Strictly Come Dancing 'catfight' wounds Alesha Dixon

Alesha Dixon has dismissed criticism that she is not qualified to judge Strictly Come Dancing's contestants as "nonsense" and said she has been left "wounded" by the backlash against her.

Dixon, 30, made her debut on Friday, replacing feisty choreographer Arlene Phillips, 66, on the panel.

She has been blasted by viewers who believe the glamorous star lacks the experience to step into the role and want Phillips to return.

The singer, who won the contest in 2007, told the Radio Times she was shocked at the age row that erupted when Phillips was axed and believes some comments levelled against her were driven merely by bitchiness.

"It was all a shock to me," Dixon told the magazine, "especially how quickly everyone jumped on the ageism argument.

"Maybe people wanted to start a catfight. But I didn't see it as an argument between Arlene and me. We were just caught in the middle. I haven't even spoken to her about it. Why would I?

"Was I wounded by some of the comments? Sure. Some of them were very stereotypical and judgmental. When I read that I only won in 2007 because I was half-naked, I did take that seriously. That's not someone offering a considered opinion, that's someone being a bitch."

Addressing criticism that she does not have the skills for the job, Dixon told the magazine: "It's nonsense to say that I'm not qualified to judge the dancers."

She continued: "I spent six years singing with Mis-Teeq, and another four as a solo artist where I had to pick my own dancers and audition them. So I'm not new to this. Also, having competed on the show, I'll be the only judge who understands what the celebrity dancers are going through.2

Camilla Dallerup, a former professional dancer on the show, also called for Dixon to be given a chance. Dallerup, 35, who announced she was quitting the show last January after six years, told New! magazine: "Let's give Alesha a chance. She is a great dancer and sghe entertained us when she won. She has a bubbly personality and I think it will be infectious. She'll hold her own with the judges."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore