Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman says Arlene Phillips didn't deserve to be axed

Arlene Phillips

Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman has said that he didn’t feel Arlene Phillips deserved to be axed from the show back in 2009. Len, who will return to the show later this year, said he felt the reason behind the decision was down to competition from rival ITV1 reality series The X Factor.

Arlene was controversially replaced on the panel by former Strictly Come Dancing winner, popstar Alesha Dixon. Despite huge criticism from viewers and the press, the BBC stuck with the decision following the success of Cheryl Cole joining The X Factor the year before.

Goodman said: "I was very disappointed. I don't mind anything if it is deserved, but I don't think she was deserving of being given the elbow," he told Kirsty Young.

"I don't know why they decided to do that. I don't know if it was because on the other side there was X Factor and Cheryl Cole and they wanted a bit of glamour. I honestly don't know.

"But these things happen and I think one day the BBC will say, 'Len Goodman, we think you're in the Over The Hill Club now'. It will happen probably and if it does, it does."

The 67-year-old also admitted to being happy that he rose to fame at an older age, joking: "If it had happened when I was 30, I would be one of these people seen rolling out of clubs drunk with a couple of dolly birds on my arms. It would have been awful."

Strictly Come Dancing 2011 starts in September.

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