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."

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

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone