Arlene Phillips to return to Strictly Come Dancing for special performance

Arlene Phillips will return to Strictly Come Dancing this weekend, it’s been revealed.


The former judge will be back as a choreographer having created a special routine for Sunday’s results show.

Arlene, who was controversially replaced on the show in 2009 as a judge by Alesha Dixon, will be behind a group performance starring Strictly’s pros and disabled and non-disabled dance group Candoco.

“I did this because this is where my heart lies. I didn’t do this about resolving anything with Strictly,” Arlene told The Sun newspaper. “Was it hard for me to say yes? I’ve got to tell you, it was really hard.”

Candoco Dance Company are the first contemporary dance company to appear on Strictly Come Dancing.

The renowned contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers will partner with Strictly’s professional dancers

Arlene has choreographed the routine having previously collaborated with Candoco on outdoor dance performance You and I Know. Blending Candoco’s contemporary dance style with the vast array of ballroom and Latin styles, the piece will be performed to David Bowie’s classic, Life on Mars.

Arlene said: “When I was asked by Candoco if I would be interested in working with the company on a project linking them together with some of the series-regular professionals in a unique piece, I was instantly intrigued. Admiring the Candoco artists and BBC Pros as I do, I quickly said yes, but soon realised it was going to be quite a complex undertaking.

“The first question I asked myself was how would I unite two groups of dancers that come from very different dance disciplines? Candoco dancers are trained in a contemporary style, whereas the Pros are trained in Latin and Ballroom. David Bowie’s Life on Mars became the chosen track because of its mystery, both musically and lyrically.


“My vision is that the dancers are drawn together by a strange force from across the universe; fighting, playing, loving. Working closely with the programme’s Creative Director of Choreography Jason Gilkison and Trent Whiddon through a workshop process of improvisation and sharing of genres, we could all move forward together as one.”

You can watch the routine when Strictly Come Dancing airs Sunday night on BBC one at 7:20PM. The main live show airs tonight (Saturday) at 6:50PM.