Arlene Phillips being ‘in talks to join DOI’ is ‘a bit of a finger up to Strictly’

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Arlene Phillips is reportedly "in talks" to be a judge on Dancing On Ice, after John Barrowman's departure from the show.

The former Strictly Come Dancing judge, 78, could be making a comeback to TV for the first time since 2009 after leaving the BBC show.

And a source has now told OK! that Arlene will be a "good fit" for Dancing On Ice thanks to her "great character" and years of experience.

The source said: "It’s a bit of a finger up to Strictly, ITV don’t want to look like they’re ageist."

It comes after fans believed the choreographer left Strictly because of her age, but the BBC has strenuously denied those claims.

The source continued: "She’s no skater but she’s an amazing dancer. They are very pleased with Arlene, she’s a great character with worlds of experience."

"It’s a big change but they need to rank up the ratings because they haven’t been great, even through lockdown.

"This needs to be a really big show but it’s difficult because not a lot of celebrities want to do it because there’s a lot of injuries, it’s a tough show to do."

The source concluded: "Arlene could be a great judge and Strictly haven’t ever really been able to find a good fit to replace her, nobody has stayed."

A representative for Dancing On Ice told OK!: "We have no comment, but these reports that have appeared in the press are pure speculation, we have not confirmed our new judge."

OK! has approached Arlene's representative for comment and the BBC declined to comment.

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When it was reported how great Arlene could be on the show, a source told The Sun how her involvement would create diversity on the judging panel.

"In contrast to what people see as her harsh treatment by Strictly, ITV bosses see her seniority as a brilliant way to create a diverse panel of experts on the show," the source said.

It was recently confirmed that John would no longer be on the skating show, as he has plans to host a new programme with ITV.

ITV confirmed the news in a statement which: "We thank John Barrowman for two brilliant years on the Dancing On Ice panel.

"[We] are pleased to be working with him again as host of the forthcoming All Star Musicals specials."

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