Arlene Phillips set to be awarded a damehood in the Queen’s birthday honours list
Arlene Phillips, 78, is set to be given a damehood in the Queen‘s birthday honours when they are announced next week.
The former Strictly judge will receive the honour for her ‘devotion to dance and charity work’.
Arlene was awarded an OBE in 2001 and then a CBE in 2013, and nowis set to become a Dame.
Recognition: Arlene Phillips, 78, is set to be given a damehood in the Queen’s birthday honours when they are announced next week (pictured last month)
A close friend of the former Strictly judge told the Sun on Sunday: ‘I bet she’ll do a little jig to celebrate. Nobody deserves this more than Arlene.’
The friend added that Arlene is a ‘showbiz superstar’ whose charm and dancing skills helped encourage others to get on their feet.
MailOnline has approached representatives of Arlene Phillips for comment.
Dame Arlene Philips: Arlene was awarded an OBE in 2001 and then a CBE in 2013, and now is set to become a Dame. Pictured: Arlene in 2013 after receiving her CBE
After creating the dance group Hot Gossip in the 1970s, Arlene went on to work on West End and Broadway musicals.
She became a household name in 2004 as a founding judge on the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing, before she was replaced by singer Alesha Dixon in 2009 – a move that sparked an ageism row.
The television personality spoke earlier this year about her shock Strictly exi when she left Strictly.
Keep dancing: Arlene became a household name in 2004 as a founding judge on Strictly (pictured with Bruno Tonioli, Len and Craig Revel Horwood L-R)
She said: ‘As a woman I should’ve thought about it, I should’ve demanded why the woman had gone, and three men remain.
‘I should have asked them to analyse it. I should have had the strength to at least ask for reasons and if not getting the reasons, a damn well apology.’
Speaking to actress Natalie Anderson’s podcast, The Capsule, Arlene added: ‘But I didn’t have the strength, I didn’t have the will. I was pathetic.’
Arlene, who was awarded a CBE in 2013, has highlighted the plight of the arts during the pandemic. She is also an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society and a supporter of Animal Aid, Compassion in World Farming and PETA.
Arlene isn’t alone in becoming a dame though, with vaccines tsar Kate Bingham also set to be rewarded.
Rewarded: Arlene isn’t alone in becoming a dame though, with vaccines tsar Kate Bingham also set to be rewarded
Kate, 55, is among a host of ‘heroes’ to be rewarded for their work fighting Covid during the pandemic.
Bingham is widely credited for Britain’s vaccine rollout success after rapidly securing access to millions of jabs in her unpaid role leading the Vaccines Taskforce.
The appointment of the venture capitalist was initially questioned amid cries of Tory cronyism and questions about her lack of suitable experience for such a role.
But her business acumen and knowledge of ‘big pharma’ meant she moved swiftly to place orders with vaccine providers before other countries had even got their programmes off the ground.
Earlier this year there were calls for her to be given a damehood, with Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford, saying: ‘She was really ruthless and really tough. It’s not a given that the UK – given its record – would have ended up where it is now without her.’
Deserved: Arlene also an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society and a supporter of Animal Aid, Compassion in World Farming and PETA (pictured 2019)