Doubters might have predicted an early retirement for Arlene Phillips after she was ungraciously dropped as a judge on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. But yesterday she cemented what can only be described as an extraordinary career comeback when Sadler's Wells Theatre announced her appointment to its board of directors. The position will become effective with her first board meeting on 25 November.
Since her departure from Strictly was announced in July – she was replaced by the younger judge, Alesha Dixon, amid a hail of criticism – Phillips, 66, has been made a judge on the BBC's The One Show and been confirmed as a judge on the UK's launch of the popular American series, So You Think You Can Dance, presented by Cat Deeley; she has also been made a member of the Government's new Dance Champions Group. Alistair Spalding, the artistic director of Sadler's Wells, said: "Arlene has always shared our passion for dance."
Phillips said she was "delighted" to be joining the board. She has choreographed numerous West End and Broadway musicals, and her accolades include an MTV award, a Bafta, and an Emmy for best choreography.