spectacular profession in showbusiness has seen her choreograph music movies for A-list artists, create trailblazing dance acts, and direct spectacular theatre exhibits on each side of the Atlantic. The proud mum and grandmother is displaying no indicators of slowing down both, and can quickly be swapping the brilliant lights of theatreland for the darkish and dingy Gwrych Fortress in Wales, to participate within the newest collection of I am A Celeb. At 78, Arlene will grow to be the oldest contestant within the present’s historical past, however someway we do not reckon she’ll be too phased by all of the rats and cockroaches.Listed below are a couple of information you won’t find out about Arlene…1. Arlene Phillips was bitten by the dancing bug earlyArlene’s job could also be loads of glitz and glamour, however her upbringing could not have been extra completely different. Born in Prestwich, Manchester, in 1943, to working-class mother and father, Arlene is the center little one of three (she has an older brother, Ian, and a youthful sister, Karen), and rising up cash was briefly provide. Each Arlene’s mum and pa have been large followers of ballet, and it was throughout a household outing she first fell in love with dance. Talking on Giovanna Fletcher’s podcast Pleased Mum, Pleased Child, about that pivotal second, Arlene recalled: “My mother and father had taken all three of us to the Free Commerce Corridor in Manchester to see a Russian dance live performance that had all completely different sorts of dancing – from Georgian dancing to classical dancers from the Bolshoi. We have been sitting proper on the again, I feel I used to be 4 years previous, and I fell in love with ballet. From then on all I needed to do was dance.” There have been no funds for ballet college, so Arlene needed to wait till she was eight when her uncle paid for her to attend courses at an area church corridor. However together with her mum unable to afford the basic pale pink ballet footwear, she needed to make do with a less expensive brilliant emerald inexperienced pair. Regardless of her embarrassment at being the odd one out, steely Arlene vowed to rise above it: “I knew it was going to be my final likelihood, I needed to dance, so I caught it out in my inexperienced ballet footwear.”2. Scorching Gossip made her a family nameArlene made the transfer to London in her early twenties, the place she started instructing dance and helped begin up the legendary Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Backyard. And it was after being struck with an concept to mix American fashionable jazz with the fashion of dancing that was seen in nightclubs on the time, Arlene created the dance troupe, Scorching Gossip, handpicking college students from her personal courses. With their attractive strikes and flesh-baring costumes, Arlene’s group have been initially deemed too raunchy for tv, however lastly received their huge break after they have been invited to seem on The Kenny Everett Present in 1978. In an interview with The Guardian Arlene remembered the riot it brought on: “There was an outcry after we appeared on TV. Mary Whitehouse (a conservative activist) complained, there have been even questions in parliament – and my profession as a choreographer was made.” 3. Arlene has a star-studded CVBeing one of many nation’s most in demand choreographers for over 4 many years, Arlene’s labored with a few of the largest abilities in music, theatre, movie and tv. She’s choreographed epic pop movies for the likes of Whitney Houston (I Wanna Dance With Someone and How Will I Know), Robbie Williams, Sir Elton John (I am Nonetheless Standing), and was accountable for the strikes in Duran Duran’s The Wild Boys, which scooped the award for Finest British Video on the 1985 Brits. Arlene’s inventive genius has led her to direct various musicals, each within the West Finish and on Broadway, together with Starlight Specific, Flashdance, Saturday Evening Fever, We Will Rock You, Grease, and the 2011 revival of The Wizard of Oz within the London Palladium. She’s even conceived routines for numerous tv adverts and co-choreographed the opening and shutting ceremonies for the 2002 Commonwealth Video games.4. She’s dominated out a return to ‘Strictly Come Dancing’Arlene has dominated out a return to the Strictly judging panel. (Picture credit score: BBC)In 2004, Arlene was appointed as a choose on the BBC’s new Saturday night time primetime present Strictly Come Dancing, sitting on the panel with Craig Revel-Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman. Over the subsequent 5 collection, she drew on her in depth data to critique celebrities competing to win that coveted glitterball trophy. Nonetheless, Arlene’s Strictly journey got here to an finish in 2008 when she was changed by former champion Alesha Dixon. Arlene went on to be a expertise choose on So You Assume You Can Dance?, however has dominated out a return to Strictly. Talking on Good Morning Britain she mentioned: “I like Strictly and I simply don’t take into consideration being requested again as a result of it’s by no means gonna occur. However I’m passionate concerning the present, and I liked my time on it.”5. She’s a passionate supporter of charityThe Alzheimer’s Society is a charity very near Arlene’s coronary heart, having skilled firsthand the devastating results of the merciless illness. Arlene helped take care of her late father, Abraham, who lived with Alzheimer’s for over ten years till his loss of life in 2000. Decided to boost consciousness of dementia, Arlene is now an envoy for Alzheimer’s Society and ceaselessly fronts their campaigns and fundraising actions, utilizing her social media platforms to assist unfold the phrase. And in 2017, Arlene introduced collectively a number of the world’s best dance abilities for a gala on the Adelphi Theatre in London, to boost funds for the victims of the Grenfell Tower hearth. Arlene imagined and directed the occasion, which included performances from the celebs of Strictly Come Dancing, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, and numerous eminent ballet corporations. 6. She’s a youngsters’s authorAfter discovering her ardour for dance as a baby, it appeared becoming for Arlene to put in writing a collection of dance-themed books geared toward little ones. The Alana Dancing Star tales are primarily based on the adventures of a dance-obsessed younger lady (who’s named after Arlene’s eldest daughter) whose dream to study completely different genres – from Bollywood to Samba – sees her being transported across the globe. The concept for the collection got here to Arlene when she was looking in a youngsters’s guide retailer and will solely discover titles about ballet. She recalled the sunshine bulb second to The Guardian: “I all of the sudden thought ‘No! There should be books about jazz, Bollywood, hip-hop, Latin, ballroom!’ And that was it; off I went. I needed it to be about an atypical little lady who has magic adventures with an actual, feel-good ending.” 7. Arlene was made a Dame by the QueenArlene being awarded her Commander of the British Empire in 2013. (Picture credit score: Getty)Arlene is a multi-decorated girl, and has obtained not one, not two, however three honours from Queen Elizabeth II. In 2001 she was awarded an OBE, adopted by a CBE in 2013, each for her companies to bop. However her highest accolade got here this 12 months when she obtained a Damehood in recognition for her work within the fields of dance and charity as a part of the Queen’s birthday honours record. Taking to her Instagram account to precise her delight at being made a Dame, Arlene mentioned: “It’s dance, dance, dance in my life proper now as a result of Her Majesty The Queen has given me an honour I might have by no means have dreamed of. I’m so unbelievably proud to now be Dame Arlene Phillips.”8. She’s a proud grandmaArlene dotes on her two little granddaughters, Lila Primrose, two, and Emme Bow, 11 months, the daughters of her eldest little one Alana, and repeatedly posts lovely snaps and movies of the pair on her Instagram account. Describing Lila and Emme as ‘biggest pleasure in her life’, Arlene has admitted she discovered it extremely tough being aside from the women through the Covid pandemic. In an interview with Ladies’s Weekly journal earlier within the 12 months she mentioned: “It has been actually onerous not seeing them in individual. I see them each day on a display, however it’s not the identical. ‘To hug and to carry’ are my favorite phrases.” We marvel if Lila and Emme will observe of their well-known grandma’s dancing footsteps?Arlene Phillip’s reality fileFrequently requested questions concerning the choreographer and theatre director…How previous is Arlene Phillips?Arlene Phillips is 78, she was born on twenty second Might 1943.Is Arlene Phillips married?Arlene’s first marriage to dressmaker Dan Noble resulted in divorce. She has been together with her long-term associate Angus Ion since 1985, having met on the set of the music video for Freddie Mercury’s track, I Was Born to Love You.Does Arlene Phillips have any youngsters?Arlene is mum to 2 daughters – Alana from a earlier romance, and Abi from her relationship with long-term associate Ion. Does Arlene Philips have any grandchildren?Arlene has two granddaughters – Lila Primrose and Emme Bow.The place was Arlene Phillips born?Arlene Phillips was born in Prestwich, Lancashire.How tall is Arlene Phillips?Arlene Phillips is 5 foot 2 inches tall.Twitter:@arlenephillipsInstagram: @arlenephillipsWe work onerous to make sure that all data is appropriate. Info that change over time, akin to age, will probably be appropriate, to the very best of our data, on the time of the final article replace.