Arlene Phillips for Strictly return?

Arlene Phillips reportedly met with Mark Linsey, the BBC's Controller of Entertainment Commissioning, last week to discuss a possible return to 'Strictly Come Dancing'

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Arlene Phillips

Arlene Phillips

Arlene Phillips is set to make a shock return to 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

The 68-year-old dancer met with Mark Linsey, the BBC's Controller of Entertainment Commissioning, last week to discuss a possible return to the show following the defection of Alesha Dixon to its ITV1 rival 'Britain's Got Talent'.

A source explained: "The idea of her returning to 'Strictly' was discussed. There is no offer on the table but Mark wanted to know where Arlene's head was on the whole thing.

"Neither were ruling anything in or out as it's a tricky one for both of them."

Arlene was sacked from the show in 2009 amid allegations of ageism towards the channel and replaced by the much younger Alesha, now 33, and BBC bosses are aware that the situation is delicate.

The source added to The Sun newspaper: "Arlene's departure was not without bad feeling and controversy so you can understand her being cautious. Likewise the BBC axed her for a reason so it could be that chapter should remain closed."

Arlene has previously revealed she is constantly bombarded with questions from fans who want to see her back on the show.

She said: "You wouldn't believe how many times a day, every day that people ask me about 'Strictly'. I get it on twitter, in the street, in interviews - it never stops. The most common response is definitely them wanting me back as a judge."

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