Arlene Phillips is unrecognisable in black and white throwback pictures from early career

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge and current I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! contestant Arlene Phillips looks very different in these throwback photos.

Arlene, who at the age of 78 is the oldest I’m a Celeb contestant ever, has had a hugely successful career as a dancer, choreographer and judge of Strictly Come Dancing.

She first sprang to fame when she established the dance group Hot Gossip who became a regular feature on 1970’s and 80’s TV shows.

The black and white photos feature Arlene with her ex-husband fashion designer Danny Noble, who she married in 1971. The marriage was short lived and the pair are no longer in contact. Danny now lives in Philadelphia where he is still a fashion designer as well as lecturing at an art college.


Arlene was part of the original judging panel on Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 to 2008. She was replaced on the panel by Alesha Dixon, which led to complaints that the BBC was motivated by age discrimination.

Arlene, who was made a Dame in 2021 for services to dance and charity, has always been glamorous, so she may struggle on I’m a Celeb, where they have limited access to the finer things!

Speaking to OK! before heading to the castle, Arlene told us she is definitely not “Miss Fearless” with creepy-crawlies: “My family always laugh at me because they all camp and I’m definitely not a camper!” she giggled.

Arlene has two daughters, Alana and Abi, and has been in a relationship with her partner Angus Ion since 1985. The couple live in North London together and enjoy a close family life. Arlene often shares pictures of her grandchildren Lila Primrose and Emily Bow with her Instagram followers.

The choreographer said she hopes to fill the role of ‘mum’ in the camp but she openly struggled with her first few days.

Along with fellow camp mate Naughty Boy, Arlene was said to be unhappy with conditions in the camp after spending two nights in The Clink. Naughty Boy discussed plans to leave the show and Arlene admitted she felt the same way saying she was struggling to adapt to the camp sleeping arrangements and that the noise of other campers snoring was keeping her awake.

However Richard Madeley worked hard to persuade them both to stay, urging them to sleep on the decision and not rush into anything. Both Arlene and Naughty boy are now part of the main camp.

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