Dame Arlene Phillips to join Dancing On Ice as guest judge

The West End choreographer will join the show for its musical theatre-themed week.

Dame Arlene Phillips will swap the dancefloor for the ice rink as she joins Dancing On Ice as a guest judge this weekend.

The former Strictly Come Dancing judge, 78, will make a one-off appearance on the panel alongside permanent judges Oti Mabuse, Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean and Ashley Banjo for the show’s musical theatre-themed week.

It remains unclear if Phillip Schofield, who co-hosts the show with Holly Willoughby, will be present during this Sunday’s episode after he announced on Monday that he had tested positive for coronavirus.

The ITV programme shared the news of Dame Arlene’s appearance on Twitter, writing: “We’re excited to announce @arlenephillips will be joining our ice panel for one night only, on Sunday Feb 20th for Musicals Week.

“She’s a theatre icon who’s choreographed everything from the West End to Broadway, so we can’t wait to welcome her as a fifth judge! #DancingOnIce”

Dame Arlene said in a post on Instagram that she could not wait to join the panel, adding: “Not long to go #musicaltheatre week here we come.”

She was a judge on Strictly Come Dancing from the show’s first season in 2004 until 2008 and was then replaced by Alesha Dixon in 2009.

The dancer and choreographer previously said she does not think about returning to the dancing competition as she feels it is “never going to happen”.

Dame Arlene first found fame when she created the provocative dance group Hot Gossip in 1974, and later choreographed for some of the West End and Broadway’s biggest shows, including Grease, Starlight Express, We Will Rock You, The Wizard Of Oz, The Sound Of Music, Saturday Night Fever and Flashdance.

The dancing star was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last year for services to dance and charity.

She also competed in the recent series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and was the first contestant to be eliminated from Gwrych Castle in North Wales.

At 78, the professional dancer was the oldest contestant to ever take part in the show.

She is currently the choreographer for the West End’s upcoming production of Grease, which will feature singer Peter Andre as the radio presenter Vince Fontaine in certain performances.

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