Alesha Dixon

    Alesha Dixon’s arrival on the Strictly Come Dancing judges’ panel caused a big stink, and her departure last week was wreathed in another one. What can the poor woman do right?

    Two years ago, Ms Dixon, 33, was accused of knowing nothing about ballroom dancing, and her attempts to communicate in what was formerly known as the English language brought much grief to the viewing public. “Oh, babe,” she would soothe the exhausted no-hopers, “I loved how strong you was.”

    It didn’t help that Alesha had landed the slot that had been filled since the show’s launch by Arlene Phillips, the Olivier award-winning West End choreographer. Ms Phillips’s unhappy fans made no secret of their view that the 66-year-old dance legend had been booted out on ageist/ lookist/ multiculturalist grounds – the latest victim of the BBC’s deranged agenda to make its entertainment programmes more “representative”.

    Now Alesha, too, is on her way. And the word in Strictlyland is that Arlene may be heading back. “I am overwhelmed by your messages of support,” she tweeted to her fans week. “So much love and thanks.”

    All very peculiar. But that’s how things tend to be when Simon Cowell, the artful ringmaster of the TV talent show circuit, is involved. Cowell, 52, has been sulking beneath a pall of ignominy since his flagship shows, The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, were beaten in last year’s ratings by Strictly. Thirsting for vengeance, the shiny-chopped mogul has instituted a series of dramatic retaliation measures, including bringing himself back to the screen, raising the BGT winner’s prize money to £500,000, and hiring Alesha as a judge.

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Alesha Dixon

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